Field Notes
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Field Notes Entry   
KANUTI: New Refuge Manager Flies Full Circle
Alaska Region, March 1, 2005
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The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has named Mike Spindler the new manager of the Kanuti National Wildlife Refuge. An experienced Service pilot with more than 7,000 hours of flying time (most earned while piloting Super Cubs during Alaska wildlife surveys), Mr. Spindler was formerly the Manager of the Koyukuk/Nowitna National Wildlife Refuge Complex (near Galena, Alaska), where he has worked since 1990 and has served as Refuge Manager for the last four years.

Spindler's experiences with National Wildlife Refuges go back to his undergraduate days, however, when he participated in biological studies on Lacassine National Wildlife Refuge during his undergraduate years at Louisiana State University at Baton Rouge. After graduating in 1974, he moved to Alaska to pursue a Master's degree in Wildlife Management from the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. He has lived in Alaska ever since. Prior to accepting his first position at Koyukuk/Nowitna (as a Supervisory Wildlife Biologist/Pilot) in 1990, Mike worked at Alaska Maritime, Arctic, and Selawik National Wildlife Refuges.

"I feel like I'm coming full circle and am glad to be returning to Fairbanks,? Spindler said. ?After receiving my Master's degree in wildlife at UAF in the 1970's, I?ve spent most of my career in the Bush. Over the last 10 years, I've especially enjoyed working with the Koyukuk River people and local public radio station KIYU on a project to record oral history about subsistence. I've always been a hands-on field person, and I?m looking forward to leading the Service's program at Kanuti National Wildlife Refuge.?

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Alaska Regional Director Rowan Gould said, ?Mike's career has been built upon the kind of thoughtful land management the American people deserve and expect. He lays the groundwork for his decisions by gathering high quality data; and by working effectively with local people, other users of the resources involved, and other federal and state management agencies.?

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