It is hard for me to believe that a month has already passed by since my initial arrival to Alaska! Time is flying by fast! Our shorebird Festival here in Cordova is less than a month away (May 8-11th), which means finalizing program descriptions, networking with people and organizations, and recruiting volunteers!

I’m currently working on organizing a community shorebird window mural at the local library with the local Girl Scout troop. As well as recruiting a few high school students to help me paint shorebirds on windows around town. So my first step in this project is going to the local shops to see if they would be interested in having temporary shorebirds painted on their windows for the Copper River Shorebird Festival. This isn’t something new, because some shops still have a remnant of last year’s shorebirds that were never taken down! After gaining approval for the project, I will be recruiting a few volunteers from the only high school in town (yes, this town is small) to find interested young artists to paint with me to get the town in the shorebird spirit! 🙂

I am also busy planning a Friday night children’s activity that will take place during the Festival. I’m anticipating a range of ages groups within the kids participating, so I have to be creative and ready for the unexpected to engage with my young audience! Jillian, an AmeriCorps representative also working with the Forest Service, will be helping me during the event. We are planning arts & crafts activities along with games to teach kids all about shorebirds!

As you can imagine, I have a lot on my plate. Not only am I helping organize the Festival, but I am also preparing for my shorebird surveys that will also occur before and during the festival! This week I was working on writing up a protocol for my survey sites in Hartney Bay, Odiak slough, and 3 mile. It’s normal to get a little overwhelmed, right?

In the next few weeks I’ll begin visiting my study sites daily, monitoring for shorebirds to optimize my surveying technique before I initiate my surveys in May. I’m BEYOND excited to start surveying, as well as participating in the Copper River Delta Shorebird Festival! I have a lot of work to do, but I am happy to be able to gain this valuable experience.

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