2020 Children's Science News - Gold

Tracy Vonder Brink introduced her young readers to Eba, the conservation canine, who helps scientists find floating scat from orcas, also called killer whales. By studying the scat, the researchers can learn a lot about the health and diet of the animals ― and the pregnancy status of the females ― without disturbing them. “All kids are fascinated with poop, but that's not what makes this story so fantastic,” said judge Christine Dell’Amore, senior editor on the animals desk at National Geographic. “The approach of using Eba as a ‘spokesdog’ for orca conservation is an ingenious way to both educate and entertain.” She and her fellow judges said Vonder Brink’s story was very accessible to the target age group of three- to six-year-olds. “Engagingly and concisely written, with fun photographs, this story is a standout example of science journalism for children,” Dell’Amore said. “Eba and her fellow Conservation Canines do important work that helps endangered animals, and I loved showcasing this smart pup,” Vonder Brink said. “My thanks to the judges for recognizing science writing for preschoolers and to Dr. Deborah Giles for her help.”