By LISA MATLOCK
Council Outreach Coordinator
In February 2015, the council will be 25 years old. We are an organization in transition, created by one generation and moving to the next. In the past year alone, several board members and long-time staff have retired, or, sadly, passed away. At every meeting, the board discusses the importance of finding and recruiting passionate younger citizens who will eventually be called upon to represent the council’s member entities and work on behalf of our mission. To help answer this need, the council has been developing an internship project to engage the next generation.
The project began in 2014 with two interns working on very different pilot projects. Cordova High School student Sarah Hoepfner spent a few hours each month of the past year using traps and plates to monitor for European green crab and invasive tunicate species in the Cordova area. She also worked with several classrooms in Cordova this spring and at the Copper River Wild! Festival this summer to educate youth about invasive species. Sarah has been mentored by Information and Education Committee volunteer, Kate Morse, and Science Advisory Committee project manager, Joe Banta. Sarah’s final report on this summer’s aquatic nuisance species monitoring will be completed this fall.