Community Corner: Citizen scientists help the Council monitor our region

By Lisa Matlock, Outreach Coordinator

Lisa Matlock

One of the Council’s federal mandates involves environmental monitoring. With a small staff and vast geographic area, this monitoring takes many forms. Monitoring is often done by staff or contractors, but some monitoring takes place thanks to the Council’s volunteers and interns – all citizen scientists.

Since 2014, the Council has had high school interns in the community of Cordova who help monitor for aquatic invasive species. Three interns, Sarah Hoepfner, Cadi Moffitt, and currently Cori Pegau, have volunteered to hang sturdy plastic “settling plates” in the Cordova harbor each spring, to be picked up in the fall. The interns check the organisms that accumulate on the plate for critters such as invasive tunicates and bryozoans.

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Internship opportunities for 2015-2016 school year

Curriculum creator Katie Gavenus (green hat at left) shows Whittier students how oiled water affects bird feathers. Photo by Lisa Matlock.
 Alaska Oil Spill Curriculum contractor Katie Gavenus (green hat at left) shows Whittier students how oiled water affects bird feathers.

THE DEADLINE FOR SUBMITTING APPLICATIONS FOR BOTH INTERNSHIP POSITIONS HAS PASSED. We are no longer taking applications. Thank you for your interest in the council.


The council is currently recruiting for two interns to complete two different projects this school year:

  • Hydrocarbon Research Intern: The intern will complete a project comparing the historic and present properties of Alaska North Slope crude oil.
  • Environmental Education Intern: Intern will be trained to present K-12 Oil Spill Curriculum lessons for a variety of ages. The intern will then coordinate and travel to at least five PWSRCAC communities to present lessons to youth.

Both of these internships are appropriate for undergraduate students. The Environmental Education Internship may also be appropriate for a graduate student.

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Community Corner: Sharing our mission with students

Lisa Matlock
Lisa Matlock

By Lisa Matlock
Outreach Coordinator

Universities, both from Alaska and out-of-state, offer field courses that can connect students to places and topics firsthand, adding a dose of reality to their academic learning and creating lifelong memories for participating students. Every year the council receives requests for presentations and educational activities to help students understand our mission, our work, and its global significance.

Read moreCommunity Corner: Sharing our mission with students