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YUKON FLATS: Earth Work Quest Blends Culture and Careers
10 Region, August 18, 2008
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Earth Work Quest intern Tenika Peter at the Friends of Creamers Visitor Center.  Photo by Melissa Sikes.
Earth Work Quest intern Tenika Peter at the Friends of Creamers Visitor Center. Photo by Melissa Sikes. - Photo Credit: n/a
Earth Work Quest intern Tenika Peter cataloging audio tapes at the Fairbanks Public Lands Information Center.  Photo by Rich Ackerman.
Earth Work Quest intern Tenika Peter cataloging audio tapes at the Fairbanks Public Lands Information Center. Photo by Rich Ackerman. - Photo Credit: n/a
Earth Work Quest intern Tenika Peter organizing print material at the Fairbanks Alaska Public Lands Information Center.  Photo by Rich Ackerman.
Earth Work Quest intern Tenika Peter organizing print material at the Fairbanks Alaska Public Lands Information Center. Photo by Rich Ackerman. - Photo Credit: n/a

 

“Tenika is an intelligent and motivated individual. . . capable of managing numerous tasks in the field of natural resources…I have been impressed with the mission of Earth Work Quest and the potential. . .to inspire new pathways for resource management professionalism,” said National Park Service’s Rich Ackerman, Park Ranger of the Alaska Public Lands Information Center (APLIC) of his experience with Earth Work Quest intern Tenika Peter the past two summers. 

Originally from the village of Beaver, Tenika was one of 17 summer interns in the Earth Work Quest Internship Program. Besides the Fairbanks APLIC, others hosting interns included the Alaska Bird Observatory, Friends of Creamers Field Waterfowl Refuge, University of Alaska School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, Camp Habitat, ORIGIN Institute, the Fairbanks Fish and Wildlife Office, and Arctic, Izembek, Tetlin, and Yukon Flats National Wildlife Refuges.  Interns represented a cross-section of Alaskan villages including Arctic Village, Grayling, Venetie, Stevens Village, Beaver, Tok, Healy Lake, Barrow, Huslia, Allakaket, Lake Minchumina, and Kaltag. 

Interns’ duties varied from bird banding, trail building, and collecting fish DNA samples, to environmental education and staffing visitor centers.  Some held paid positions but most volunteered.  The most idyllic internship saw four interns spend ten days floating the remote Chandalar River learning outdoor skills from a Native elder and members of the Outdoor Recreation Institute of Guiding for American Indians and Native Alaskans (ORIGIN).  Non-profit ORIGIN trains Native youth in outdoor leadership, wilderness guide skills, and first aid for future jobs with guide companies.  Graduates also mentor local youth in leadership skills, self-confidence and building connections with nature, evident as four interns gathered around elder Paul Williams Sr. who demonstrated the disappearing skill of weaving willow bark into a four-ply snare line.  For more information on ORIGIN, go to www.origin-institute.com.    


Contact Info: Barry Whitehill, (907) 456-0409, barry_whitehill@fws.gov



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