Field Notes
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
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REGION 8: Assistant Refuge Supervisor Nancy Hoffman Heads to Alaska
California-Nevada Offices , December 20, 2008
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Nancy Hoffman experiences her new job at Izembek National Wildlife Refuge in Cold Bay, Alaska.(photo: USFWS)
Nancy Hoffman experiences her new job at Izembek National Wildlife Refuge in Cold Bay, Alaska.(photo: USFWS) - Photo Credit: n/a

by Scott Flaherty, External Affairs

Nancy Hoffman, assistant refuge supervisor at Region 8, is swapping her sandals for snowshoes, fresh fruit for fresh salmon as she departs Sacramento later this month for a new job as refuge manager at Izembek National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska.


Nancy came to Sacramento and the former California and Nevada Operations Office (CNO) in March 2007 after six years in Hawaii where she was the assistant refuge complex manager at Oahu National Wildlife Refuge Complex.


“After years of tropical living I really needed a change and was happy to come to the mainland,” said Nancy. “I’ve learned that regional offices are not the scary, mysterious places which people in the field think they are. I’ve participated in management decisions at the regional level, and will take that experience with me to my new job.”


Nancy began her federal career in 1990 as a wildlife biologist with the U.S. Forest Service, first in Washington D.C., then at Targhee National Forest in Idaho. She joined the Fish and Wildlife Service in 1998, working as a wildlife biologist at the National Elk Refuge and was the refuge wildlife biologist at Midway Atoll NWR. Her transitory role as assistant refuge supervisor in Region 8 is by design, part of the Refuge Program’s commitment to develop future leaders by exposing mid-level refuge employees to a broader scope of program management responsibilities. Incumbents typically leave the job after two to three years.


Nancy said she appreciates support she’s received from project leaders in the field and regional office staff, with special thanks to Dan Walsworth, refuge supervisor, Marge Kolar, refuge chief, and Ken McDermond, deputy regional director.  “The nature of this job is toughest on them because they have to train someone new every 2-3 years, but it demonstrates their willingness to invest in people. I’d encourage anyone in the refuge program to apply for this job,” she said.


During her 20 months in Region 8, Nancy has been engaged with projects and issues affecting the Region’s 48 national wildlife refuges, and has even visited about half of them.


“It’s been cool to be here during the transition from CNO to Region 8 and I’ve enjoyed helping our program start to shape its identity and set a course for where we’re going in the future.” Nancy said. “But, I’ve always wanted to work in one of the last wild places, Alaska, and to be able to go there as a refuge manager is icing on the cake.”


Or, on the salmon, as she’ll soon learn.

Contact Info: Scott Flaherty, , Scott_Flaherty@fws.gov
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