Refuge Notebook

Coming into the Country: Ticks

While on a family vacation to Florida this spring we took a short walk through a lush, beautiful forest in Faver-Dykes State Park near Pellicer… Continue reading

 

Refuge notebook: The difference between predicting climate change and its ecological outcomes

The University of Alaska Fairbanks has a great online climate forecasting tool. Simply type in a town, the future decade(s), an emission scenario and voila… Continue reading

 

Refuge notebook: Rethinking nonnative species in a human-driven world

Wow. In the Alaska Department of Fish and Game’s 2019-2020 hunting regulations, mule deer and white-tailed deer can now be harvested. These two nonnative species… Continue reading

 

Refuge notebook: Rising estuary still provides great bird habitats

What happens when the largest estuary on the Kenai Peninsula suddenly drops 2.3 meters in elevation and then rises slowly over the next half century?… Continue reading

Refuge notebook: The many faces of the Swan Lake Fire

The smoke hung low in the valley as we walked down a dozer line to its end where a clearing had been created. Just weeks… Continue reading

Refuge notebook: Elodea still a threat to salmon in Alaska

The commercial harvest of the five salmon species in Alaska was worth $586 million to fishermen in 2018. More than half of those gross earnings… Continue reading

What costs wood frogs an arm and a leg?

I was surprised to learn that despite the diverse wildlife in Alaska, the state has not a single reptile. Alaska’s cold conditions make life in… Continue reading

The white “petals” of bunchberry are really modified bracts that attract pollinators. (Photo provided by Kenai National Wildlife Refuge)

Refuge notebook: A common little plant with uncommon traits

This summer, I traveled from the East Coast to the Kenai Peninsula to intern with the biology program at the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge. As… Continue reading

The white “petals” of bunchberry are really modified bracts that attract pollinators. (Photo provided by Kenai National Wildlife Refuge)
A black bear sow with two cubs leave a barbed-wire exclosure designed to snag their hair. (Photo provided by Kenai National Wildlife Refuge)

Refuge notebook: Where do black and brown bears occur?

Science is more than the five-step method we learn about in grade school — science is a philosophy of questions. As a budding graduate student… Continue reading

A black bear sow with two cubs leave a barbed-wire exclosure designed to snag their hair. (Photo provided by Kenai National Wildlife Refuge)

Refuge notebook: Monitoring wetland change on the Kenai

For the past year I’ve been sitting in a university office in Eastern Pennsylvania staring at maps of the Kenai Peninsula. The maps show the… Continue reading

Refuge notebook: A fun way to learn about natural resource stewardship

2019 marks the fifth year the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge has hosted a Game Warden Camp for local youth. This camp offers youth the chance… Continue reading

A raven flies off with a couple of tortillas in Hidden Lake Campground. (Photo by Amber Kraxberger-Linson/Kenai National Wildlife Refuge)

Refuge notebook: Ready. Set. Camp!

Summer is coming to the Kenai Peninsula. Days are getting longer, birds are returning to raise their young, and Alaskans are digging out their camping… Continue reading

A raven flies off with a couple of tortillas in Hidden Lake Campground. (Photo by Amber Kraxberger-Linson/Kenai National Wildlife Refuge)

Refuge notebook: Alaska’s state bird is one of a kind

I saw a small flock of willow ptarmigan along the Seward Highway near Summit Pass last week. I had to take a hard look as… Continue reading

A male Golden-crowned Kinglet displays its “mohawk” on Fuller Lakes Trail on the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge. (Photo by Colin Canterbury)

Refuge notebook: Little rock star of the woods

Earlier this month, I took a hike up Fuller Lakes Trail with my dog, Scout. The sun was just peaking over the tips of the… Continue reading

A male Golden-crowned Kinglet displays its “mohawk” on Fuller Lakes Trail on the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge. (Photo by Colin Canterbury)
Underpasses to help wildlife move across the Sterling Highway is one way to resist changing conditions. (Photo provided by Kenai National Wildlife Refuge)

Refuge notebook: A new way of thinking about climate adaptation

Last week I was in Madison, Wisconsin, at the National Adaptation Forum. This is an invigorating conference, powered by almost 1,000 passionate people who seek… Continue reading

Underpasses to help wildlife move across the Sterling Highway is one way to resist changing conditions. (Photo provided by Kenai National Wildlife Refuge)
A photo submitted to iNaturalist showing a female Lycia rachelae on April 7, 2016. This is one of only a few species of moths where the female is flightless. (Photo by Matt Bowser/USFWS).

Refuge notebook: Connecting the dots on your next hike

As experts continue to learn more about our environment and flood the world with facts, figures, predictions and management directions, it can be a little… Continue reading

A photo submitted to iNaturalist showing a female Lycia rachelae on April 7, 2016. This is one of only a few species of moths where the female is flightless. (Photo by Matt Bowser/USFWS).
Pilot-biologist Dom Watts flying out of Fairbanks in a Super Cub. (Photo provided by Kenai National Wildlife Refuge)

The road to becoming a U.S. Fish & Wildlife pilot-biologist

I remember the first time my Uncle Larry flew down in his Cessna and picked me up at the little airport a few miles from… Continue reading

Pilot-biologist Dom Watts flying out of Fairbanks in a Super Cub. (Photo provided by Kenai National Wildlife Refuge)
A Columbian snowfly recently emerged from the Kenai River at Soldotna Creek Park on March 29, 2019, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Matt Bowser/USFWS)

Refuge notebook: Winter stonefly season on the Kenai

If you spend any time near the Kenai River in Soldotna from March to May you may have noticed elongate, roughly one-third-inch long, dark stoneflies… Continue reading

A Columbian snowfly recently emerged from the Kenai River at Soldotna Creek Park on March 29, 2019, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Matt Bowser/USFWS)
The red-breasted nuthatch is one of our common resident bird species. (Photo provided by Kyla Canterbury)

Refuge notebook: Resident bird songs welcome spring

I am always pleasantly surprised by the influx of daylight hours and sunshine that comes to the Kenai Peninsula in the last weeks of March.… Continue reading

The red-breasted nuthatch is one of our common resident bird species. (Photo provided by Kyla Canterbury)

Refuge notebook: 2 refuges on the Pacific Flyway share similarities, differences

In 1903, President Theodore Roosevelt established Pelican Island, off the coast of Florida, as the first federal refuge. This put migratory bird conservation as a… Continue reading