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BARROW FISH AND WILDLIFE FIELD OFFICE: Eider Journey Science Program alumni experience wildlife up close at Alaska Sea Life Center
Alaska Region, August 3, 2012
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Barrow High School students Ramey Gerke and Elmer
Barrow High School students Ramey Gerke and Elmer "J.R." Thompson with Alaska Sea Life Center veterinarian Dr. Carrie Goertz 2012 - Photo Credit: FWS
Ramey and J.R. with cast of the AquaKids TV program at Alaska Sea Life Center in Seward, 2012
Ramey and J.R. with cast of the AquaKids TV program at Alaska Sea Life Center in Seward, 2012 - Photo Credit: FWS
AquaKids crew interviewing Ramey and J.R. at the Alaska Sea Life Center, 2012
AquaKids crew interviewing Ramey and J.R. at the Alaska Sea Life Center, 2012 - Photo Credit: FWS / Katrina Mueller

Elmer “J.R.” Thompson and Ramey Gerke were selected from among the Service’s Barrow-based youth program participants to travel to the Alaska Sea Life Center (ASLC) in August 2012. Thompson and Gerke, alumni of the 2011 and 2012 Eider Journey Science Program, respectively, were selected based on their strong work ethic, interest in wildlife biology, and outstanding contributions to Service projects.At the ASLC, Thompson and Gerke met up with the cast and crew of AquaKids, a nationally-broadcast youth television program highlighting marine conservation issues. The AquaKids interviewed Thompson and Gerke about their experience working with the Service on Steller’s and spectacled eiders, both threatened species under the Endangered Species Act. In addition to a behind-the-scenes tour of the ASLC, including the Steller’s and spectacled eider captive breeding facility, the aviary exhibit, and the marine mammal rehabilitation facility, ASLC staff also treated Thompson and Gerke to a once-in-a-lifetime experience that neither student is likely to forget: The opportunity to bottle-feed a walrus calf that had been rescued by a relative of Gerke’s after being stranded onshore near Barrow in July. “This was an amazing experience,” Gerke reported. “The fact that the rescued calf was from Barrow made it really heart-felt.”


Contact Info: Maria Berger, (907) 852-2059, maria_berger@fws.gov



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