Home Kachemak Bay Environmental Education Alliance February 2012 KBEEA Meeting Notes
February 2012 KBEEA Meeting Notes email


KBEEA Semi-annual Meeting on 2/23/12

at Ageya Wilderness Education facility



Attendees:    Rebekah Jones, AK Maritime NWR                                         This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

                     Glenn Seaman, graduate student/village liason                      This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

                     Ryjil Christianson, Pratt Museum                                           This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

                     Kevin Dee, Ageya Wilderness Education                                 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

                     Patrick Chandler, Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies              This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

                     Jenni Medley, Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies                   This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

                     Beth Trowbridge, Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies              This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

                     Kyra Wagner, Sustainable Homer                                           This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

                     Bronwyn Kelly, Vista volunteer for Homer Farmers Market

                     Megan Murphy, Kachemak Bay Research Reserve                    This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

                     Carmen Field, Kachemak Bay Research Reserve                      This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

                     Jessica Ryan, Kachemak Bay Research Reserve                      This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


1) Introductions


2) People’s Garden Grant (lead > Kyra)

Managers of the People’s Garden Grant are currently accepting applications from collaborative groups around Kachemak Bay for micro-grants of up to $5K to install outdoor gardens. The deadline is March 2nd. Learn more at http://www.homerswcd.org/user-files/PGsummary-intro-1-17-12.pdf or contact Kyra for details.


3) Kenai Tomorrow activities for high school students (lead > Megan)

This program uses data from John Morton at Kenai NWR and colleagues, and is a partnership with the Kenai Watershed Forum. There was discussion about how much interest there might be in modifying the cumulative effects* (ALCES model) for use in EE or classroom settings. This is not yet a functional tool for students. Learn more about ALCES at http://www.kenaiwatershed.org/alces.html.

* Examples of cumulative effects might be road development, climate change, oil development


Megan asked if there might be interest in high school level activities related to the ALCES model. It was suggested that, if activities were developed/tested, there might be interest in a regional teachers workshop on how to incorporate ALCES into the classroom. Ryjil offered that such activities might be of interest for future exhibitry at the museum. Beth thought perhaps activities could be used with the CACS teen camp; or CACS staff (with funding provided) could help design the tool and/or develop a teacher workshop. Carmen will ask HHS/HMS teachers who she’ll be meeting with in April if this sounds like something they’d be interested in. If anyone has additional ideas, feedback, or comments, please send these to Megan.


4) Kachemak Bay Science Conference (lead > Megan)

Megan gave an overview of Nancy Baron’s March 8th science communication workshop, letting us know that the highlight would be learning how to use a message box. Sign up for Nancy Baron’s science communication workshop with Megan.


The Kachemak Bay Science Conference is happening once again on Thursday, March 8 – Saturday, March 10, 2012. All conference activities are free (with the exception of professional development credit that teachers might earn). Anyone attending this conference should register online at http://kbayscience.org/. The science presentation schedule and information on workshops can be found here.


5) NMEA conference and post-conference field trip to Homer (lead > Beth)

The annual NMEA conference happens in Anchorage June 24-28. Several KBEEA members will be travelling to Anchorage for this international conference and will be helping with the June 29-July1 post-conference field trip to Homer. The maximum number of field trip participants will be 28. All KBEEA members are invited to jointly host the post-conference KBEEA reception for NMEA field trip participants at the Pratt Museum on Friday, June 29 from 6:00 – 7:30pm. Please bring a side dish or dessert to augment a main dish provided.


Beth will email the field trip schedule to us all via the KBEEA listserve. For more information on the NMEA conference, visit http://www.pacname.org/conf.shtml.


6) Let’s G.O.! (Get Outside) events in April 2012 (lead > Carmen)

Carmen is on the national Let’s G.O.! (Get Outside) organizing committee with the Children & Nature Network and shared the vision for this spring’s 2nd annual Let’s G.O.! series of outdoor activities for people of all ages. Last year CACS, AMNWR & KBRR led Let’s G.O.! events in Homer and this year we have an opportunity to offer more and align some of these with the local effort to celebrate Week of the Young Child (April 22 – 28, 2012). So far KBEEA members have created 3 Let’s G.O.! events during WOTYC:

            1) Let’s G.O.! (Get Outdoors) Intertidal Discovery at the Beach on Mon, Apr 23 from

                10:00 – 11:00am at the Pier One beach

                (Lisa and Ryjil will be there…anyone else want to join them?)

            2) Let’s G.O.! Jr. Biologist Badge program on Wed, Apr 25 from 3:30 – 4:30pm at

                Islands & Ocean (Lisa will be leading this)

            3) Let’s G.O.! (Get Outdoors) Family Bird Walk on Thu, Apr 26 from 9:30 – 10:30am

                along the Beluga Slough trail

               (Carmen will be leading this but might need help…let Carmen know if you can join her)

If you would like to organize an April Let’s G.O.! event (or call one this that you’re already planning), please register it on the national website at http://org2.democracyinaction.org/o/7055/p/salsa/event/common/public/create.sjs?distributed_event_KEY=196. Carmen will have electronic Let’s G.O.! flyer templates that you can use soon…contact her if you’d like one.


7) Washed Ashore project (lead > Patrick)

Patrick provided an overview (with .ppt visuals) of the new CACS project Washed Ashore: Plastics, Sea Life & Art. Collaborating with artist Angela Pozzi at the Artula Institute for Arts & EE (http://artula.org/), CACS staff, as a way to celebrate their 30th anniversary, will soon be launching this 3-year project using marine debris to create art in our community. Homer, Angela’s 1st satellite project location, will receive 2 giant marine debris sculptures - Avery the Bird (eagle) and a huge sea star marimba. Every bit of marine debris collected during this year’s CoastWalk and a Gore Point/Barren Islands expedition will be kept, sorted, and used to create 4 unique sculptures, 2 or 3 jelly sculptures, and a large hanging gyre with local artists, volunteers, and students. The 1st workshop for this project will be in June. CACS will need funding to supplement what they currently have to initiate this project, as well as workshop and storage space for marine debris and people to sort the debris. Contact Patrick if you can help.


8) KBRR’s 2011 Market Analysis / Needs Assessment (lead > Jess)

Jess provided a PowerPoint overview of last year’s MA and NA, funded through the NERR System to Research Reserves around the country.


For the needs assessment, 16 schools within a 30-mile radius of Homer were selected to participate – of 156 potential teachers polled, 40 teachers (26%) responded. Overwhelmingly, these teachers were required to teach marine science (83%) – not so many were required to teach climate change or estuarine science (50%). 97% of them wanted more outdoor education, 89% wanted more hands-on education, and 78% wanted more inquiry-based education. When asked about use of archived or real-time data sets, 56% said they don’t use these (and if they do, it’s typically water and air temperature data). 68% of them are teaching about climate change (even though only 50-52% are required to teach it). Professional development needs included conducting lab activities, marine/estuarine science, and inquiry-based activities.


For the market analysis, 9 KBEEA members (69%) responded to the survey. 75% of us address human impacts to the environment. MA results indicated that we are not providing much education related to water chemistry, global heat transfer, and physical properties of water.


As a result of these surveys, KBRR staff have submitted a grant proposal to NPS to fund a February 2013 climate change workshop for middle and high school teachers.


Jess will send a .pdf of the slide show summary to all of us via the KBEEA listserve. Anyone interested in reading the full report of survey results can contact Jess.


9) Port Graham Natural Resource project (lead > Glenn)

Glenn gave an update on efforts of Port Graham residents to encourage more and new educational opportunities for both youth and tribal members related to research interests identified through past workshops and collaborations. One example might be extending the existing tribal youth grant that pays kids to help elders pick up trash to helping on research projects relating to natural resources. Glenn shared these 2 documents*:

1) a letter inviting specific scientists and educators to a March 9th forum during the Kachemak Bay Science Conference to discuss research priorities for Port Graham and related education initiatives

2) a list of draft research priorities and background information on how these were identified

            * To receive these documents, please contact Glenn.

Planning is underway with Port Graham residents to determine what can be accomplished in 2 years related to this project. Ryjil mentioned that 2013 is a Gathering year for the Pratt, something to keep in mind during discussions about educational opportunities.




- The Pratt will initiate a re-articulation of their gray whale skeleton this summer with volunteer crews and Lee Post as the project leader. This will become a February - May 2013 exhibit at the museum.

- Erik Pullman will be leaving the museum soon, moving to Seldovia Village Tribe…so Ryjil and Pratt staff will be hiring a short-term, part-time educator for school groups > for mid-April to end of May 2012.

- The Pratt will be hiring 3 YCC local kids (ages 15 – 19 years old) for the summer.

Rebekah (Bekah):

- Spring Break in the Islands is coming up next month, March 13 – 17, 2012 with numerous activities for youth and families. It will include a refuge system birthday bash, ice fishing getaway, presentations on seabirds, seals and totem poles. Bekah will send out the flyer for these activities via the KBEEA listserve soon.

- Islands & Ocean will be open only till 5pm this summer due to budget cuts.

- The Refuge’s YCC program has been funded and staff are currently accepting applications from local high school students. If anyone has any restoration/trail projects they’d like assistance with this summer, YCC kids may be able to help – contact Bekah to coordinate a project.

- The Refuge will be hosting an EE Methods course at Islands & Ocean in April. Bekah will send out info on this via the KBEEA listserve.


- Bekah is working with a 14-yr-old mentor student, Shy Walter, from Anchor Point – a group discussion led to the decision to pilot KBEEA’s spring 2012 student mentor program with just this one student. The following organizations will host Shy during these weeks in May:

            KBRR:                            Apr 30 – May 4

            AMNWR:                        May 7 – 11

            Pratt:                            May 14 – 18

            Sustainable Homer:       May 21 – 25 (this is HoPP “Build Week,” too)

            CACS:                            May 28 – June 1

Bekah will help staff at each organization connect with Shy this spring.

- The TV show AquaKids will be in Homer for 2 days in late July/early August to film parts of 6 episodes for the show. Several KBEEA members have already been involved in planning for this with USFWS staff in Anchorage.


- Bronwyn will be coordinating kids activities at this summer’s Farmers Market. There will be a 1-hr family activity each Saturday, followed by a 1-hr-long workshop with kids (themes: cooking, agriculture, art, & homesteading/survival skills). There will also be a kids vending day later in the summer. Jenni said one of their (CACS) summer interns may be able to help Bronwyn. If anyone would like to help with kids activities at the Farmers Market, please contact Bronwyn (through Kyra).

- Emily Garrity hopes to be starting an internship with Flex HS students through her CSA.


- The Reserve will offer only 5 weeks of Discovery Lab programming this summer due to budget constraints, NMEA conference participation, and Science Collaborative research project commitments of education staff. If anyone would like to help with these summer public events in July and 1st week of August (topics: Growing Naturalists, Sport Fishing for Salmon, Sport Fishing for Halibut, Salt Marsh Wildlife, and Salt Marsh Plants) or the May Growing Naturalists public and student labs, please contact Carmen.

- Kids in Nature events coming up: 1) Let’s G.O.! Family Bird Walk on April 26th from 9:30 – 10:30am, 2) Jr. Birder Discovery Labs on May 9th (3 – 5pm) and 12th (11am-1pm), and 3) Mud Games at The Wallow on May 19th from 1 – 3pm.

- The Homer Youth Fishing Fair will be a bit later than usual this year – on Sat, April 21 from 10am – 5pm at Homer Middle School.

- Several brown bag presentations related to the Reserve’s April programming theme (Our Landscape Over Time) are being planned for the 1st week of April. Stay tuned for more details.

- KBRR will be offering 4 months of Discovery Lab programming for students in the 2012-13 school year, with all program reservations made on BookingBlitz day – Wed, August 15th from 8am – 4pm. This programming will include a day of EE in each of the south side communities next spring and to-be-determined programs at the middle school and high school during the year.

- KBRR staff are waiting to hear about the progress of their recent grant proposal to NSF for 3 years of coastal science education programming and assessment of the impacts of Informal Science Education (ISE) that takes place in the natural world on the project students’ cognitive understanding of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) through standardized test scores and future career choices. They should know more on this grant by May 2012.

- Please send Carmen any outdoor activity/event information for the late spring/summer that you’d like included in the Nature Rocks Homer Seasonal Calendar of Outdoor Activities for Families no later than April 25, 2012.


- CACS will be collaborating with the Kachemak Bay Wilderness Lodge for some programs this year.

- CACS will have 4 youth camps this summer:

    1) Marine Mammals Mystery Camp with Lee Post on June 4 – 8 for youth ages 9 – 12

    2) Dude, Where’s My Glacier? teen camps on June 18 – 23 and August 6 – 11

    3) Jr. Naturalist camp in July for youth ages 8 – 11

- CACS will host a wilderness wellness workshop for adults in mid-June

- There will be daily programs at the Wynn Nature Center all summer.

- CACS will host an Elderhostel group at the Peterson Bay Field Station August 24 – 26.


- COASST has ramped up beach monitoring to weekly in Kachemak Bay due to an unexplained murre die-off. There will be a COASST training for volunteer monitors in early May (May 5th) or later in the month (May 19th)…stay tuned for details.

- Patrick is very knowledgeable about issues related to marine debris from the March 2011 Japanese tsunami. He recommended Lisa Murkowski’s website - http://murkowski.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?p=tsunami-debris-panel – as a good resource for this. He felt that the real issue was not just the Japanese tsunami’s trash, but rather the larger message of marine debris as a global problem. NOAA has recently claimed “there’s not a radiation issue.” Please direct local questions about marine debris from the Japanese tsunami to Patrick and report to him any unusual beach debris finds.


- Kevin is working with staff at the Eagle River Nature Center to design and build a new $12-$15 million-dollar visitor center.

- Ageya Wilderness Education’s long-term plan is to turn it over to a non-profit. A 100-foot-tall wind turbine will soon be installed at AWE.

- Kevin touted the importance of using social media to outreach who we are and what we do. He recommended improving our networking capacity by making efforts to keep our name (and good news about us) regularly in front of our audiences, use Twitter and Facebook, and write blogs.

- AWE will host a 10-day traditional boat-building workshop for bidarkas, umiaks, and more this summer. The youth camp of years past will not take place this summer.

- There will be teacher workshop on climate change happening at AWE during the summer of 2013.


Miscellaneous Notes

All Paul Banks students will be tidepooling at Bishops Beach on Tuesday, May 8th. If any KBEEA members have the time to join these students, it would be beneficial (for the beach and students/teachers/chaperones) to have as many roving naturalists as possible helping out down there. The low tide is a -5.4-foot at 10:50am.


Next KBEEA meeting  

Friday, October 5 from 9:00am – 2:00pm (with potluck lunch) at Islands & Ocean

Agenda items:

- market analyses/needs assessments discussion with examples provided:

                            1) USFWS market analysis or needs assessment done last July/Aug

                                (Marianne will be getting results from this soon)

                            2) Pratt science/culture/visitor experience market analysis

                               (Ryjil will report back on this)

                            3) KBRR 2011 MA/NA (review of presentation by Jess on 2/23 to group)

                            4) KPECE teacher survey of several years ago

                               (Carmen will try to find results from this)

                            5) others???

- outreach discussion > each member group will ask their program’s participants how they learn of programs and report back to this group at the 10/5/12 meeting

Please send additional agenda items to Carmen by September 14, 2012.



A special thanks to the Homer Foundation for funding and to Stan Anderson for hosting the website.