A listing of all the past winners of the Wetland Conservation Achievement Awards. For more information about the awards or to submit a nomination, please contact Jessica Tyler at jtyler@ducks.org.


Federal Elected Official: Tom Carper, U.S. Senator, Delaware
Among many accomplishments throughout his more than 30 years serving as an elected official, Carper, as Chair of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, led the passage of several critical wetlands conservation bills, including the reauthorization of the North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA), the passage of the Chesapeake WILD Act and most recently the Red River Valley National Wildlife Refuge expansion bill.

Federal Agency Employee: Tim Cooper, manager of the Texas Chenier Plain National Wildlife Refuge Complex
Cooper has repeatedly addressed management needs and future resource concerns throughout the Complex and its surrounding region. Working in partnership with others, Cooper's efforts help develop solutions, explain needs to varied audiences and secure funding and permitting for implementing the Salt Bayou Restoration Plan, a $100 million conservation project underway throughout the Complex.

State Elected/Appointed Official: State Senator George E. "Chip" Campsen III, South Carolina
Campsen, a DU member and avid duck hunter, has represented Senate District 43 for 20 years. His areas of focus in the General Assembly include constitutional, natural resource and election law, fiscal policy, criminal justice reform, government restructuring and all matters affecting the state's coast. He serves on the state's Senate Judiciary, Rules, Transportation, Legislative Oversight and Agriculture & Natural Resources committees. His varied interests and service on all these committees are important to the people of South Carolina. Still, his leadership as chairman of the Senate Fish, Game and Forestry Committee is essential to fulfilling the wetland conservation work of Ducks Unlimited.

State/Provincial Agency: Mary Mertz, director, Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), and Kendra Wecker, chief, ODNR Division of Wildlife (DOW) 
Over the past four years, Mertz and Wecker have coordinated, led and implemented parts of the H2Ohio Program, resulting in improved water quality, wetland habitat and quality of life for Ohio residents. The duo increased the role of the ODNR in the Ohio Partnership Hunt, led by DU in partnership with ODNR, DOW and the Lake Erie Marsh Association for better awareness and support for the Lake Erie coastal wetland conservation. Both leaders are committed to continuing the long-standing partnership with the Fall Flights program, funding habitat conservation on Canada's breeding grounds, and supporting wetland conservation in southern Ontario.

Research /Technical: Dr. Bruce Dugger, wildlife professor, Oregon State University 
Dugger has co-authored over 80 peer-reviewed articles, book chapters and technical reports. His research has addressed the challenges faced by a wide variety of wetland-dependent birds, including the management of hunted species, conservation and recovery of endangered waterbirds and environmental challenges like climate change. Most recently, he has been studying the impacts of sea level rise on tidal marshes along the Pacific Coast, an area of great importance to Ducks Unlimited.

Local/Private Conservation: Galveston Bay Foundation
Ducks Unlimited works with Galveston Bay Foundation on shoreline breakwater projects, waterbird nesting islands and beneficial dredging projects in the greater Galveston Bay. The foundation participates in everything from conservation education to land protection and habitat restoration from sub-tidal reefs to native prairie.

Communications: Natalie Krebs, executive editor, Outdoor Life Magazine
Krebs has extensively written, edited and assigned stories about waterfowl conservation, bringing more diversity to hunting, ethical hunting and tips and tactics for aspiring duck hunters. Educating audiences about conservation is crucial to preserving our hunting heritage and protecting the landscapes needed by outdoors enthusiasts.

Conservation Legacy: Terry Steinwand, retired director, North Dakota Game and Fish Department
As director of the North Dakota Game and Fish Department, Steinwand led in acquiring and protecting thousands of acres of wildlife habitat, including permanently protecting valuable wetlands and wetlands habitat. Over his 39-year career, he was active in numerous committees, including the North American Waterfowl Management Plan (NAWMP) Joint Venture community, Devil's Lake Outlet Advisory Committee and the International Joint Commission. Steinwand was a member of the North American Wetlands Conservation Council for 15 years. He was vice-chair of the Council from 2008 to 2015 and chair from January 2016 until his retirement in 2021.


Senior Federal Official
US Senator Martin Heinrich, New Mexico, has been a champion for conservation since arriving on Capitol Hill over a decade ago.

Federal Agency Employee
Noreen Walsh, US Fish and Wildlife Service fish and wildlife administrator, recently retired after a distinguished 30-year career with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

State/Provincial Employee
Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig, has developed and led the agency to become a premier service organization to Iowa agricultural producers, as well as serving as a national leader in agricultural practices directed at improving water quality.

Research /Technical
Dr. Mark Lindberg, professor of Wildlife Ecology at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, is a scholar of waterfowl ecology, a leader among his students and his peers and a steadfast advocate for science-based wildlife management.

Local/Private Conservation
Elizabeth Deluca donated a 27,000-acre conservation easement to Ducks Unlimited and the University of Florida, the largest in DU history and the first for the organization in the state. The DeLuca Preserve presents a unique opportunity for collaboration between Ducks Unlimited and the University of Florida.

Writer and editor T. Edward Nickens has mastered the use of words to cause people not to merely be entertained by wild things and wild places, but to actively engage in conservation.


Senior Federal Official - Sen. Lisa Murkowski
Sen. Lisa Murkowski's passion for wetlands and waterfowl conservation in Alaska and around North America is vital to Ducks Unlimited's mission.

Federal Agency Employee - Dr. Skip Hyberg
The Conservation Reserve Program's growth under Dr. Hyberg's tenure with the USDA Farm Services Agency has significantly impacted wetlands conservation.

State/Provincial Employee - Martin St. Louis
His service to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and stewardship to the Summer Lake Wildlife Area in Oregon has impacted waterfowl and wetlands for generations.

Research/Technical - Dr. Jane Austin
Dr. Austin's research in waterfowl breeding ecology with the U.S. Geological Survey's Northern Prairie Wildlife Research center in North Dakota helps guide Ducks Unlimited's conservation mission.

Communications - Brad Dokken
Brad's entertaining stories about hunting and fishing helps his readers understand the benefits of conservation for wildlife and people.

Local/Private Conservation - Jack Ray
His tireless wetlands conservation efforts in Utah, especially around the Great Salt Lake, have protected thousands of acres benefitting waterfowl and people alike.


Senior Federal Official - Sen. John Boozman
Elected to the Senate in 2011, Sen. John Boozman's commitment to wetlands conservation has been extremely important to the work of Ducks Unlimited.

Federal Agency Employee - Sarah Mott
In recent times no one has had a greater impact on managing continental wetland conservation funding than Sarah Mott.

State/Provincial Employee - Dave Morrison
His service on numerous committees and the National Flyway Council, in addition to his duties with Texas Parks and Wildlfie, cemented his legacy as a champion for waterfowl and wetland conservation.

Research/Technical - Dr. G. Scott Boomer
Dr. Boomer is a biologist with the Population and Habitat Assessment Branch, Division of Migratory Bird Management for the United States Fish and Wildlife Service. Scott's work has affected every single duck hunter for the last 15 years.

Communications - Jim Ronquest
As a duck calling champion and television and radio host, Jim has influenced others to further youth education and conservation efforts.

Local/Private Conservation - Metroparks Toledo
By creating Howard Marsh Metropark, Metroparks Toledo is a shining example of how municipalities can be blend urban development with wildlife conservation.


Ducks Unlimited announced the winners of the 2018 Wetland Conservation Achievement Awards during the 83rd North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference on March 30, in Norfolk, Virginia.

Federal Agency employee: Jim Stutzman, founder of Montana's Partners for Fish and Wildlife program and habitat delivery specialist for the Intermountain West Joint Venture

Senior Elected Official: Ohio Rep. David Joyce

State/Provincial Agency: Diane Eggeman, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

Research /Technical: Dr. Ray Alisauskas, research scientist for Environment and Climate Change Canada, adjunct professor University of Saskatchewan

Conservation/Private Citizen: Lennie Sam and Aline Skaggs (posthumous), Idaho

Communications: Dennis Anderson, outdoors columnist for the Minneapolis Star Tribune.


Kevin Norton, Louisiana state conservationist for the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.

Dr. Jim Gammonley, avian research leader and chief waterfowl biologist for the Colorado Division of Wildlife and Parks.

Dr. Douglas Johnson, senior scientist for the United States Geological Survey.

Judge Jeff Branick of Jefferson County, Texas.

The late Wade Bourne, editor-at-large for Ducks Unlimited magazine, co-host of Ducks Unlimited Television.

These 43 U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officers who enforce wetland and grassland easements in the Prairie Pothole Regions of North Dakota, South Dakota and Montana:

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Region 3 officers

• Brett Bowser, Minnesota
• Doug Briggs, Michigan
• Jim Graham, Minnesota
• Rodney Hansen, Iowa
• Mead Klavetter, Minnesota
• Dennis Klimek, Minnesota
• Carl Lantz, Iowa
• Ashley Look, Minnesota
• Charles Melvin III, Minnesota
• Scott Pariseau, Minnesota
• Chad Raitz, Minnesota
• Brent Taylor, Minnesota

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Region 6 officers

• Dave Azure, South Dakota
• Kathy Baer, North Dakota
• Tyler Barriere, South Dakota
• Jon Beyer, North Dakota
• Mike Blessington, South Dakota
• Todd Boonstra, Montana
• Matt Carman, North Dakota
• Ben Cleghorn, North Dakota
• Drew Ellis, South Dakota
• Matt Fischer, North Dakota
• Todd Gallion, North Dakota
• Alli Goldman, North Dakota
• Wayne Henderson, North Dakota
• Eric Hoggarth, South Dakota
• Brad Johnson, South Dakota
• Kyle Johnson, North Dakota
• Brian Keller, South Dakota
• Chris Kringstad, North Dakota
• Jared Newton, North Dakota
• Tom Pabian, North Dakota
• Nicole Prescott, Montana
• Clay Ronish, Montana
• Bryan Schultz, South Dakota
• Don Soderlund, South Dakota
• John Takala, North Dakota
• Matt Van Thuyne, North Dakota
• Jared Vignes, Montana
• Brian Vose, North Dakota
• Scott Williams, North Dakota
• Tom Zick, North Dakota
• Chad Zorn, North Dakota

Robert Bonnie
Tammie Fairbanks
Ross Melinchuk
Craig & Shelley Larson
Dr. Bart M. Ballard
Don Dubuc

Congressman Rob Wittman
Dr. Fred Johnson,
David Norris
Dr. Gary Hepp
Mo Buder
Hal Herring

Representative Kristi Noem
Kurt Forman
Dr. Ken Abraham
Dr. Alan Afton
Phil Precht
Paul Baicich

Senator Debbie Stabenow
Dr. Byron "Ken" Williams
Garrett Graves
Dr. James D. Nichols
Robert "Bob" Zorb
John Pullman

Sec. of the Interior Ken Salazar
Robert S. McLean
Joe Kramer
Dr. John M. Eadie
James C. Kennedy
David Sikes

Sen. Dick Durbin
Kevin Brennan
Jim Sutherlin
Dr. Robert G. Clark
Durand Farms
David Hendee

Sen. John Thune
Seth Mott
Thomas M. Hauge
Dr. Gary Krapu
Dr. Charles M. Nelson
Bob Marshall

Congressman James L. Oberstar
Steve Moran
Alan D. Stacey
David A. Graber
Will Primos
David J. Case

Sen. Herb Kohl
Dan J. Nieman
Stephen V. Rockwood
Guy A. Baldassarre
Adolphus A. Busch IV
Joe Albea

Sen. Blanche Lambert Lincoln
David Roy Anderson
Steve Gray
Richard A. Malecki
David M. Richard
Douglas B. Inkley

Kalven Trice
Sen. Thad Cochran
John Cooper
Richard M. Kaminski
Chris Niskanen
Hod Kosman

Matthew J. Hogan
Sen. Mike Crapo
Nick Lyman
David R. Anderson
Chris Madson
Charles Lane
Samy Watson

Carey S. Smith
Rep. Norman D. Dicks
Richard A. Bishop
Steve Havera
Robert A. Drieslein
William R. Ireland Sr.

Robert J. Blohm
Rep. Mike Thompson
Duane L. Shroufe
Harold Prince
Michael Furtman
Herb Metzger

Carl Madsen
Sen. John Breaux
Ollie Torgerson
Bob Davidson
Mark Damian Duda
James M. Crews Jr.

Hon. Ralph Regula
Richard Hatcher
Dale Humburg
Kevin Woster
Keith Krull

Bob Missio
Rep. Jim Saxon
Brent Manning
John T. Ratti
Gregg Patterson
F.W. 'Biggy' Hunt

Michael Dombeck
Steven W. Miller
James E. Hill
Ron Schara
Douglas B. McGeogh

John Doebel
Steve N. Wilson
James Sedinger
Michael Pearce
Curt, Randy & Cliff Rankin

David K. Weaver
W. John Schmidt
C. Davison Ankney
Charles C. Heinsz Jr.
Philip Bourjaily

Charles K. Baxter
Wayne MacCallum
Leigh Fredrickson
Bill Schulz
William A. Windham

Sen. Don Nickles
Ronald E. Reynolds
William K. Stevens
William C. Ashe

Rep. John D. Dingell
Richard B. Pierce
Ken J. Reinecke
Keith W. Harmon

John Turner
Hon. Harry J. Evans
Donald Rusch
Erling T. Jacobson

Robert Grady
Gov. George Sinner
John P. Rogers
Charles H. Collins