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SUMMARY OF VOLUNTEER SERVICE 1993-2007
OF JOHN BERTRAND
US FISH AND WILDLIFE FACILITIES
Bosque del Apache NWR – 1993-2007
Bertrand has 11,651 recorded volunteer hours with Bosque del Apache NWR in visitor services, publications, Festival of the Cranes staff, and as media relations specialist. Following are a few of the highlights:
Founder and original Board Member of the Friends of the Bosque del Apache NWR in 1993. Has served continuously as a member of the Public Relations Committee. Friends of the Bosque del Apache honored him in 1998 with its Martha Hatch Award issued annually to one individual for outstanding service.
Marketing Committee Chairman, 1993 Festival of the Cranes. Bertrand has served as de facto media relations director for the Festival, in conjunction with the Refuge’s staff POR, in succeeding years.
Bosque del Apache Habitat! – In 1993, founded this tabloid-size annual news magazine, which is distributed throughout the year at the Visitor Center as the Refuge’s guide to visitors and primary outreach piece. Habitat! is now a 16-page full-color production. Habitat! is produced by the Friends of the Bosque as a service to the Refuge. Bertrand has continued as the editor and business manager through 14 annual issues, including the 2008 issue, which will be distributed beginning Nov. 13 at the Festival of the Cranes. Each issue of Habitat! is mailed by the Refuge Manager with a covering letter to New Mexico’s Washington D.C. delegation, state legislators and department heads, and local municipal officials. It is distributed as a paid insert by the two Socorro local newspapers and two suburban Albuquerque newspapers.
Bosque Watch – A frequent contributor to this members’ newsletter in prior years, Bertrand assumed editorship with the first quarterly issue in January, 2007. The Watch keeps the Friends membership of more than 1,000 informed of activities on the Refuge. Articles are staff-written or on assignment by members of the Refuge staff and others. Under Bertrand’s direction, members were offered the option to receive Watch electronically rather than a printed copy by mail; more than half have elected this option.
Chupadera Mountain addition to the Refuge – In July, 2006, Friends president Jon Morrison initiated a project to purchase from its private owner for an agreed price of $63,000 the 6,272-foot Chupadera Mountain, with a 140-acre parcel of land and donate it to the Refuge to become part of the Refuge’s existing Chupadera Wilderness. The Chupadera summit is just off the Refuge boundary. Bertrand developed the successful fund-raising campaign which raised $72,000 for the purchase and associated activities from individuals, service clubs and others by April, 2007. The Friends took title to the property on Sept. 20, 2007. Bertrand is involved in arranging a “Victory Party” Dec. 1, at which a bronze-and-stone monument honoring the 267 donors will be unveiled.
Community Relations & Service Clubs –
Bertrand has made frequent presentations on topics of Refuge interest to Lions and Rotary International chapters in Socorro, and participates in Socorro County Chamber of Commerce activities on behalf of the Refuge. He was awarded the Chamber’s 1993 W.B. Eaton Award issued annually to the outstanding volunteer of the year.
He has been a member of Ducks Unlimited Socorro Chapter’s steering committee for the annual conservation fund-raising dinner since 1999, understudying Bosque senior biologist John Taylor until Taylor’s untimely death in 2004, and serving as Bosque’s representative in 2005 and 2006. Bertrand was a principal with DU State President Jim Wolfe in staging an April, 2005 memorial tribute to Taylor which raised more than $50,000 to be applied to a Refuge rehabilitation project in Taylor’s name. A Langemann automated water control structure is being installed this autumn with the funds.
New Mexico Tech University’s Library now has available to users a concordance and analysis prepared by Bertrand and presented in the Friends’ name relating plates by John James Audubon in three editions of The Birds of America which are in its holdings. At the library’s invitation in 2006, Bertrand also produced a 27-panel (83 linear feet) photograph and text exhibit which was displayed for three months illustrating Bosque del Apache as A Refuge for all Seasons. Panels from the exhibit now are displayed seasonally as one of the principal interpretive displays in the Refuge visitor center.
National Wildlife Refuge Association – Bertrand was jointly nominated by Bosque del Apache and Alaska Maritime national wildlife refuges in 1999 (?) as Volunteer of the Year, and was one of five finalists.
Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge – 1996-2004
Bertrand has 4,140 recorded volunteer hours with Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge prior to 2000, and an untallied number of hours through 2004, serving in various capacities as exhibits designer, education specialist, visitor center receptionist, marketing specialist, and for one season as a biological assistant in the Aleutian Islands on the Refuge’s ocean-going research and transport vessel Tiglax. He served as Refuge marine wildlife interpreter for two summers on the short Homer-Seldovia route of Alaska Marine Highway’s MV Tustamena, and as an adjunct, published a seasonal birding guide to
Seldovia and arranged for locally-conducted bird walks for arriving passengers. Although assigned primarily to Visitor Services, Bertrand designed and assembled one year of the Refuge’s Annual Narrative, and assisted with publications.
Beginning in 2000, Bertrand worked at HQ under direction of Refuge Outreach Director Poppy Benson, where he was involved in planning and implementation of ground-breaking, ribbon-cutting and grand opening functions leading to the July 4, 2004 Grand Opening ot the $18 million Islands and Ocean Visitor Center and joint headquarters of the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge and the Kachemak Bay Research Reserve. Throughout this period, Bertrand was a volunteer consultant assisting with forming community and travel industry advisory committees for the project. He also directed media relations for the headquarters project.
Bertrand designed and produced Alaska Maritime’s exhibit at the 2003 all-Alaska observance of the Centennial of the Refuge System, which was held at the fairgrounds in Soldatna, AK.
Selawik NWR 2001-2003
Bertrand served as a full-time resident volunteer at Selawik NWR in 2001 July 1 – 25, in 2002 for the months of July, August and September, and in 2003 for the months of March, April, May and June. A summary of his service follows:
Visitor Services at Refuge HQ in Kotzebue–
Weekly presentations in Visitor Center for international and ‘lower 48’ tour groups sponsored by NANA (Northwest Arctic Native Association)
Presented a series of evening programs in Visitor Center on Refuge topics for Kotzebue residents.
Elderhostel lecturer covering Arctic wildlife, refuge and Native land issues and development in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
Designed and published two years of the Selawik NWR Annual Narrative.
Installed Excel Extensis filing and search system and converted Refuge photo files from 35mm slides to searchable digital files.
Designed and produced display materials and publications for use in Native programs.
2002 – 2003 – Weekly monitoring and recording of radio-collared moose herd with Refuge pilot-biologist in Refuge Supercub along the Selawik River over a large part of the Refuge’s 3.14 million acres. Helped prepare reports of visual sightings of cows and calves, and on-the-ground examination of kill sites. Also air monitoring of muskoxen herd and in 2002 of staging area of Greater White-fronted Geese.
2002 – Field Camp observer for three weeks during moose hunting season and migration of the Northwest Arctic caribou herd. Monitored and reported by radio on licensed transporters, provided Refuge interface with permitted hunters. Recorded caribou movements, used Refuge photographic equipment to obtain photographs for Annual Narrative and Refuge publications.
2002 – Pacific Golden-plover tracking – Bertrand initiated monitoring on the Refuge of radio frequencies of migrating Pacific Golden-plovers in conjunction with O. W. Johnson’s three-year study based at Hanalei NWR, and flying with the pilot-biologist recorded three nesting sites in tundra at higher latitudes than any previously recorded in Alaska.
2003 – Eskimo Curlew – Following up on a report he received in 2002 from a reliable Inuit source of Eskimo Curlew sightings in a remote area of the Refuge, Bertrand assembled Refuge resources to visit and search the area by plane and boat immediately after spring break-up. GPS coordinates of possible sightings, and observed nesting sights of the similar Whimbrel, were plotted and forwarded with a report to the Regional biologist in Anchorage for follow-up..
US DEPT. OF AGRICULTURE FOREST SERVICE FACILITIES
Cibola National Forest and Magdalena Ranger District
1994 – Bertrand served as a full-time volunteer with the Magdalena Ranger District May – August, 1994. In conjunction with routine trail inspections, he wrote and published a guide to the district’s hiking trails.
From the District’s about-to-be-discarded photo file, Bertrand created a set of albums recording the history of the Magdalena Ranger District for use by historians and the visiting public.
Bertrand created and staffed a visitor center at the Langmuir Laboratory for Atmospheric Research, an in-holding in the District on top of 10,700-foot South Baldy in the Magdalena Mountains. He also wrote and published a visitors guide-brochure for Langmuir.
1995 – As a volunteer at Cibola National Forest HQ in Albuquerque, NM, April – June, Bertrand conducted original research, using available archives, and published a series of maps and posters tracing the development of Cibola NF’s Magdalena Ranger District from its formation of the Magdalena National Forest in 1903. Bertrand also assembled from original records and produced for public use a volume summarizing grazing permits on the Magdalena District from passage of the Taylor Grazing Act in 1907.
Carson National Forest Ghost Ranch Living Museum
1994 – 1996 – Bertrand served as a full-time resident volunteer in July, August, September of 1994 and 1995, and April, May June, 1996, as visitor center receptionist, gift shop attendant and tour guide to the small demonstration forest and sanctuary for rehabilitated but non-releasable wildlife native to New Mexico. He also produced as part of the Center’s permanent display, a series of posters illustrating with original drawings and photographs the human presence in the region from pre-history. With the Forest archaeologist, surveyed and mapped sites of historical interest.