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ALASKA: Youth in the Great Outdoors-Work-Interns Research Birds
Alaska Region, January 2, 2014
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High school intern checks nesting structure.
High school intern checks nesting structure. - Photo Credit: USFWS
The Alaska Region is moving the needle toward conservation by engaging America's youth in play, learn, work, and serve activities. - Photo Credit: USFWS
The Alaska Region is moving the needle toward conservation by engaging America's youth in play, learn, work, and serve activities. - Photo Credit: USFWS - Photo Credit: USFWS

Fairbanks, Alaska
This project funded five high school interns from interior Alaska to work with researchers at Creamer’s Field Migratory Waterfowl Refuge on a long-term bird research project. All five students were mentored by migratory bird biologists with the Alaska Songbird Institute with help from a 2012 intern who returned to volunteer. In turn, these interns mentored 10 younger students while they themselves learned about ecology, research, and careers in science and conservation.

Interns completed and presented final stewardship projects including photo and video documentation and a display for the refuge visitor center, a database covering 15 years of chick investigations within the refuge, documentation of unusual food sources in nests, and collection and analysis of chick growth rates. Participating youth spent approximately 750 hours engaged in hands-on work with wild non-game migratory birds.

ADF&G (responsible for managing Creamer’s Refuge) provided ongoing support through the use of essential equipment, supplies, and staff time. The Golondrinas de las Americas program provided research expertise, guidance, and an intern. The project also relied on the volunteer efforts of teachers and parents in the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District. Significant assistance was provided by Fairbanks community members.
This project also resulted in a new partnership with the Alaska Songbird Institute, an organization that is conducting vital research and education in the Fairbanks area to help advance the Service’s goal to conserve trust species. Finally, Dr. David Bradley of Long Point Bird Observatory and the University of Guelph provided 14 geolocators that will allow the program to participate in a continent-wide project looking at migratory connectivity.


Check out Youth in the Great Outdoors from around the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service in Alaska
http://www.flickr.com/photos/usfws_alaska/sets/72157632019554148/
Contact Info: Kristen Gilbert, 907-786-3391, kristen_gilbert@fws.gov



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