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Alaska Department of Fish and Game


Employee Spotlight
Division of Wildlife Conservation

Michael Harrington, Wildlife Technician IV

Photo of Michael Harrington

Education and Background

High School, some college, retired from USCG after 22 years.

What brought you to Alaska or where did you grow up in Alaska?

I came to Alaska in 1989, Valdez, US Coast Guard. Fell in love with the state and stayed!

Why did you pick this career?

I love working with animals and being outdoors. I also get to teach firearms safety and safe boating skills.

What is the best part of your job?

Working with the animals of Alaska, mostly large game and some furbearers. Traveling around the state.

What is the hardest part of your job?

Flying, I don’t care to fly too much. (I get sick, yuk!)

Tell us something about your life outside of work - or what drives you as a person.

I stay pretty active. My wife and I have three children, two boys and a girl. We love to go camping, fishing, hunting, four wheeling, canoeing and for short hikes. I have also been very involved in the community, coaching hockey, soccer, and baseball over the years. I helped the APD SEARCH TEAM (whose main goal was finding lost children) get established and was a member for 5 years.



Boyd Porter, Area Biologist

Photo of Boyd Porter

Education and Background

During my early years in Alaska I worked in the masonry construction field and built many schools and commercial buildings across Alaska. I also worked in the commercial fishing industry and as an assistant big game guide for several years before returning to the University of Alaska Anchorage to pursue a biology degree. I worked as a volunteer for Fish and Game during the first two years of undergraduate studies at the Moose Research Facility on the Kenai and also as a seasonal wildlife technician out of the Anchorage office helping with various wildlife projects. I finished my biology degree and attended the University of British Columbia where I obtained a masters degree.

What brought you to Alaska or where did you grow up in Alaska?

My wife and I moved to Alaska in 1983 from Northern Utah looking for adventure and following the lure of wilderness and wild places.

Why did you pick this career?

I have always been fascinated by the outdoors, animals, plants, and how they all interact and always wanted to work in the wildlife field and make a significant difference for wildlife and their habitats.

What is the hardest part of your job?

The best part of my current job is that I have an opportunity to work with many dedicated and talented people all of whom are working to benefit wildlife. The area management position never has a dull moment and continues to both challenge and satisfy my interest in making a difference. The most difficult part of this position is not the wildlife issues but the people issues.

Tell us something about your life outside of work - or what drives you as a person.

Outside of work I enjoy spending time with my 15 year old daughter (Emily) and wife (Diana) either on the vast saltwater waterways around Ketchikan, fishing, hunting, or shooting. In my spare time I teach Forest and Deer Ecology to middle and high school students and teach gun and hunter safety to the community. I am also a hobby taxidermist and carver. We recently developed a youth shotgun league in Ketchikan and have over 25 youth, including my daughter, shooting shotguns competitively.



Riley Woodford, Writer and Producer
Information Officer

Photo of Riley Woodford

Education and Background

I have a bachelor's of science in biology from Eastern Oregon State University, and I was certified as a high school science teacher. I taught, worked in radio and recording, as a field biologist with spotted owls and desert tortoises, then worked as a newspaper reporter and editor for 10 years.

What brought you to Alaska or where did you grow up in Alaska?

Growing up in Eastern and Western Oregon I always imagined Alaska as a wilder version of Oregon, with more fish and wildlife. I got Alaska Magazine in high school and decided to move here when I was about 15. I hitch-hiked around the state for a month in 1981 and moved to Juneau in March 1985.

Why did you pick this career?

I wanted to do more than write newspaper articles, and this job gives me the opportunity to write scripts, magazine articles, guide books and edit a variety of different things. This is a dream job for me, I can build on everything I’ve learned about biology, radio production, journalism, and teaching.

What is the best part of your job?

The variety. I recently worked on BioBlitz and the Becoming an Outdoors Woman program, delivered presentations for tour bus drivers, a first grade class and a high school class, produced Sounds Wild episodes and worked on our streaming video capabilities. Next I get to help Boyd Porter with a bear research project on Prince of Wales Island, finish up the video we are producing on Intensive Management, and I’ll be writing about ticks in Alaska and implanting satellite transmitters in Barrow’s Goldeneyes.

What is the hardest part of your job?

The struggle to provide a variety of articles representing the whole department for Alaska Fish and Wildlife News. I’m grateful to the writers that contribute when they can, and I know some are writing at home on their own time because they believe it’s important.

Tell us something about your life outside of work - or what drives you as a person.

I sing and play guitar and harmonica in a rock band called Susu and the Prophets. My wife Lori and I have two daughters, 1 and 2 years old, and they are incredibly fun except when they throw up in their beds or smear mustard all over the kitchen floor, although the mustard was actually pretty funny.

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