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SELAWIK: Refuge Readies Students for Introduction to Wildlife Work in Bear Country
Alaska Region, July 15, 2008
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Last month Selawik Refuge’s Assistant Manager Patrick Snow traveled to Anchorage to train students on safety in bear country in preparation for the summer field season. The seven participating college students, ages 17-18, were enrolled in the Alaska Native Science and Engineering Program (ANSEP), an innovative program designed to recruit Alaska Natives into careers in science, natural resources, and engineering.  The first day of training took place in a University of Alaska classroom and covered safe practices and ethics in bear country.  The second day Snow and Region 7 Civil Engineer Mike Milhollin took students to the Birchwood Recreation and Shooting Park to practice proper firearms handling procedures and to pass proficiency qualifications.  The course was part of a week-long training held by Fish and Wildlife Service to ensure safe field practices during the students’ summer field work around the state.

The Service hopes that ANSEP will yield local land stewards who have a vested interest in natural resources.  The Service has provided considerable financial support to the Alaska program by assigning a full-time employee as a recruitment officer, logistics coordinator, and mediator between participating agencies.  Contributions from refuges throughout Alaska provide training and summer work experience to the students.  This is the second year the Selawik Refuge has offered training in bear and firearms safety.

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



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