Fire recovery, morels and record visitation define Kenai Refuge’s summer
Please join us on Tuesday, September 15, 2020, 5-6pm (AKDT), for our Friends monthly meeting with featured guest speakers Kenai Refuge Visitor Services Rangers Matt Conner and Leah Eskelin.
After the 2019 summer of the Swan Lake Fire, Kenai Refuge’s visitor services staff were busy planning for repairing fire damage and accommodating morel hunters in expectation of a big post fire morel flush when Alaska’s 2020 travel mandates changed the game and put their work into overdrive. Week after week, for 10 weeks straight, 1000s of visitors found their way out of quarantine to the safety of nature on refuge trails and in its campgrounds. Hear about how the Kenai staff responded to new recreational pressures this summer and rose from the ashes of 2019 to tackle the unexpected challenges of this year.
This meeting was recorded. View below:
PROGRAM MANAGER, FRIENDS OF ALASKA NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGES
CLOSING DATE: JULY 6, 2020
Please send a cover letter, references and a resume to Friends of Alaska National Wildlife Refuges at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Friends of Alaska National Wildlife Refuges (Friends) is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization that supports the stewardship of Alaska’s national wildlife refuges through education, volunteer projects, and advocacy. We work closely with the 16 national wildlife refuges in various capacities. We are seeking a part-time employee; however, there are two months in the spring where the workload will require a nearly full time effort.
The primary responsibility is the coordination, management and promotion of the Kachemak Bay Shorebird Festival (https://kachemakshorebird.org/). Held annually in early May, this 5-day event is the largest wildlife festival in Alaska, offering over 100 events. The festival is co-hosted by Friends and the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge and is supported by a committee of several organizations representing the Kachemak Bay community. This position requires skills and experience in program development, event administration, communications, fundraising, drafting service contracts, and financial/budget management. It is anticipated that this portion of the job will require around 80% of the total hours offered.
Additional job responsibilities will include support of the Friends Board of Directors in carrying out our programs in conformance with achieving our mission. Tasks are centered on communicating our message through various social media platforms, newsletters, blogs, and press releases; data management of our membership; and seeking funding for additional program development.
The ideal candidate will have strong leadership skills, organizational and communication skills; will manage time independently; and will have experience working collaboratively with multiple partners. This position offers growth potential, as our goal is to develop this into a full-time position to support our programs. There are professional training opportunities. There is flexibility in scheduling based on personal needs.
- Experience with event planning or similar position
- Knowledge of standard accounting practices and experience with budget management
- Proficiency with standard desktop applications for word processing, data and financial management, and cloud-based file-sharing applications
- Ability to develop written content for public dissemination
- Ability to create engaging website and social media postings on a regular basis
- Skills to develop and implement public outreach efforts
- Ability to prioritize efforts and manage time independently to accomplish a variety of tasks
- Ability to work with persons from many other organizations, agencies, and groups in a professional manner to project a favorable image of Friends
- Interest in wildlife conservation and state-wide conservation needs and concerns
ADDITIONAL DESIRABLE SKILLS:
- Experience with accounting software
- Website creation and maintenance knowledge
- Writing contracts
- Knowledge of the Homer area, community, and businesses
- Familiarity with National Wildlife Refuges
This position is budgeted at approximately 1,150 hours per calendar year at an hourly rate of $20-$24/hour, based on experience. The workload is part time with the exception of April and May due to the increased workload demand for the Shorebird Festival. There is some flexibility for scheduled time off, depending on the distribution of the remaining hours around the Shorebird Festival.
Shorebird Festival Responsibilities:
- Calculate and manage festival budget and ensure that it is followed
- Book talent, including keynote speakers, musicians, and artists, and arrange for their agreed- upon travel, speaking fees, food stipend, and lodging
- Negotiate agreements for ticket sales
- Coordinate and monitor event timelines and ensure deadlines are met
- Recruit volunteers and/or hire staff to manage aspects of the event
- Coordinate event logistics, including registration and attendee tracking, presentation and materials support, and pre- and post-event evaluations
- Co-Chair Shorebird Festival Committee along with the Fish and Wildlife Service lead, leading monthly (or as needed) planning meetings
- Meet periodically with the Festival Executive Committee
Communications and Publicity
- Manage online and in-person registration
- Write social media, email, and mail communications following Friends branding guidelines
- Oversee editing and production of official festival program
- Maintain and update festival website
- Maintain and send updates to festival participant mailing list
- Maintain and ensure timely posting of festival signage
- Oversee editing and designing of promotional materials
- Initiate, coordinate, and/or participate in all efforts to publicize events
- Represent the Festival at various outreach events locally and nationally
- Develop and oversee fundraising events and merchandise
- Coordinate raffles, auctions, and other fundraising strategies
- Secure and invoice Festival sponsors
Organization and Coordination
- Coordinate with Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge to create the Festival schedule
- Solicit area businesses to offer tours during the festival weekend to be sold through Festival registration (the Festival seeks to offer new events each year)
Negotiate and secure event space, relying on partnerships when possible
- Work with Refuge Visitor Center Manager and Alaska Geographic Manager to display Festival merchandise
Friends Organization Responsibilities:
Communications and Digital Media
- Attend monthly Friends Board of Directors meetings
- Develop and update digital media strategy
- Maintain and manage social media accounts (i.e. Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube)
- Support the mission of the Friends organization through development of online and offline content
- Work closely with Friends Board, Friends members, volunteers, and
USFWS to collect, manage, and curate communications content
- Oversee Friends website, blog, and monthly emails/newsletter
Grant writing and administration
- Apply for and manage grants and maintain accurate archive of grant application materials
- Research appropriate grant opportunities
For additional information please visit the following websites:
- Friends of Alaska National Wildlife Refuges: https://alaskarefugefriends.org/
- The Kachemak Bay Shorebird Festival: https://kachemakshorebird.org/
- Alaska National Wildlife Refuges https://www.fws.gov/alaska/pages/national-wildlife-refuges
- Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge: https://www.fws.gov/refuge/alaska_maritime/
Download job description as PDF
Join us as we explore Tetlin National Wildlife Refuge, experience a small town 4th of July and help this understaffed refuge. We will combine a canoe trip into Tetlin’s vast birdy system of lakes and rivers to begin signage of the refuge’s first water trail with helping the refuge make Tok’s 4th happen.
We will meet in Tok on Wednesday the 3rd to help the refuge set up the town’s 4th. On the 4th we will help staff the refuge booth and lead family games, and take down the booths in the evening. And Yes! There will be a parade with a refuge float. The refuge’s prominent role in Tok’s 4th of July has always been a key part of the refuge’s outreach to the community. Now that the staff has been reduced to 8, it is a struggle to make this happen. We can help!
On Friday the 5th, we will launch the refuge canoes on highway accessible Desper Creek to a campsite amidst numerous lakes providing perfect habitat for nesting waterfowl, swans, rusty blackbirds and warblers. Camping for two nights will give us time to begin work on a long-term Friends project to sign a water trail on Desper and Scotty Creeks. Some of this will be exploratory going beyond where Friends have gone before to identify routes through the lake systems. Paddling out Sunday against the slow current of Desper Creek should not take more than three hours putting us back at Tok by early afternoon for our farewells and the drive home. Desper Creek is a very slow-moving creek suitable for beginners. We may have to lift canoes over beaver dams depending on the water level.
The trip limit is 12 and the minimum age is 18 or 16 with a guardian. You must be a current Friend to participate but you can join here.
Registration is now open and limited to the first 12 applicants.
Canoeing Desper Creek on 2018 Tetlin Discover Trip
- Dave Schroyer, email@example.com; (907) 240-1375. Dave was raised in Alaska with life long experience canoeing, hunting, birding and exploring all over the state. He is bear safety qualified and was co-leader of last years Friends trip on Desper Creek.
- Moira O’Malley, firstname.lastname@example.org; is a long time Fairbanks resident, teacher and avid canoeist. She also was on the Friends 2018 trip to Desper Creek and has “fallen in love with Tetlin”.
Cost: $60 for 4 dinners and 4 breakfasts. Bring your own lunches and snacks. Contact the trip leaders if you have dietary restrictions.
Equipment needed: Your own personal camping gear plus bear spray. Contact the trip leaders if you don’t have a tent. Canoes and life jackets will be supplied by the refuge. If you would rather bring your own let us know. We will not be portaging other than the possible beaver dam. Also bring binoculars and fishing gear if desired. Equipment list will be furnished to participants.
Weather, Bugs and Bears: Average highs are in the 70s and thunderstorms are possible. Bring good raingear – jacket and pants, and waterproof knee-high boots. Gortex fishing waders with wading boots are an option to stay dry and allow walking into lakes and creeks when launching canoes. Bugs this time of year are not supposed to be as bad as up north but a bug net or bug jacket is a prudent idea. This is not noted as a “bear-y” area but it is Alaska so please bring your own bear spray and a holster system that will allow you to wear it.
Housing in Tok: The refuge staff is reserving 3 of their cabins for use Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday night if needed. There is also plenty of tent space at refuge headquarters. We will be able to use their staff kitchen for meals.
How to sign up: Trip will be limited to the first 12 to complete the registration, including the $60 fee. Please fill out the registration form below. Registration payment options will be presented after the form is completed and submitted. All participants will be required to fill out a Volunteer Agreement for the Refuge and sign a liability waiver for Friends.
Registration for the Tetlin Refuge Discovery Trip July 3 – 7, 2019 is closed.
Call in a few minutes before 5pm: (866) 556-2149, code :8169747#
Special Presenter: Kendra Bush-St. Louis, environmental educator with the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge:
Part 2: Field report filed by Jaqueline Keating
(Read Part 1 here)
“Don’t walk out to the truck yet, there’s a polar bear under the porch.”
That’s something you don’t get to say to your roommates very often. But when it’s one o’clock in the morning and the local polar bear patrol needs help nudging bears out of people’s backyards, this is a logical conversation to have when one of those bears has moved under the bunkhouse porch (which has to be traversed in order to reach the truck used to assist with said patrol). It was not long before the bear moved to another location and we were able to get into our vehicle and assist with driving laps around the village in an effort to keep bears away from houses. As exciting as this moment was, at the time it felt like just another day in Kaktovik.
(photo by Anita Ritenour, 2015)
I am incredibly fortunate to have worked with Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and Marine Mammal Management staff on the Kaktovik Polar Bear Conservation Project. Thanks to the support of Friends of Alaska National Wildlife Refuges, I was able to spend over three weeks on the Arctic Coast assisting with this vital effort. Duties included partaking in daily bear counts, monitoring bear viewing activity on Arctic Refuge waters, meeting with visitors from around the world to share information about the Arctic Refuge and the challenges facing polar bears, teaching about bears in local schools, and working with the Kaktovik Youth Ambassadors in their effort to share their community with tourists.
Early into my stay in Kaktovik, we counted 69 polar bears on a single morning count. While bears and people have coexisted in Kaktovik for a long time, a combination of decreasing sea ice and the availability of whale remains from the subsistence hunting that takes place in the fall has yielded a much higher density of bears near the village in recent years than ever before. Simultaneously, this village with less than 300 residents is suddenly seeing upwards of 1,000 people in a six-week time span to see the infamous polar bear. The physical and social climate could hardly be changing more rapidly.
I will soon be defending my Master’s thesis on human-bear interactions on the Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge on Kodiak Island. My time in Kaktovik reinvigorated my passion for my research, and the importance of understanding the inseparable role that people play in wildlife management. In addition to having the privilege to work with so many talented staff and volunteers in the Fish and Wildlife Service, spending time with the local community was truly a gift. Whether it was running up and down village streets with the kids after school, sitting with elders and listening to their stories, or standing with others on the edge of the village watching bears feed across the glassy Arctic waters, it was a joy to experience this community.
I could not be more thankful for Marine Mammal Management and Refuge staff members who have worked so hard to build positive relationships with such a special community. I am honored to have been able to witness and partake in this project. Thanks again to the Friends of Alaska National Wildlife Refuges for enabling this partnership and many others like it!
Call in a few minutes before 5pm: (866) 556-2149, code :8169747#
Download presentation videos:
fish passage fail.wmv
fish passage restoration.wmv
Funny River Weir.wmv
underwater weir footage.wmv
Shawn Bayless, manager of the Tetlin National Wildlife Refuge, will also join us to discuss items about Tetlin and to give an update on their lynx research.