Our monthly media contest provided us with a strong finish to what has again been a challenging year. And we’re particularly pleased to present the unbridled good cheer evident in the winning entry pictured above. This was submitted by Research Associate Rebecca Finnigan, serving as Compliance Archivist at Zion National Park. Here’s what she has to say about this photo: “No one tells you how exciting the mere sight of a tree will be when you move to the desert. Coming from New England, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect of my new home. And, while Southwest Utah turned out to be even more breathtakingly beautiful than I had ever imagined with its high plateaus and rolling canyons, something was definitely missing. And that something was trees. So when I came across some while hiking the overlook trail in Kolob Canyons, I quite literally jumped for joy.”
We hope you enjoy this and the other submissions below. Special thanks to Alissa Gardner, Research Associate Program Coordinator at GBI’s Southern Office, who continues doing a superb job managing the contest.
Rebecca Finnigan, Research Associate, Compliance Archivist at Zion National Park. “As compliance archivist at Zion National Park, my project is to archive the NEPA compliance documentation at the park. Compliance with NEPA works to preserve and protect the nation’s natural and cultural resources and also allows the public to participate in the discussion. Section 101 of NEPA states that it’s purpose is ‘to create and maintain conditions under which man and nature can exist in productive harmony.’ No where is that more true than here at Zion, where one can sit and admire the vast beauty all around from towering plateaus and steep canyon walls to the raging rapids of the river which forged them and truly appreciate all that our natural environment has to offer.”
Mary Morgan, Research Associate, Museum Support Technician at Yellowstone National Park: Heritage & Research Center, Museum. “GBI Museum Support Technician Sara Godin helped give a tour recently to a group of engaged and interested students from the Gardiner, MT school and Montana State University. They had a lot of great questions about our museum collections storage as well as the special objects here on the table!”
Sepanta Jafari Jozani, AmeriCorps, California Condor Recovery Program Technician, USFWS Bitter Creek National Reserve. “Captured California condors warming up after a cold night. Wild birds were captured for annual heath check.”
Sepanta Jafari Jozani, AmeriCorps, California Condor Recovery Program Technician, USFWS Bitter Creek National Reserve. “The coolest unexpected visitor, Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos).”
Sierra Martin, AmeriCorps, California Condor Monitoring Technician with The Peregrine Fund, Vermilion Cliffs, AZ. “Did you know there are over 100 wild California Condors between Utah and Arizona? Each bird has its own identification number, or studbook ID as well as a unique tag on their wing. A lot of these birds are born in captivity and released into the wild, but there are also many successful chicks being born in the wild! If you ever see a Condor’s tag in the wild, or even just a photo you can look it up on condorspotter.com. This awesome website will tell you all kinds of information about the birds like how old they are, if they are male or female, if they were born in the wild or in captivity, and more! Give it a try with one of our Arizona-Utah birds, Condor 883 (Tag V3).”
Sierra Martin, AmeriCorps, California Condor Monitoring Technician with The Peregrine Fund, Vermilion Cliffs, AZ. “Condor 930 (tag X0) being released after a winter health check up which included many things such as getting the birds weight, checking the tag and telemetry conditions, receiving a West Nile vaccination, and most importantly a blood lead test. Condors ingest lead fragments from eating carcasses that were hunted with lead ammunition and left out on the landscape. Today, lead poisoning is the leading cause of death in California Condors, but luckily it is preventable and there are already a lot of hunters who voluntarily switch to non-lead alternatives! For more information about how lead ammunition effects wildlife, visit huntingwithnonlead.org and nonleadpartnership.org so we can keep our wildlife heathy and safe!”