Refuge Notebook

Refuge notebook: New fall colors include hummingbirds

In a day and age where social media seems to dominate and not always for the best reasons, I recently had the most positive outcome… Continue reading

 

Refuge notebook: More elodea found on Kenai refuge

When we first found elodea on the Kenai Peninsula seven years ago, partners in the Kenai Peninsula Cooperative Weed Management Area didn’t really have any… Continue reading

 

Taking the wild out of wildlife

I find this a little depressing. A 2018 study published by the National Academy of Sciences estimates that by weight, 70% of all birds on… Continue reading

 

Refuge notebook: The porcupine — an underappreciated creature

Sauntering my way, the animal halted and gazed in my direction. It appeared uncertain about my status. Was I a threat? Or, was I anything… Continue reading

Refuge Notebook: The Swan Lake Fire and wildlife

This summer brought one of the hottest and driest summers ever recorded on the Kenai. Large areas dominated by black spruce, hot temperatures, and dry… Continue reading

Refuge notebook: Why are the birch trees brown?

I was working out Swan Lake Road last month when I noticed that entire stands of birch trees looked odd. The leaves almost appeared to… Continue reading

Refuge notebook: Storks in Poland are example of cultural wildlife conservation

This last month I had the wonderful opportunity to travel to Poland with my family. The trip was organized by my father-in-law, Henry, who lived… Continue reading

Refuge notebook: Lightning on the Kenai Peninsula

I’ve been saying “Wow” a lot lately. A week ago, on Aug. 13, 48 lightning discharges occurred within 300 miles of the North Pole! The… Continue reading

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)