Field Notes
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Field Notes Entry   
Alaska Volunteers Dedicated to Wildlife Conservation
Alaska Region, November 19, 2004
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Volunteers in the Alaskan Region of the Fish and Wildlife Service donated an average of 217.5 hours per person in 2004, roughly equal to working a forty hour job for five and a half weeks! 403 dedicated volunteers donated a total of 71104.5 hours this year - doing everything from banding birds to fixing roofs. Volunteer numbers increased from last year by 52 people and 8,687.5 hours. Many of our volunteers were college students, professors, or retired scientists who contributed a summer or more of time to assist our biological and outreach programs. Volunteers came to our refuges and field offices from throughout the state as well as the Lower 48. Volunteers often spend weeks at a time in remote field camps, facing harsh weather and site conditions. Yet, those who enjoy this type of adventure end up remaining connected to the Fish and Wildlife Service for life. Many volunteers use this field experience to further their studies and careers, while others treasure the time as a vacation from their normal lives.

One special volunteer, Roger Wieland, donated 1570 hours of his time at Kanuti and Arctic National Wildlife Refuges. Noted by Refuge staff as ?an exceptional volunteer, working tirelessly and doing extraordinarily high quality work,? Wieland conducted many construction and remodeling projects. Some of his projects included building a float pond fuel storage and docking system, conducting electrical work and installing the propane and heating system for the Coldfoot Visitor Center support cabin, and remodeling a bunk house and an airplane hanger.

On Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, three teams of high school volunteers through the Student Conservation Association (SCA) volunteered for the summer. The SCA teams provided nature walks, campfire programs, elementary school programs, and maintained back country hiking and canoe trails.

Volunteers help the Fish and Wildlife Service accomplish great things ? from combating invasive species to discovering the secrets of wolverines, from restoring salmon spawning habitat to helping children cast their first fishing line. Volunteers are helping us run our visitor centers and build our educational programs. Volunteers are making the difference in wildlife conservation that we so desperately need.

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