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US Fish & Wildlife Service FieldNotes

ALASKA PENINISULA & BECHAROF:Third Annual Speaker Series Focused on Wildlife

Region 7, July 19, 2013
Author John Hudson shows students aquatic insects in Naknek.
Author John Hudson shows students aquatic insects in Naknek. - Photo Credit: n/a
Belugas follow the tide up the Naknek River to catch smelt in spring.
Belugas follow the tide up the Naknek River to catch smelt in spring. - Photo Credit: n/a
John Trent spoke with students of Bristol Bay School about sea otter and walrus conservation.
John Trent spoke with students of Bristol Bay School about sea otter and walrus conservation. - Photo Credit: n/a

The Refuge’s Speaker Series brings high-quality guest speakers to the Alaska Peninsula during a slower-paced time of year. Three speakers came to share their knowledge of wildlife this winter and spring.

 

John Trent, newly retired from USFWS Marine Mammals Management, spoke at the Refuge office and Bristol Bay School in Naknek about walrus and sea otters in March. The Refuge’s collection of walrus bones and ivory was put to use as hands-on exhibits.

April’s speaker was timed to coincide with the arrival of beluga whales in the Naknek River. Barbara Mahoney from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) provided information about the white whales at the Refuge office, the school in Naknek, and via the web to ten schools of Lake and Peninsula Borough.

John Hudson, co-author of two books on Alaskan insects, arrived in May. He gave a talk on dragonflies in the Martin Monsen Library in Naknek, and a presentation on aquatic insects in the Refuge office. At Bristol Bay School, he took 89 students, from pre-school through 10th grade, out into the wetlands behind the school to capture and examine aquatic insects. Groups rotated out hourly all day, returning to the classroom wet, muddy, and excited.

This year’s Third Annual Speaker Series could not have happened without assistance from Alaska Geographic, the supporting organization that earns funds from book sales at the King Salmon Visitor Center.

Contact Info: Julia Pinnix, 907-246-1211, Julia_Pinnix@fws.gov