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March 2019
Kachemak Bay Shorebird Festival Registration Opens March 18th
Registration for the 27th annual Kachemak Bay Shorebird Festival will begin March 18th! You can register for workshops, speakers and guided trips online or by mail, or by calling the Festival offices on Monday, Tuesday or Thursday from 1-4:30pm. The 2019 Festival Program with a complete list of event offerings is now available on the Festival Website or at Festival Headquarters (Islands & Ocean Visitor Center). The 2019 Festival will host Keynote Speaker Jennifer Ackerman as well as featured presenters Raymon Vanbuskirk and Ben Knoot and featured author Mark Obmascik. 
Distinguished guests will present a variety of workshops and lectures This year’s featured artist is Valisa May Higman of Seldovia, Alaska. Official Shorebird Festival merchandise will also be available at Islands & Ocean Visitor Center in Homer. To learn more about the festival and registration details, visit the Kachemak Bay Shorebird Festival website.   
Winter Science Lecture Series Continues 
Our winter science lecture series continues with talks this month. These brown-bag style lunchtime talks will cover a range of topics showcasing the breadth of work taking place across the refuge and beyond. These Wednesday events are held 12-1pm at the Islands & Ocean Visitor Center in Homer. The full roaster of talks can also be found on facebook and in our calendar
  • Wednesday, March 20th; 12pm: Bogoslof Reborn: First Look with Nora Rojek.
  • Wednesday, March 27th; 12pm:            Winter Distributions of Red-legged Kittiwakes with Brie Drummond.
Submit to the 2019 Junior Duck Stamp Contest

March 15th is the deadline for submissions to the 2019 Alaska Junior Duck Stamp Contest. Students, K-12, are encouraged to submit their artistic impression of their favorite North American waterfowl species for a chance to win prizes. Get to know North America’s waterfowl and enter the contest! Visit or contact (907) 786-3517 for more information.

Education Highlight: Sea Lion Articulation Helps Seventh Graders Learn About Biology

This February Alaska Maritime NWR hosted local seventh graders for a Steller Sea Lion Articulation. This program, part of collaboration between AMNWR and Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies, was an effort to give students an understanding of the comparative anatomy of three different vertebrates – moose, humans, and of course Steller Sea Lions.  The Steller Sea Lion was found across the bay, and was processed to be an educational tool, allowing students to articulate and understand its anatomy. The five classes of seventh grade students were able to get lots of hands on time putting together the skeleton of a Sea Lion. Students learned about the different ways that the spine and the stability and protection that it provides while putting together the vertebrae of the Sea Lion. Students also learned about and articulated the rib-cage and the long bones of the Sea Lion. In total ninety local seventh graders got the opportunity to participate and see firsthand how different mammals’ skeletal structures reflect the environments and adaptions that each species uses. The Steller Sea Lion skeleton was provided as part of a partnership with Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies, who raised the money needed to turn this Sea Lion into an educational tool.  In the future AMNWR hopes to continue to work with the Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies to get samples of a bunch of different marine mammals to further allow for comparative anatomy hands-on-learning activities like this one.


Staff Spotlight

Elizabeth Kandror
Refuge Clerk
Elizabeth Kandror is the clerk for Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge, so you might run into her at the front desk upstairs. She answers questions, on-boards new staff, handles, provides administrative support, keeps supplies stocked and generally makes sure that the office continues to function. Elizabeth was born in Moscow, Russia and is fluent in Russian. She moved to United States when she was eleven years old and has been in Homer Alaska ever since, except for a year she spent in Europe as a nanny learning Dutch. Elizabeth then joined the Army where she was a humvee mechanic for three years. She did a tour in Iraq and upon coming back attended the University of Alaska Fairbanks where she got a degree in Fisheries Management. Before working at Alaska Maritime she also worked for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. Her proudest achievement is being a full time working single mom.
Islands & Ocean Visitor Center Winter Hours
Tuesday-Saturday 12pm-5pm
Monday, March 18th
Kachemak Bay Shorebird Festival Registration Opens! Learn More.

Tuesday, March 19th
Friends Membership Meeting
5pm-6pm; Islands & Ocean Visitor Center Seminar Room
Join the friends of Alaska National Wildlife Refuges for their monthly meeting. Learn More.

Wednesday, March 20th
Winter Science Lecture Series "Bogoslof Reborn: First Look."
12-1pm; Islands & Ocean Visitor Center Seminar Room
Join the biologists of Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge to share the work they do to support Alaska Maritime NWR.  Learn More.
Wednesday,March 27th
Winter Science Lecture Series "Winter Distributions of Red-Legged Kittiwakes."
12-1pm; Islands & Ocean Visitor Center Seminar Room
Join the biologists of Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge to share the work they do to support Alaska Maritime NWR.  Learn More.
Thursday, March 28th
Pre-K Puffins Early Learning Program
10-11:30am; Islands & Ocean Visitor Center Seminar Room
This educational program is designed for children ages 2-5 and focuses on the marine sciences. It will include story time, crafts and early learning centered activities. This month's theme is Fabulous Feathers! Learn more
Critter Corner: Horned Puffin
Horned Puffins spend summers breeding on islands across the refuge and are named for the small fleshy horn-like projection above their eye. They make nests in rock crevices as opposed to burrowing in soil like their relative the tufted puffin. During the winter, Horned Puffins shed their iconic colorful bills after mating season has ended and live dispersed out over the Northern Pacific Ocean.   
Copyright © 2019 US Fish and Wildlife Service, All rights reserved.

Photo credits (top to bottom, left to right): 
Poppies on St. George by McKenzie Mudge/USFWS.
Shorebird Poster 
Kristine Sowl's Presentation by Maya Frydman/USFWS. 
Duck Stamp by Isaac Schreiber. 
Kendra with the Sea Lion by Maya Frydman/USFWS.
The Completed Steller Sea Lion Articulation by Maya Frydman/USFWS.
Horned Puffin by Marc Romano/USFWS.

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