Mon. – Fri. 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Wed. 10 a.m.-8 p.m.
Sat. & Sun. 1 p.m.-4 p.m.
And by appointment
Closed on PSU holidays
The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is an area located in the northeast corner of Alaska. Its establishment began in the 1950’s with the work of conservationists, led by Olaus and Margaret Murie, who sought to protect this wilderness frontier and its eco-system. This area was seen to be unique and valuable in terms of its wildlife, wilderness and recreational value. The conservationists saw it as an important place to preserve and provide a protected habitat and eco-system, an area for scientific research and a connection to cultural heritage in terms of protecting one of the last areas of the American frontier. In 1954, the National Park Service recommended that this area in northeast Alaska be preserved and in 1960, the Secretary of the Interior under the Eisenhower administration signed a Public Land Order establishing the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
Despite the establishment of this protected wilderness, this area in Alaska is at the center of much debate and many threats from industry. It is estimated that the 19 million acre refuge may contain an estimated 16 billion barrels of crude oil and it is the desire for these resources that threatens the safety of the refuge and its inhabitants. This has been an ongoing battle between conservationists and politicians who want to develop and exploit these resources.
The activities and essential questions have been designed to meet a range of ages and abilities. They are foundations that may be modified and changed to meet the needs of educators in their classroom and community. The following sites contain further information and additional resources for these activities: