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ARCTIC: Arctic Refuge Students Fly High After Kaktovik Residents Flock to Judging Event
Alaska Region, February 24, 2005
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On February 24, 2005, Visitor Services Specialist, Jennifer Reed, and Community Liaison, Joanne Gustafson, gathered in the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service bunkhouse with judges from a wide cross-section of the Kaktovik community and a colorful collection of local observers to narrow the field of Alaska Migratory Bird Calendar Contest competitors in the Arctic Refuge area.

As a small crowd looked on, elders Daniel Akootchook and Eunice Sims, public health aide Glenda Lord, veteran State contest winner Flora Rexford, and commercial recreational guide Robert Thompson applied their wisdom and artistic skill by scrutinizing 31 contest entries from both Arctic Village and Kaktovik, the two villages representing the Arctic Refuge region. Each contest participant will receive a certificate and each winner at the regional level will receive a blue ribbon and prize. The 11 poster and two literature winners in the regional contest will represent Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in the state-wide calendar contest to be held in Anchorage later this month.

While hosting a meal for the judges, Reed and Gustafson provided time to visit informally with the community and discuss this exciting environmental education program. They engaged the event's attendees in the theme of the 2006 Alaska Migratory Bird Calendar Contest: ?Healthy Habitats Hatch Healthy Birds? and explained that through participation in the program students and adults alike become involved in national, state and local waterfowl subsistence and conservation issues.

The village of Kaktovik, an Inupiat Eskimo community located on the north shore of Barter Island and adjacent to the northernmost edge of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, has participated in the Alaska Migratory Bird Calendar Contest and hosted the regional judging since 2002. Arctic Village, a Gwich?in Athabascan Indian community on the East Fork of the Chandalar River, is adjacent to the southern boundary of the Arctic Refuge. This is the first year the community of Arctic Village has participated in the contest, and they will host the regional judging event in 2006 for the 2007 Calendar Contest.

For more information about the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge or the Alaska Migratory Bird Calendar Contest, please contact Jennifer Reed or Joanne Gustafson at 1-907-456-0250 or 1-800-362-4546 or visit the calendar web page at http://alaska.fws.gov/external/education/calendar.htm.

Photos are available upon request.

Contact Info: Kristen Gilbert, 907-786-3391, Kristen_Gilbert@fws.gov



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