The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Alaska Region has announced the selection of four new refuge managers, and a refuge supervisor to oversee operations at half of the Service-administered conservation areas in Alaska. These new hires resulted from the wave of retirements that came about at the end of last year. The region is confident that the incoming managers will continue the agency’s enviable history of stewardship of the lands under its control, and help bring about a new era of land and wildlife conservation in Alaska

Several of the new hires are employees with experience within the region. For example, Bo Sloan, who has been selected as the new manager for Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge, moved to Alaska just over 3 years ago from Mississippi to serve as the manager for Innoko Refuge. Trading the hot and humid Mississippi Delta climate for the cold and dry of the Alaska Interior, Bo fit right in and has helped build partnerships among the villages in and around the refuge by developing and presenting clinics to get young people (and adults) outside and engaged in some of the traditional activities that have seen a decline in recent years. Bo and his wife Holly will be moving to Kodiak in mid-May

Another name familiar to those in the Alaska Region, Susan Alexander has been selected as manager for Alaska Peninsula/Becharof Refuge. For the last several years Susan has been serving as the deputy manager for the South Arkansas Refuge Complex. Prior to that, however, she was the Alaska refuge program’s budget chief. Susan brings with her 25 years of Alaska experience in refuge management, budget, and realty; as well as insight into the world of non-governmental conservation organizations, having worked for The Nature Conservancy and the Alaska Center for the Environment. Susan and her husband Karl will be arriving back in Alaska in early May.

Brian Glaspell will also be returning to Alaska, having been selected as the manager for Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Before leaving Alaska almost 3 years ago, Brian was the Visitor Services Manager at Kodiak Refuge, and prior to that served as the Social Scientist in the Division of Conservation Planning and Policy in the regional office. Brian has also worked for the BLM in Alaska and the Aldo Leopold Wilderness Research Institute in Missoula, Montana. He is currently the recreation/wilderness/volunteers & partners program manager for the Medicine Bow-Routt National Forests. Brian brings with him a wealth of knowledge and leadership in public use and Wilderness management. He will be arriving in Alaska in late April. His family will join him later in June after his children finish up the school year.

New to Alaska will be Susanna Henry, selected to serve as next manager for Togiak National Wildlife Refuge.* *Susanna is currently the refuge manager for Kofa Refuge near Yuma Arizona. Managing large landscapes (by lower 48 standards at least!) is nothing new to Susanna, as Kofa contains one of the largest chunks of congressionally designated Wilderness outside of Alaska. Before joining the Service, Susanna was a wildlife biologist with the BLM, also in Arizona. Susanna will be arriving in late May after her daughters’ graduations. Her husband will join her in Dillingham later this summer after his retirement.

The Service has also announced that Holly Gaboriault has been offered and accepted the position of Refuge Supervisor; to oversee Arctic, Alaska Maritime, Izembek, Kanuti, Tetlin, Yukon Delta, and Yukon Flats Refuges. Holly started her Service career at Chincoteague Refuge as a Biological Science Student trainee, moving up into refuge management after about 2 1/2 years. After Chincoteague, Holly spent time working at Stewart B. McKinney Refuge and Silvio O. Conte Refuge in wildlife biology and in refuge management, before moving into her current position as the Deputy Refuge Supervisor for Area II in Region 4 (Florida, Mississippi, and Southern Alabama). It is anticipated that Holly will report for work in the Anchorage regional office in mid April.

Logo courtesy US Fish and Wildlife Service

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