Friends say “Goodbye” to Kristen and “Hello” to Helen

Congratulations to
 Kristen Gilbert on her new assignment- Kristen was offered and has accepted a position at USFWS Headquarters in Washington, DC. She is the new Chief for the Branch of Communications in Visitor Services. Kristen will take both field and regional experience to this position which is a huge asset.

Kristen is known for her regional work in AK as the Youth, Volunteers, Outreach, Urban, Friends Coordinator, Financial Assistance Warrior, and Techno Geek. Prior to coming to Alaska, she worked at Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge, the San Luis Valley National Wildlife Refuge complex in southern Colorado and at the National Elk Refuge in Jackson, WY. Kristen has been recognized nationally for her leadership roles in digital communication and outreach and has been a member and/or filled a leadership position on several national teams. She has also been a key leader for the NWRS Communications Strategy and Branding Strategy. 

Kristen, your leadership and guidance to the Friends of Alaska National Wildlife Refuges has been invaluable.  You will be extremely missed.  Though you have moved onward, you are a Friend Forever!

Welcome Helen Strackeljahn, the new Youth, Volunteers, Urban, Friends Coordinator for Alaska U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, tentative start date of January 19, 2017.

Helen comes to us from the NPS and is presently an education specialist at the Anchorage Alaska Public Lands Information Center (AAPLIC). Currently, Helen manages the education, outreach and Volunteer in the Parks program and has written and received numerous grants for youth programs in the State. A few of her recent achievements include forming a partnership with the 21st Century Afterschool Programs which helped the NPS offer conservation education programs at Title 1 schools in Anchorage, developing an MOU with the King Career Center which offered overnight and day camp learning experiences for Anchorage youth, introducing high schoolers to volunteerism, YCC, and SCA programs, as well as managing and training hundreds volunteers and interns. Prior to her AAPLIC assignment, Helen worked at Carlsbad Caverns NP, Glacier Bay NP, Everglades NP and Big Cypress National Preserve.

We look forward to working closely with Helen, on all things Refuge!