Another great group of environmental educators will be joing the Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies for the spring 2017 Alaskan Coastal Ecology school program season.
Mallory Primm will be joining CACS for her first spring season! Mallory holds a M.Ed. the University of Washington, specializing in Play and Nature-Based Education, a BA from UC Berkeley and was a Fulbright Scholar to Swaziland. Her true passion in education in the great outdoors. She has worked with children outdoors in WA, Africa, CA and AK from forests to mountains, on beaches and farms, at a history museum and even a waste-water treatment plant. Mallory is currently working on building her tiny home and enhancing her bird watching skills. When not facilitating experiential connections with nature, Mallory can been found practicing yoga or playing the ukulele.
Caroline graduated from Williams College with a degree in geoscience in 2016. Although she grew up in the Green Mountains of Vermont, she discovered an interest in oceans during a freshmen year oceanography course and it hasn't left since. She is also an alumni of Williams-Mystic, an interdisciplinary study away semester about the world's oceans and coastlines. She takes great joy in teaching others about the natural world and is excited to be spending her spring on the Alaska Coastline.
Ruthie will be joining CACS for her first spring season! Ruthie grew up in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, where she first developed her love for nature and the outdoors. She is a recent graduate from Lewis & Clark College in Portland, OR, where she studied Sociology and Anthropology. For her senior thesis work, she researched place-based and environmental education, which she is hoping to study in graduate school in the near future as well. Her background in informal education lies at the Oregon Museum of Science & Industry, where she spent over a year teaching kids how to dissect owl pellets and what would happen if you sent a marshmallow into outer space. She just finished teaching English in rural Thailand, and she is excited to apply her passion for environmental education and the outdoors to her first season with Coastal Studies. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time outside hiking, kayaking, biking, or scuba diving, as well as baking or reading a good book.
Hi everyone! My name is Jaclyn Lucas and I am from Chatsworth, CA. I went to college in Ohio at Denison University and majored in Environmental Studies with a concentration in Psychology. During my junior year, I studied abroad in Zanzibar, Tanzania to focus on coastal ecology and natural resource management. It was an amazing way to travel, learn about other cultures, continue my love for environmental education, and be near the ocean again! After graduating, I moved straight to Catalina Island to work at the Catalina Island Marine Institute (CIMI). I taught there for 2 1/2 years and developed my skills as an educator teaching about oceanography, invertebrates, sharks, and more. I took students snorkeling, hiking and kayaking while teaching about island ecology and keeping kids active. After leaving Catalina Island, I spent the first bit of 2017 working for the Conejo Valley Unified School District as a naturalist for their Outdoor School. It was amazing to build my own curriculum and teach 6th grade students about the terrestrial and marine ecology surrounding them. The past two summers I have spent my time in Homer, Alaska working for the Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies and I am so excited to be back for another season!
Henry Reiske is a returning naturalist with Coastal Studies. He moved to Homer 3 years ago, and worked at the Wynn Nature Center last summer. He has a degree in adventure education and environmental studies from Prescott College. He loves discovering new, interesting things in the areas around him, and has a passion for plant life. This will be his 2nd spring season with Coastal Studies, and he is very excited for all of the programs and students.
Caitlin is excited to rejoin the Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies for a 4th season this spring and can't wait to see all her favorite invertebrates again. In the past year she has lead groups of varying ages in Denali, The North Cascades in Washington and Trinidad, and enjoys working as a Naturalist Guide in Denali National Park in the summer, where she gets to see shore birds on their breeding grounds. Caitlin hails from Pittsburgh, PA and while wintering there has small local adventures in state parks, catches up with friends and generally enjoys some down time before the next trip North.
Seth is originally from Minnesota, but now lives in Homer. He spent last spring as an environmental educator for Coastal Studies, and now works as the Education Program Coordinator and Wynn Nature Center Coordinator. He has a Masters of Education, and his background is connecting youth with the natural world around them. He is an avid birder, and loves poking around tide pools seeing what he can find! He can’t wait to help you see the wonders of the natural world in and around Kachemak Bay.
Kim is a lifelong naturalist, artist and adventurer residing in Homer. She received a bachelor of science from The Evergreen State College. As an environmental educator, she leads Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies school groups during the spring, and spends summers guiding with St. Augustine’s Kayak and Tours, always with an eye towards the bizarre and fascinating wonders of nature. With her partner Bjorn Olson, she has traversed thousands of miles of Alaskan wilderness, including kayak touring the Prince William Sound and Kenai Fjords, rafting the Kuskokwim River, and biking the snowy Iditarod Trail to the Arctic Circle. Nature journaling, relief printmaking and writing are her preferred methods for artistically interpreting and sharing her experiences. Kim also volunteers with the nonprofit organizations Ground Truth Trekking and the Homer Cycling Club.
"Do you guys get bears out here?"
It's a frequently asked question to which I knew the answer before I arrived.
"Yes, but just black bears. No grizzlies."
I wasn't at the Field Station 24 hours before I witnessed the answer firsthand. I was looking out over Lost and Found Lake, about a half-mile from the Station, with a group of visiting teachers when someone pointed out a black form on the opposite shore. (Lost and Found Lake might be more accurately termed a pond, mind you.)
|Lost and Found Lake.
Binoculars went up, cameras clicked, and we had confirmation: the black shape was a black bear! The bear saw us, but he didn't seem particularly interested. He padded a few feet away and lay down for a nap. That was my first sighting of a bear from foot -- I saw a few from the car window with my mother on our Great Alaskan Road Trip last summer -- but it would not be my last.
What a robust nose!
Two days later, I emerged from the Low Tide Trail. My hiking partner pointed across the tidal lagoon, and there she was, a black bear balancing on driftwood for fun!
This black bear didn't seem worried about us, either. As long as we keep our distance, they keep theirs, and nobody gets surprised, we'll all be great friends.
I still haven't figured out how to insert videos successfully, so click on this link to see the bear balancing along driftwood.
One of the most imaginative tips I've recieved as a guide was a package of homemade bear jerky. Every Alaskan resident gets to shoot three bears a year, though of course most don't take up the offer. Our eight-year-old visitor had shot this jerky's black bear himself. And here I'd thought butchering my own rabbits made me cool.
I haven't seen a bear since my first three days at the Station, but I always carry bear spray. And when my friend Laura and I go running on the trails, we holler our rambunctious greeting at every turn: HEY, BEAR!!!
The whirlwind that is the spring season at Peterson Bay, China Poot, and Kasistna Bay has come to a standstill. The calm after the fun storm is a time to reflect and share the moments we will never forget. Through sleet, snow, rain, rocks, plants, and low tides we explored the unique environments of Kachemak Bay. Each site possesed a certain charm that made for great outdoor experiences.
Sunset at Kasitsna Bay
As the days have grown shorter, and the mornings crispy, the Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies has set out to tackle the trash of the beach. The month of September kicked off our 30th annual CoastWalk beach clean-up season around Kachemak Bay. Every September and October the Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies gather volunteers, teachers, students, organizations, and businesses to clean Kachemak Bay beaches. For the past 29 years these dedicated volunteers have picked up everything off the beach from a discarded toothbrush to half a fiberglass kayak. Over the past 29 years, volunteers have collected thousands of pieces of debris, and in the process saved many of our seabirds, marine mammals, and fish from the devastating effects of marine debris.