September 15, 2011

So Much To Say...

I know it’s been a while since we’ve update the blog… sooooo much has happened since then!

Probably the most exciting that has happened since Christmas is that I have officially stolen the thunder back and GOT A JOB!  I am finishing up my 3rd week as the Outreach Coordinator at the Alaska Zoo.  We are a small, not-for-profit zoo that provides a home to injured and orphaned animals found throughout Alaska.  However, we also have some other cold-weather animals not native to Alaska, including two Amur tigers and a bactrian camel. As the Outreach Coordinator I am part of the education department at the zoo and involved in educating students on Alaskan animals and other environmental issues.  When people ask what I do the best way to describe it is that I am the smaller version of Jack Hanna, because part of my job includes taking ambassador animals, such as a great horned owl and red fox, to local schools.  It is an amazing job!  In my first week alone I experienced my first “wolf walk”, making friends with the 6 wolves, and also learned how handle my new friend Peabody, the great horned owl.  Pictures will definitely be coming!

Another exciting thing that has happened was the Ace’s Ice Road Trucker night, where they wore special Ice Road Trucker jerseys and Lisa from the show was at the rink signing autographs and taking pictures.  The picture below is just for you Grandma because I know how much of a fan of hers you are…

We also had a huge seafood night and Steve finally got his Alaskan king crab.  Although I couldn’t enjoy the crab, I did devour the scallops, mussels and salmon.  Such a good meal!

Tonight Steve and I went to the Anchorage premier of America’s Wildest Refuge, a documentary about the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) put out by Alaska Geographic and US Fish and Wildlife to celebrate the refuge’s 50th anniversary.  The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is located in the remote north eastern corner of Alaska and is 19 million acres in size.  To put that in perspective, it is approximately the same size as the state of South Carolina, further proving how large the great state of Alaska really is.  The documentary was absolutely amazing!  It’s pretty cool to think that while in the refuge you could actually be standing in a spot where no one has ever stepped before.  I don’t just want to go there… I NEED to go there.  A trip to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge was just added to our bucket lists… Steve is researching how to get there as I type.  However, while a documentary like this is meant to celebrate such a milestone in conservation history, it also reminds us of why national refuges like this one are so important.  The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is home to many important species including polar bears, muskox and a population of 130,000 caribou, all which are in decline due to climate change. In fact, the Arctic is warming at a rate 2 times faster than any other place in the world.  Moving up here has really opened my eyes to environmental issues such as climate change. I never would have guessed that the winters would be more mild than those back in southern Ontario… we haven’t seen near the amount of snow up here as there has been back home!  I hope that while working at the zoo, and beyond, I can help educate others on this unfortunate topic and open others’ eyes.

So until next time.. when the Aces visit the zoo and Steve finally gets to meet my new wolf friends… Pictures to follow..


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