Field Notes
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Field Notes Entry   
ARCTIC: Refuge's Little Brown Cabin Goes Green
Alaska Region, August 25, 2005
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The north slope of Alaska's Brooks Range can be a challenging place to work. Yet biologists and Refuge Officers of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge regularly traverse the region conducting wildlife surveys and hunter compliance visits. One safe haven from the commonly inclement weather has been a small brown administrative cabin at the Galbraith Lake Airstrip along Alaska's long and lonely Dalton Highway. With no electricity or water and only equipped to sleep four, the cabin housed up to eight people during recent Brooks Range Dall sheep surveys.

However, thanks to a recent Maintenance Management System funded project, that safe haven will provide a few more amenities for Service staff. This month the one-room cabin became a three-room cabin with the addition of two small bedrooms. Refuge staff and volunteers remodeled the cabin interior replacing the propane stove and crude kitchen shelving. In addition, a 600-watt solar and a 400-watt wind electric generation system with ample battery storage were added to provide an independent, renewable source of power through a 2500-watt inverter. The new system will run a small refrigerator, monitor stove, microwave oven, cabin lights, and battery charger for satellite phones and other necessary equipment. A daylight porch screened by lexan panels was added to provide covered space outside the cabin, while affording protection from the swarms of voracious North Slope mosquitoes. Upon seeing the upgraded facility Deputy Refuge Manager Gary Wheeler was overheard to say, ?It may not be the Hilton, but it sure looks inviting to me! It's also extremely satisfying to know that the cabin is powered by sun and wind, the energy nature amply provides year after year.?

Images available.

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