Northern southeast AlaskaMuch of my work over the past month has been focused locally in Sitka and on the Twelvemile Creek Monitoring and Outreach Project. Now that the Science Mentor Program and other school programs are winding down I will be focusing more on POW programs (12Mile, Hydaburg, Kasaan). My initial goal is 1) to establish and deepen relationships, and 2) become familiar with the resources and resource issues of Kasaan and Hydaburg. Then I plan to work with Community Catalysts to conduct more formal community assessments.

I will be visiting Kasaan and Hydaburg April 4 and 7, respectively. I plan to revisit these communities in early May for more extended visits. I’ve gotten some initial ideas for project priorities from the Community Catalysts. I’ve conducted some additional research to become more familiar with these issues. For example, I’ve talked with Cathy Needham, Aaron Prussian, and Norman Cohen about the data management issues related to the stream assessment and mapping activities. We also hired 3 local high school kids as interns for the 12 Mile Monitoring Project. One intern is from Kasaan.

Locally in Sitka, the Science Mentor Program has been a big success. One of our students was chosen to be an observer (effectively he was 3rd place statewide) at the international science fair in Los Angeles. He is studying changes in nutrient fluxes due to salmon activities in streams. We are also starting a deer collaring project between ADFG, USFS, and the school district to study deer habitat selection in restored forests.

State-wide, I’ve been actively engaged in the Tongass Collaborative Stewardship Group, SEAKFHP, and American Fisheries Society (AFS). For the AFS meeting next October, I will be chairing a session on assessing the biotic/abiotic responses to fish habitat restoration, and co-chairing as session on Fish-Forest Interactions.