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2019 spring Environmental Educators

Another great group of environmental educators will be joing the Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies for the spring 2019 Alaskan Coastal Ecology school program season.


Eli Harrison

Eli Harrison Bio Photo

Eli is from Bend, Oregon. Growing up backpacking, fishing, and rafting around the Pacific Northwest instilled a passion for the outdoors in Eli at a young age. After graduating from Dartmouth College in 2017 with a Bachelors degrees in Environmental Science and Public Policy, Eli worked for conservation nonprofits in Oregon and taught environmental education on the San Juan Islands in Washington. During the summer Eli worked as a fly fishing guide on the Middle Fork of the Salmon River in Idaho. 




Kirby Hoffman

Kirby Hoffman alaska bio pic1

Kirby has been fascinated by the natural world since he was a little boy. His parents always inspired him to explore the outdoors and spending his summers in Stone Harbor, NJ got him interested in the ocean. As a boy, he loved fishing, catching sandcrabs, finding seashells, and looking at all the neat little creatures in the tidepools. He was always excited to catch a new fish or crab for his little saltwater fish tank at his grandmother's beach house. In high school, Kirby realized that he wanted to turn this passion for the ocean into a career. He attended Stockton University and received his Bachelors Degree in Marine Biology in 2013. 

Kirby first took a position as an environmental educator at the Wetlands Institute in southern NJ, and hasn't looked back since. He recalls that seeing a child's face light up as they hold a horsehoe crab or witness a bottlenosed dolphin surfing the waves behind the boat is the best feeling in the world! He has worked as a marine biologist and crew member on a whale and dolphin watching vessel in NJ for the last 10 years. Kirby has also taught marine science at Seacamp in the lower Florida Keys and environmental education at Echo Hill Outdoor School on the eastern shores of the Chesapeake Bay. Kirby is super excited to start his next adventure, teaching and inspiring young minds at the Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies. In his free time Kirby loves hiking, geocaching, fishing, nature photography, and pretty much anything that gets him outside.  


Amanda Haraksin

Amanda Haraksin bio pic

Amanda is a lover of the outdoors, from the mountains, forests, deserts, and coast. She grew up in Southern California and received my Bachelor's of Science in Biology from the University of California Riverside where she was involved with studying how microorganisms affect native and invasive species. Amanda has worked as a field botanist in the deserts of Utah, and as an environmental educator throughout the United States - in Alabama, New Mexico, California, and Wyoming. She recently received her TEFL Certification, and hopes to teach English in Latin America later this year. Amanda loves all outdoor activities especially hiking, trail running, biking, and skiing, and also enjoy yoga, reading, cooking, hanging out with friends, and listening to music. Amanda is really excited to explore the forest and coast with students this spring in Alaska!



Laura Walls

Laura Walls pictureLaura is originally from San Diego where tide pool exploration and weekly dolphin gazing set her on an environmental path. Laura received her bachelors in environmental studies and anthropology from UC Santa Cruz. Laura was part of a field study researching northern spotted owls in northern California, is returned Peace Corps, Zambia volunteer, taught environmental education in the Outer Banks, and led nutrition based cooking classes in New York City. A healthy love and respect for traveling, exploring, and feeling her way through new experiences has given Laura a life long dedication to the natural world and our part in it.



Misha Klassen

Misha Klassen bio photo

Misha is originally from the suburbs of Washington D.C., where she grew up playing in the wetlands of the Potomac River and Chesapeake Bay, areas that are heavily impacted by the nearby cities. Misha was a “save the bay” advocate and nature nerd from the get-go, and hopes to inspire the next generation of nature’s students through her work as an environmental educator. Misha made her way from Washington D.C. to Washington state for college where she earned a degree in mathematics while spending her summers in Southeast AK as an educator and salmon research technician. After graduating, she spent several months as a volunteer English teacher in northern Peru, where she explored her role as an educator within a rapidly changing economic and ecological landscape.

When not bushwhacking through the woods with curious groups of students, Misha can be found trail running, swimming, or just jumping into cold water. She also finds delight in discovering new ways to bring art into the fields of science and nature.


Shannon Moore


Shannon Moore Born in Georgia and raised in Alabama, Shannon has always called the south home. A childhood filled with playing outside instilled a lifelong curiosity about the environment. She attended Samford University and, unable to decide what subject she liked best, majored in Geography with a double minor in Biology and Spanish. Soon after college, she moved out to the McDowell Environmental Center, where she was introduced to the wonderful world of environmental education. In addition to teaching and eventually coordinating at both McDowell and the Cahaba Environmental Center in Alabama, she has also worked a bit further south as a guest naturalist in Córdoba, Argentina, where she had the opportunity to work on her Spanish, eat new foods, and drink lots of mate. In her spare time she can be found reading, playing the violin, or sprawled out on the ground trying to get the perfect picture of a bug. She is excited for this new adventure on the Alaskan coast and ready to learn alongside everyone she meets! 


Seth Spencer

Beluga Wetlands and Seth

Seth is originally from Minnesota, but now lives in Homer. He spent his first spring as an environmental educator for the Center for Alasan 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.


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