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TOGIAK NWR: Dillingham JH Students"Work" for Togiak Refuge
Alaska Region, June 8, 2011
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Togiak Refuge Manager Paul Liedberg visits with Ashlyn Luckhurst and JT Mincher about what it means to be a Service employee.
Togiak Refuge Manager Paul Liedberg visits with Ashlyn Luckhurst and JT Mincher about what it means to be a Service employee. - Photo Credit: n/a
Student JT Mincher channels his inner radio personality while assisting with an episode of
Student JT Mincher channels his inner radio personality while assisting with an episode of "Bristol Bay Field Notes", a Togiak Refuge program heard on station KDLG. - Photo Credit: n/a

As a part of a week-long study of careers in the Bristol Bay region, Seventh Day Adventist School junior high students Ashlyn Luckhurst and JT Mincher contacted Togiak Refuge Education Specialist Terry Fuller. The two students thought to contact Terry, after participating in one of his presentations at their school. They thought what he did for a living looked interesting. Terry invited the two of them to job shadow him to learn more about his career.

On their day as U.S. Fish and wildlife Service employees,  JT and Ashlyn started the morning by dressing the part (doesn’t brown look good on everyone?).  They then met with the Refuge Manager Paul Liedberg to hear his thoughts and advice about working for the Service. During the conversation, Mr. Liedberg asked each of them why they wanted to shadow Mr. Fuller. JT’s response was that it looked like fun. Ashlyn was a bit more specific, saying that she wanted to be an educator someday, but possibly in some capacity outside of a traditional classroom.

The day was full, from beginning to end. They were given an orientation to the Service as a whole and some of the positions available at Togiak Refuge. They took part in an environmental education camp recruitment presentation at a local high school and assisted in presenting Alaska Migratory Bird Calendar Contest prizes to local winners during an awards ceremony at that same high school. They also assisted in recording an episode of Bristol Bay Field Notes, a radio program produced by the Refuge that’s heard around the Bristol Bay region on station KDLG three times a week. Both JT and Ashlyn had speaking parts during the episode and, according to Mr. Fuller, did an outstanding job, both on the Field Notes episode and over the course of the entire day. Ashlyn has this to say about her day in a brown uniform:

“Today at Togiak National Wildlife Refuge I learned a bunch and had so much fun!  I want to be a kind of teacher who is not in the classroom all day. So I decided to check out Terry Fuller's job as an Education Specialist. J.T. and I went to Mr. Fuller's office today and got to work with him. We went for a school project.  The project was to go with a person whose job you are interested in and see what they do.  I learned that Terry Fuller teaches students about wildlife and the important things we need to do to protect our wildlife. He is really involved in the school but he doesn't have to be in a classroom all day and correct school work. He gets to do fun things like give presentations, talk about animals on the radio, give awards, take students on field trips, and answer questions about animals. I think this is what I want to do when I am out of school!”

Sometimes the only way to really experience something is to get in there and do it. Hopefully this one day window provided Ashlyn and JT with the knowledge they needed to further consider if a career with the Service (or Environmental Education) is something they’d like to pursue somewhere down the line.


Contact Info: Terry Fuller, 907-842-1063 ext. 8419, terry_fuller@fws.gov



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