Helen Fon-Yi Tau

Red McCombs School of Business

Major: Business, Physical Culture and Sports

Internship: Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge

Helen Tau

Teaching the kids at my orientation to Hook’em in Fergus Falls, MN. Before I flew out to Kodiak, I went through some training and one of the sessions was to plant trees with the kids at The Prairie Wetlands Learning Center.

Helen Tau

I changed the world this summer by protecting and conserving wildlife for the benefit of the American people as a conservation intern at Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge (NWR). Throughout the summer, I worked on several different projects within the Kodiak NWR.

I started off by visiting the public use cabins in the refuge to create videos for Kodiak’s website. My first trip was to Camp Island to help with the Bear Team on salmon runs. We monitored the streams for the amount salmon and see how it affects the Kodiak Brown Bear population.

My next trip was to Frazer Lake which is popular because of the fish pass and bear-viewing platform. I represented the refuge there as the information point-of-contact for the tourists who came to watch the Kodiak Brown Bears.

Another amazing experience was travelling to an Alaskan Native Village called Akhiok, one of the more remote villages in Kodiak. We taught the village children about the Kodiak NWR, whales, sea otters and other wildlife topics. Environmental education is one of the most important methods of reaching out to the public.

During my free time, the other interns and I would explore the island. I am anxious to get back and put all the things l learned into action in my studies at the business school and as a resident assistant at Jester West.

Left: One of the programs I helped out at is M.A.P.S. We set up mist nets to catch the birds. After banding the birds that we catch, we release them. A Wilson’s Warbler is flying out of my hands.

Left: Everyone has to go through water ditching training to be able to fly in a float plane for the Fish and Wildlife Service. Right: Family Understanding Nature (FUN) This week's FUN program was camouflage. 

Left: Camp Island trip with the Youth Conservation Corps (YCC). YCC is a summer program that gets high school students involved in conservation on the refuge. We helped the bear biologist with his salmon surveying. Right: At Frazier Fish Pass a Kodiak brown bear and her first year cub. 

Left: Deadman Bay Cabin, one of the nine public use cabins on the Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge. I had to assess each cabin and create a short informational video for the website. Right: Sunset in Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge.