Get Involved

Volunteer bird education

If you connect with our mission to conserve the wildlife and habitat of northwest Alaska, get involved with us!

“Voices of the Wilderness” visiting artist program 
 In 2015, Selawik Refuge is participating in the “Voices of the Wilderness” program to host an artist. The selected artist will experience the area through participation in research and local community outreach projects in September, most likely including ongoing sheefish research on the upper portion of the Selawik River (designated Wild River) and the Selawik Science-Culture Camp with local students. You can read more about these projects here on our website - the sheefish project is described in our past newsletters on our publications page; Selawik Science-Culture camp is highlighted on our education page.

Following their visit, the artist will use their craft to produce a piece of artwork for the Selawik Refuge, which we look forward to sharing with the public. This residency offers a rare glimpse of the deeply-rooted connection between indigenous people and Alaska’s wilderness areas, as well as a close-up look at an intact landscape vulnerable to climate change.

The jumping-off point for this experience will be Kotzebue, AK where the refuge headquarters are located. Successful applicant will be responsible for their own travel to and from Kotzebue. During the residency, the selected artist will travel via small aircraft and motorboat, accompanied by refuge staff. Necessary gear for travel and camping will be supplied (or you may bring your own if you have it), and the refuge will cover transportation and food costs for the guest artist during their time "in the field."  Food costs during any days in Kotzebue will be the responsibility of the artist; lodging with a fully equipped kitchen will be available and there are 3 grocery stores in Kotzebue. Anyone with special dietary needs or concerns should work with refuge staff to make needed plans.

This experience is open to professional artists in all media (visual, film, audio, and writers). To read more about this program, and access an application, please visit

For questions about the Selawik Refuge or the proposed residency, please contact Brittany Sweeney; phone (907) 442-3799 or e-mail 


From its start in 1903, the National Wildlife Refuge System has owed its very existence to concerned citizens eager to protect America's natural resources.

More than 200 non-profit "Friends of Refuges" organizations support national wildlife refuges, whether they work with a single refuge, a refuge complex or an entire state.  Friends members are crucial to conserving and protecting our nation’s wildlife and teaching millions of Americans that their actions today determine the conservation legacy of tomorrow.  Check out Friends of Alaska National Wildlife Refuges to connect with our state's Friends group.

Volunteer helping with birdwatchingAt Selawik Refuge, Friends volunteers have predominantly assisted in education and outreach programs, including spring birding outings, science fair judging, and science-culture camps.

More than 42,000 people volunteer their time and ideas each year to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  Whether they work on the land, in a visitor center or with youth, they contribute to a conservation mission that reaches back more than a century.  Become a volunteer or Refuge Friend to contribute your strength on behalf of America’s natural resources. The Alaska Region maintains a list of current volunteer opportunities