Christine Bender holding a pallid sturgeon, the endangered species she worked with on the Missouri River.

From a young age, Christine Bender fell in love with the outdoors. The Auburn, Neb., native was raised on a farm and involved in 4-H, and some of her best memories are filled with camping, hunting, fishing, and lake trips with her family.

“I’ve always loved being outdoors — it became a passion of mine,” Bender said. “I got into college and decided to make a career out of it.”

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