Field Notes
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Field Notes Entry   
TOGIAK: Facebook, from Dillingham, AK to the World!
Alaska Region, October 29, 2013
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Thanks to Facebook, the world gets to have a peek at what makes Togiak Refuge so special.
Thanks to Facebook, the world gets to have a peek at what makes Togiak Refuge so special. - Photo Credit: USFWS/Togiak Refuge
Togiak's Facebook page: bringing the refuge to the world, a few words and a picture at a time.
Togiak's Facebook page: bringing the refuge to the world, a few words and a picture at a time. - Photo Credit: USFWS/Togiak Refuge

I know the name is Facebook but, based on my limited experience, I think Worldbook would be a better name. Yeah I know that’s a copyrighted name with a longstanding history so that’s not a possibility. Perhaps “Globalbook” instead?


Hi. I’m Terry Fuller. I’m the education specialist for Togiak Refuge and a bona fide, fairly wet- behind-the-ears newbie when it comes to social media or, more specifically, Facebook. I’m not always the most technosavy; for instance, I still don’t own a cellphone and have no real desire to get one. My iPod is a Shuffle. Yeah, the little white rectangular one without any screens of any sort. And prior to this past April, I had absolutely no experience at all with Facebook.

As one more tool in the outreach toolbox, Facebook has been a revelation. It’s certainly not the be-all and end-all but for a refuge like ours- very remote- it represents a chance to connect with people we would otherwise not have a chance to connect with. Also, it’s proven to be one other avenue of communication for disseminating critical information to people in area villages, those planning to visit the refuge and certain specific user groups.

The reason I say it’s more of a “Globalbook” is because in the short seven months we’ve been “open for business” we’ve had interactions with people on every continent except Antarctica. We’ve had literally hundreds of people look in or follow us from countries such as Italy, Canada, Argentina, Spain, the United Kingdom, Mexico, Brazil, Australia and Germany. At one point we had more folks following us from the town of San Severino Marche, Italy than from Dillingham, which is home to Togiak’s offices. And that’s not a knock on the number following us locally!

Our page has been used in much the same way it’s used at pretty much any other refuge. Among other things, it’s used to share general information about the refuge and our area, note special events and dates (National Wildlife Refuge Week, Endangered Species Day), promote and report on refuge related opportunities (Science camps, AMBCC), recognize holidays, inform about refuge management activities (walrus fence, fish weirs), announce items related to regulations (spring waterfowl season, Nushagak peninsula caribou hunt tags), share photos, news or events from other refuges and agencies and answer questions from followers. In short, pretty much what everyone else is doing.

Facebook has been a revelation and a really nice way to get in touch with both near and far. Those of us who work for Togiak Refuge believe our refuge is one of the best kept secrets in the refuge system and, due to the diversity of its habitats and wildlife, one of the most stunning places on earth. It’s nice to have a new platform from which to share that with the world. If you haven’t yet been to our Facebook page, I’d encourage you to give it a look.


Contact Info: Terry Fuller, 907-842-1063 ext. 8419, terry_fuller@fws.gov
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