Mary Sutkowski, Tern Festival Coordinator.

Mary first came to Alaska at age seven to visit her aunt. She panned for gold, explored glaciers and mountains and was captivated by the wilderness here. In the fall of 2016, over 20 years later, she returned to work in Yakutat as an SCA intern with the Forest Service. Since then, Mary has made Alaska her home and just can't get enough of the outdoors here. Mary took on the role as the Yakutat Tern Festival Coordinator in 2017 and is growing in her knowledge of birding. She loves being able to remain a part of the Yakutat community in this role and visits Yakutat as often as she can from Juneau, where she currently resides. 


Susan Oehlers grew up in Minnesota, and has a bachelor’s of science degree from the University of Minnesota and a Master’s Degree in wildlife biology from the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Susan has worked with a wide variety of animals and birds, including wolves, moose, brown bears, small mammals, spotted owls, songbirds, Canada geese, and terns.  Susan is currently the wildlife biologist for the Yakutat Ranger District of the Tongass National Forest, and is involved in the Yakutat-based Aleutian tern research.  Susan enjoys learning more about birds and sharing her knowledge with local students.


Teresa Swanson has lived in Alaska most of her life, but grad school and a fisheries biology career drew her away to study fish in the Grand Canyon and Yellow Stone National Park.  While her earliest jobs were associated with the commercial salmon industry, most of her work experience has been studying fish in Wyoming, Arizona, and Alaska. Teresa’s outdoor experiences and growing up in Alaska, have shaped her recreational and biological points of views. She has worked for the U.S. Forest Service as a Fisheries Technician on the Chugach National Forest, and currently she works for the Tongass National Forest as a Resource Assistant on the Yakutat Ranger District.  Teresa is busily expanding her skills and interests to include birding!




Mike Denega

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Brought to you by the Yakutat Nature Society

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The festival is a celebration of the natural and cultural resources of Yakutat, Alaska.
Jun 01, 2023, 9:00 AM AKDT – Jun 04, 2023, 4:00 PM AKDT
429 Forest Hwy, Yakutat, AK 99689, USA

Stay tuned for 2023 Announcements...