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|CONTACT:||Ray Massey • email@example.com
P.O. Box 21628, Juneau AK 99802
|September 8, 2010|
Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center Director Wins Alaska Region Interpretation and Conservation Education Award
JUNEAU, Alaska- Have you have ever enjoyed a trip to the Forest Service Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center or learned something interesting from the Forest Service employees working on the state ferries in Southeast Alaska? If you answered, “Yes,“ chances are those experiences were the direct result of Center Director Ron Marvin’s leadership and passion for educating the public. Marvin was recently awarded the Alaska Region’s 2010 “D. Robert Hakala Excellence in Interpretation and Conservation Education” award in recognition of those qualities.
Marvin’s duties include managing the visitor center, which hosts over 440,000 visitors a year; providing oversight for the Juneau Ranger District conservation education program; and directing operations of the Tongass Alaska Marine Highway Interpretive Program.
Managing this complex set of programs, services and facilities requires a high degree of knowledge, skill, and flexibility. During his tenure on the Juneau Ranger District, Marvin’s work has been characterized by constant improvement and the search for new ways of reaching the public with information about the natural world.
Under Marvin’s direction, a staff of seven fulltime and 17-21 seasonal employees provide meaningful outreach to over a half million people. He challenges the staff to explore new and innovative ways of providing better learning opportunities, improving facilities and exhibits, and offering quality customer service. Marvin acknowledges that his award is a result of a team effort from the staff to be creative, explore new ideas and strive to improve interpretive programs.
As the Mendenhall area became an important black bear viewing area, Marvin developed a people/bear management plan, hazing protocols and interpretive messages to enhance the public’s wildlife viewing opportunities. The conservation education program has grown to include a summer day camp, as well as educational outreach to the entire Juneau school system and home school students.
There are many tangible benefits to Marvin’s work in addition to having his name engraved on a plaque as the nineteenth winner of the Hakala Award. Marvin will receive a cash award of $500, be nominated for the Forest Service’s national interpretation and conservation education award, and be given $1,500 for travel expenses to the November National Association for Interpretation Workshop.
The award is named after D. Robert (Bob) Hakala, the first Regional Interpreter in the Forest Service’s Alaska Region. Nominees must be permanent full time or permanent part time employees of the Forest Service Alaska Region.
Photo caption: Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center Director Ron Marvin (front) leads a discussion about the Center's
improvements paid for by Economic Recovery funds. Marvin led the group on a tour of the Center's new “Trail of Time”
and explained the Center's stair railing and rock repair that makes the area safer for visitors. The August 30 showcase event
was attended by local media, congressional staff, contractors that participated in the work, and visitor industry representatives. (Forest Service photo by Ray Massey)