Field Notes
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Field Notes Entry   
YUKON DELTA: Refuge Shortens Distance of ?Distance Learning?
Alaska Region, February 22, 2005
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Harkening back to when Refuge Managers were truly ?jacks-of-all-trades,? Yukon Delta Refuge Manager Mike Rearden and Deputy Doug Staller gathered piles of props and hit the outreach trail last week. They used the Lower Kuskokwim School District's video conferencing system to bring their conservation message to 60 teachers scattered across the 20 million acre Yukon Delta Refuge, an area the size of South Carolina! The training was part of the District's effort to provide cultural awareness for new teachers. ?The people in the villages where these teachers are working depend on subsistence hunting and fishing,? said Rearden. ?It's important for teachers to know what activities they can participate in legally.?

This was the first time Refuge staff used distance learning technology but not the last. This week Staller and Refuge Education Specialist Donna Hanley helped the District conduct a video workshop for teachers in five villages to encourage schools to participate in the Alaska Junior Duck Stamp Program. "It would have taken a week to reach these villages, if the weather was perfect." Hanley noted. "But today we visited five villages in one afternoon!" Video conferencing allows village teachers to ask questions, enables presenters to show video or powerpoint and promotes an easy exchange of information. Hopefully, more teachers and students will get excited about the Junior Duck Stamp contest so even more villages will participate next year.

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