We’re Hiring!




Please send a cover letter, references and a resume to Friends of Alaska National Wildlife Refuges at info@alaskarefugefriends.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


  • Experience with accounting software
  • Website creation and maintenance knowledge
  • Fundraising
  • 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:

Download job description as PDF

Open post

Board Welcomes New Member:  Caroline Brouwer

Caroline Brouwer, from Rockville, Maryland, is a long time wildlife conservation professional who will add a unique DC perspective to the Board.  Caroline serves as the Vice President of Government Affairs for the National Wildlife Refuge Association working on federal conservation policies in Congress and with the Administration, focusing on funding and legislation affecting the National Wildlife Refuge System. She leads the Cooperative Alliance for Refuge Enhancement (CARE), a coalition of organizations that fights for increased funding for wildlife refuges. Her previous positions have been with Ducks Unlimited in Washington, DC, as a Peace Corps volunteer in Ukraine, a private attorney, and family court prosecutor.

“Wildlife has always been my passion, and Alaska is rich with wildlife. I have been to Alaska a number of times and work closely with the Fish and Wildlife staff in the region. The Kenai and Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuges are two of the most beautiful places I have ever visited.  The day I saw a pod of humpback whales breaching off the coast of Sitka, was one of the greatest days of my life.   I am thrilled to be working with the Friends Board, and encourage anyone interested in preserving wildlife habitat and populations to become advocates for our public lands.”

Open post

Interested in Promoting an Alaskan Refuge?

Did you know that as a Friends member you have the opportunity to assist and promote a Refuge by participating as a Refuge Volunteer Liaison?  We are actively seeking a few members who would enjoy working directly each month with a Refuge Manager and staff.  The benefits of developing a personal relationship with a Refuge, learning about special programs as well as daily activities that make our Alaskan Refuges unique is a life-enhancing experience. 


Liaisons in the past have been treated to personal tours of a Refuge, worked with biologists, environmental educators, visitor center staff and Refuge managers.  For a monthly time commitment (ranging from 1-3 hours) a Refuge Liaison works with Refuge staff to 1) discuss Refuge news, projects, issues; 2) participates in identifying Refuge volunteer needs, funding, outreach assistance; 3) gathers information from the Refuge for newsletters, Facebook posts, blogs and membership meeting programs.  The Refuge Volunteer Liaison will have the support of the Liaison and Membership Chairs for training, mentoring, and for assistance in submitting documentation such as brief monthly reports. 


If you would like to learn more about the opportunity to serve as a Refuge Volunteer Liaison and to see if you might be match for one of our Refuges, please reach out to Betty or Sandy.  We would be happy to share information and work with you to enhance and strengthen your ties with Friends of Alaska National Wildlife Refuges. 


Come join us in our stewardship efforts!


Betty Siegel, Refuge Volunteer Liaison Chair  siegelbetty@gmail.com

Sandy Kerns, Membership Chair  sandra.kerns@alaskarefugefriends.org

Open post

Introducing our New Board Member!

Sandra J Kerns, MEd., MSW, LCSW
Animal Assisted Activities/Therapies & Equine Facilitated Wellness Professional

Volunteering weekly and for special projects and events with the Friends of Alaska (since June 2018) at the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge Visitor’s Center is a significant part of my commitment to support efforts to protect the nature of Alaska. I’m passionate about advocating for our land and marine ecosystems and the mammals, birds, plants and invertebrates that inhabit Alaska. I care about preserving Alaska and our planet for generations to come. As a board member, I strive to work towards increasing public awareness and education on the values and stewardship in caring for public lands and waters.

Backed by solid credentials and 34 years of professional experience, I bring strength and expertise in program, personnel, and system development to The Friends of

Alaska National Wildlife Refuges organization. With my prior business management experience for Providence Alaska Medical Center, National Association of Social Workers, and numerous academic entities, I am well versed in public speaking, team building and leadership, risk management, fiscal planning, and program design.

I am a lifelong learner, educator and career social worker. Through my counseling practice, Winter’s Grace Guidance Center situated on 10 acres of meadow and woodland located in Soldotna, Alaska, I mentor others towards healing experiences. Connecting children and families with nature and animals is a central focus of my work. l love spending time on trails, at the coast and high on alpine meadows. On the home front I enjoy companions Icelandic horse Kisi and mini pony Breezy, canine friends Ruby, Hadley, Daisy and Lily and feline Clementine.

Open post

Friends Need Friends

By: Tara Schmidt and Poppy Benson

Friends came to visit, and it was invigorating!  Thirteen Friends Groups from throughout the Pacific plus Fish and Wildlife staff descended on Homer in September for a 4 day “Tanax Agliisada” conference aimed at teaching us all new skills and sharing best practices.  Friends of Alaska National Wildlife Refuges hosted the conference at the Alaska Maritime and Kenai National Wildlife Refuges.  A grant from the National Fish & Wildlife Foundation brought the 60 attendants to Homer from Alaska, Hawaii, coastal Washington and Oregon, Midway Island and the Marianas Trench.

Building stronger boards, board recruitment and retention, improving community relationships, and empowering our organizations to ensure the success of the Refuge system as a whole were some of the topics covered in. Breakout groups allowed for brainstorming, sharing experiences and goal setting. We learned many of the issues we faced were not unique to us.

We all were fascinated although pretty depressed learning about the Washington D.C. scene from Caroline Brouwer of the National Fish & Wildlife Association and Desiree Sorenson-Groves of the Arctic Refuge Defense Campaign.  At least I came away convinced we, Alaska Friends, do need to make a trip to DC once a year to keep our concerns in front of our representatives, and we do need to form a stronger alliance with the National Fish & Wildlife Association.

The National Wildlife Refuge chiefs from both the Alaska and Pacific regions, shared insight on national priorities, departmental directives, long term planning goals and ways we can work together on a panel titled “Impacts of National and Regional Priorities”. Understanding Refuge system priorities will help us work together to successfully develop programs and projects, which should in turn build community awareness and support of the refuge system.

In a small group meeting of the 10 Alaska Friends in attendance we hammered out these goals for the board for this year: 1) create a  membership committee and recruit a chair committed to recruiting/following up with members who have indicated an interest in participating at a higher level in our organization; 2) improve our communication efforts to highlight our work, promote our projects within the communities that are benefiting from our financial support of programs tied to the Alaska Refuge system; and, 3) send two from the Board to DC during the budget months of February or March.

Our fellow Friends were very interesting and fun people making for a stimulating four days.  Our hosting role went flawlessly thanks to our extraordinary conference organizer, Friends volunteer Anna Sansom.   Our visitors loved getting to visit two refuges – Alaska Maritime and Kenai, see their first moose, eat smoked salmon and moose we provided and even participate in Homer’s iconic “Burning Basket”.  We hope we have gained new allies in the fights to save Alaska’s Refuges.

Two takeaways from this conference are 1) we are part of a larger organization; and, 2) together we can be a strong coalition for advancing the mission of Wildlife Refuges. This was in line with the goals set for the conference – increase effectiveness and strengthen relationships across refuges. We need to work with other Friends Groups to achieve economies of scale, continue to share know-how and cross sell.

Open post

We’re Hiring!

Job Announcement: The Friends of Alaska Wildlife Refuges is seeking to fill a part-time position as a Communications Coordinator to manage and develop content for monthly newsletters, Friends’ website and blog, and social media accounts. The desired candidate will have strong organizational and communication skills; manage time independently, and be able to work with a non-profit board of directors.

Friends Communications Coordinator position:

Approximately 5 hrs. /week, 20 hours/month

Pay Rate: $20/hr.

Main Responsibilities:

  • Soliciting content for all communications routes by working with board, partners, and volunteers to create original material.
  • Finalizing content and layout for monthly electronic newsletter.
  • Maintain/update the Friends website and blog.
  • Maintain and manage Friends social media accounts
  • Work with Friends board to update communications strategy
  • Provide input and help improve communications plan.
  • Attend monthly board meetings

Job Description:

The Communications Coordinator will work with the Friends of Alaska Wildlife Refuges Board with collecting, managing and curating communications content for both monthly newsletters and social media accounts to support the mission of the organization. This position requires the ability to assemble, organize, and develop content relevant to the goals and activities of the Friends organization. This position requires the ability to prioritize efforts and to efficiently manage time independently to accomplish the timely dissemination of information to promote the conservation of natural resources in the Alaska National Wildlife Refuges. The ideal candidate will have good communication skills, experience with developing written content, working with public outreach efforts, and an understanding of the US Fish & Wildlife Refuge system.

Deadline to apply is NOON, MARCH 11th, 2019.
To apply, please send your cover letter and resume to: info@alaskarefugefriends.org