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Refuge Notebook: Christmas break: A great time to think about a summer job

Posted: Friday, December 03, 2010

Are you a college student ready to work hard outdoors, don't mind getting your hands dirty and looking for work this summer? The Kenai National Wildlife Refuge has a few challenging, yet rewarding, job opportunities for summer 2011. The deadlines for applications range from January to March, so Christmas Break is a great time to get the application packet ready.

Photo By Berkley Bedell
Photo By Berkley Bedell
2010 Summer Park Rangers Larissa Rittenberry and Kelsey White assist Kenai NWR visitor Jerry Brous.

These positions are part of the Federal government's Student Temporary Employment Program (STEP). To be eligible you must meet the following requirements: 1) a valid driver's license; 2) have housing in the community; 3) have completed at least 1 year of college; 4) be currently enrolled in at least 6 credits at an accredited college in spring semester 2011; and 5) be returning to college in the fall 2012, taking at least 6 credits.

The following four job areas have positions available for summer 2011:

1) Fee Park Rangers work outdoors in the Skilak Wildlife Recreation Area of Kenai National Wildlife Refuge managing fee collections in campgrounds, helping campground hosts, and doing a variety of field projects. They operate the Refuge Visitor Contact Station orienting visitors to the Refuge and providing information on hiking, camping, fishing, and other recreation activities. They patrol campgrounds and trails updating Refuge recreation information and assisting visitors. Fee Ranger positions begin May 17 and last until August 20. Pay per hour is $13.29 (sophomore level) and $14.92 (junior/senior level).

Applications can be picked up the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center on Ski Hill Road, Soldotna. Application packages for Fee Park Ranger positions must be turned into Leah Eskelin, Park Ranger, by January 18, 2011. For more information, Leah can be contacted at 907-262-7021.

2) Park Ranger - Youth Summer Camp: In this position you can be part of a dynamic education team facilitating outdoor summer camps for youth ages 7-12. Y will also help connect visitors with nature through community family fun days, leading guided fitness hikes and nature walks. This position begins May 23 and lasts until August 20. Pay per hour is $13.29 (sophomore level), $14.92 (junior/senior level), and $16.76 (undergraduate degree level returning to master's degree).

Applications can be picked up the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center on Ski Hill Road, Soldotna. Application package for the Park Ranger - Youth Summer Camp position must be turned into Michelle Ostrowski, Education Specialist, by January 18, 2011. For more information, Michelle can be contacted at 907-260-2839.

3) Trail Crew: Trail crew members work outdoors on trail projects on front country hiking trails, remote backcountry routes and wilderness canoe trails. Projects include trail re-routes, construction of footbridges, boardwalks, and timber stairs, and installation of drainage and erosion control structures. Crew members will be trained to use a variety of hand and power tools including chain saws. Crew members must be prepared to overnight in spike camps at trail project sites. Trail Crew positions begin on May 16 and may last until August 20. Pay is $18.03 per hour.

4) Youth Conservation Corp (YCC) Crew Leader: YCC Crew Leaders are responsible for the administration and operation of an 8-week camp supervising the work of 8 high school-age enrollees completing maintenance projects on Kenai Refuge trails, cabins, campgrounds, bulletin boards and other facilities. Leaders must be prepared to overnight in spike camps at trail project sites with their crew. YCC Crew Leader positions begin on May 16 and may last until August 20. Pay is $16.18 per hour.

Application packages for the Trail Crew and YCC Crew Leader positions must be turned into Scott Slavik, Backcountry Park Ranger, at Kenai National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center on Ski Hill Road in Soldotna by March 4, 2011. For more information, Scott can be contacted at 907-260-2846.

So, as the old saying goes, "the early bird gets the worm." So, college youth willing to use their Christmas break to apply for summer jobs will be ahead of the game and have a much better prospect of a summer job in the outdoors at Kenai National Wildlife Refuge.

Candace Ward works as Park Ranger, Supervisor, for the Refuge's Information & Education Program. She looks forward each year to recruiting, training and supervising college-age summer staff.

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To report unusual bird sightings or hear what local birders have been seeing, call the Central Peninsula Bird Hotline at 262-2300. Previous Refuge Notebook articles can be viewed on the refuge website http://kenai.fws.gov/.



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