Several Kodiak High School and college students presented today and Monday as part of the Alaska Forum on the Environment to talk about their experience interning with the Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge.

“This summer, back in 2014, five teens worked with us, and they did a number of jobs here working for the refuge,” said Shelly Lawson, who works in education at the refuge. “Part of their requirements was to create a video, each of them, about their perspective on an issue or aspect of their job.”

Lawson applied for funding and submitted applications for the students to present at the Alaska Forum on the Environment.

Kyla Villaroya was chosen to present during the keynote address on Tuesday.

Leila Pyle, Eunice Cortez, Katrina Courchaine and Rubylyn Ulatan will be part of the panel at the Youth and Adult Environmental Project Showcase on Monday and Tuesday.

“It’s in a panel that is kind of showcasing our projects,” Courchain said. “We’re going to be talking abour our summer working for the refuge.”

“It’s pretty exciting,” Lawson said. “They are each presenting on different things and their films will be shown at the film festival during AFE.”

The internship is a nine-week paid program for students. The interns get a lot of experience in a wide variety of fields, Lawson said. They helped out with marine debris cleanup and science and research, and created their own education program. Because last year was the 25th anniversary of the Exxon Valdez oil spill, the interns created a program to teach elementary students about the spill.

“We were part of the Youth Conservation Corp and we worked at the visitor center and did educational programs and went out in the field and built houses,” Courchaine said. “I’m a little nervous, but I’m really excited to be able to show everybody about the opportunities we had.”

AFE is a weeklong meeting of environmental professionals from around Alaska and is in its 17th year.

Julie Herrmann is a staff reporter at the Kodiak Daily Mirror. Contact her at 486-3227 ext. 627.

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