Field Notes
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Field Notes Entry   
IZEMBEK: Intern Helps Tundra Swan Study Take Flight
Alaska Region, October 1, 2005
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Kezia Manlove, an undergraduate mathematics major at St. Olaf College, Minnesota, spent the summer in Cold Bay helping Refuge biologists prepare 18 years of swan band data for analysis this fall.  Kezia found herself in Cold Bay thanks to a serendipitous meeting and long airplane conversation between Region 7’s Regional Refuge Biometrician, Joel Reynolds, and St. Olaf’s Statistic’s Professor Julie Legler, both en route to the an international statistical conference in Toronto. As luck would have it, Dr. Legler has a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant for Enhancing the Mathematical Science Workforce in the 21st Century.  Joel described the many needs for data management and statistical analysis on Alaska’s national wildlife refuges and the new graduate student internship program he supervises for the Division of Natural Resources.  Dr. Legler was intrigued because she was looking for ecological and natural resource problems for her students to address as part of the NSF grant.  Upon returning to Anchorage, Joel and his co-workers targeted a project recently identified in the Izembek Biological Review.  Many phone calls and several months later, Kezia was on her way to Cold Bay as a Refuge volunteer.  Her work will advance the Refuge’s understanding of tundra swan population dynamics and migratory trends.  Meanwhile, Joel hopes to continue working with St. Olaf’s to place other undergraduate mathematics interns on refuges with data management backlogs for a summer of crunching numbers and helping on field projects.

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