Field Notes
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Field Notes Entry   
AK PENINSULA/BECHAROF: Refuges First Annual Winter Speaker Series Begins
Alaska Region, February 20, 2011
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An onlooking bald eagle examines Sharon Sharbaugh of the Alaska Bird Observatory during her visit to King Salmon.
An onlooking bald eagle examines Sharon Sharbaugh of the Alaska Bird Observatory during her visit to King Salmon. - Photo Credit: n/a

Alaska Peninsula/Becharof NWR kicked off our first annual Winter Speaker Series in King Salmon on Sunday, February 20.  Sharon Sharbaugh from the Alaska Bird Observatory delivered a highly informative presentation on the adaptations of chickadees and other common birds to Alaskan winter conditions.  21 people attended the hour-long talk, beginning at 3 p.m. in the Refuge conference room.  Nearly everyone stayed for a potluck afterwards.


On Monday, February 21, Sharon and Refuge Visitor Services Manager Julia Pinnix went to the Bristol Bay School in Naknek where Sharon did two more presentations.  The first was for elementary school students, to help them appreciate the ways birds survive winter in Alaska.  Julia helped them create small books to capture what they learned.  Sharon’s second presentation was open to the public as well as middle and high school students.  Her topic was bird migration.  65 students attended the first session, and 80 people came to the second.


The goal of the Speaker Series is to promote science-based learning relevant to the Alaska Peninsula, engaging the public and students.  Bristol Bay School is an enthusiastic partner in this effort.


Four more speakers are planned for the next two months.  On March 4, Meghan Riley from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game in King Salmon will discuss her research on tigers in the Amur region of Siberia.  This session will be held Friday at 11:30 in the Refuge conference room, and the audience is invited to a potluck lunch. 


Loukas Barton of Katmai National Park and the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, will speak on Sunday March 30 at 3 p.m., followed by a potluck in the Refuge conference room.  He will be presenting his archaeological research on the Alaska Peninsula.  On Monday, March 21, Tom Prang, a volunteer for APB NWR and an archeologist and educator, will provide engaging programs for students at Bristol Bay School in Naknek.  He will use Luke’s research as well as his own experience in archeology in his sessions.


Pat Druckenmiller of the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, will give a presentation on Sunday, April 17 at 3 p.m. in the Refuge conference room on his 2010 research on dinosaur tracks on the Alaska Peninsula.  Pat followed up on a recorded find from the 1970s and discovered the oldest dinosaur tracks so far reported in Alaska: 150 million years old.  He will return to the field this summer to look for other tracks.  A potluck will follow his Sunday talk.  Pat will also go to Bristol Bay School in Naknek on Monday, April 18 to deliver programs to the students on his research.

Contact Info: Julia Pinnix, 907-246-1211, Julia_Pinnix@fws.gov
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