Home Kachemak Bay Environmental Education Alliance October 2010 KBEEA Meeting Notes
October 2010 KBEEA Meeting Notes email

KBEEA Semi-annual Meeting

Friday, October 15, 2010



Attendees: Lisa Matlock, Ryjil Christianson, Robi Harris, Kyra Wagner, Mike Allen, Beth Trowbridge, Patrick Chandler, Jenni Medley, Megan Murphy, Catie Bursch, Carmen Field, Kris Holderied, Debbie Tobin


Update from Kyra Wagner

Kyra described the TedEx project and shared that it was coming to Homer in September 2011, somewhere around September 19th. This will be the only Ted Ex event in Alaska, and there currently is no venue identified for presentations (livestream video). Kat Haber is the lead for TedEx 2011 and the theme is “Heart Matters” (the 2010 theme was “Sustain Us”). Kyra solicited suggestions for TedEx speakers – Father Oleska, Erin McKittrick, Father George Lestenkoff were suggested and Kyra asked that additional speaker ideas be sent to her ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ). Note: There is not really funding for speakers but perhaps some travel assistance.


Kyra also gave the group an update on the Southern Kenai Peninsula (SKP) Communities Project. They will be having a community meeting on October 22, 2010 from 10 – 12pm at the college with a local lunch served. Everyone is invited. There will be 3 themes reported on: the project website, healthy lifestyle choices, and domestic violence. This project now involves food, thanks to Kyra. Discussion about local food followed with topics including school gardens in Homer, Homer High School principal’s support of school gardens [1) this year the HHS greenhouse is being used for the 1st time in 17 years, with Francie Roberts overseeing work in there with FFA & her Natural Resource class until January, when the greenhouse reverts back to the City and 2) Flex HS has an operational garden overseen by science/math teacher Jeff Szarzi, who invites anyone in the community to come into the school and make a lunch with the kids], the Farm Bill, Calypso School representative’s visit to Homer, Nancy Hillstrand’s food storage support, and possible food-related activities for Kyra’s Vista student arriving in November. Ideas for the Vista student included researching/comparing the nutritional values of wild vs. agricultural meat and the sources/practices/feed for McNeil Canyon Meat products.


Kyra also touched on Friday, April 22, 2011 being Earth Day. There is no school for KPBSD students that day. Perhaps there could be an event showcasing local ‘green’ homes and/or greenhouses.


KBEEA/Homer Field Trips website

There was a lengthy discussion about the pros/cons for keeping or modifying the existing Web.com structure and fees. The 2009 cost balance (owed to the Pratt) is $600+ and for 2010 that figure rises to $1,000 [NOAA paid for the website fees in 2006; Vance Hahn paid these in 2008; no one has committed to paying these fees for 2009/2010 or beyond]. CACS has paid the domain fee of $95, covering the next 5 years. Lisa commented that logistical information was being used by teachers, but maybe not program information. Catie said the statistics don’t really tell us much. Ryjil and Beth said they’d like a new training on how to enter information. Kyra offered her software (Front Page) and server to host a migrated Homer Field Trip (HFT) website. Beth described the new, free web software that CACS currently uses (Joomla); CACS migrated their site to Joomla for ~$2,000. She or Mike will contact their web guy, Dave, in Washington to see what opportunities and costs there may be for us to do something similar. The group talked about approaching The Homer Foundation for a grant to cover website migration, past charges incurred by the Pratt Museum, and cost of training staff from local organizations to upload info and maintain a newly migrated Joomla website for HFT. Mike proposed we get a quote from Dave for the migration and develop a proposal to The Homer Foundation for the above costs/services. The group agreed this was a good idea. Beth will talk with Dave and Kyra about this. Lisa will write the grant proposal to The Homer Foundation, with CIAP grant info from Carmen and history of support from Ryjil. Catie suggested we assign groups of pages (on a newly migrated site) to each organization.


2011 Sea Days / EE in Seldovia

Dates for 2011 Sea Days were not known at this time. The following programs happened in 2010 or will happen in Seldovia in 2011:

Pratt – culture camp in summer 2010 (3 days)

CACS – CoastWalk in 2010

KBRR – Discovery Lab program will be delivered in spring 2011 (topic to be determined)

  • Catie will send an inquiry for SeaWeeks to Michael with dates to consider for the Reserve’s Discovery Lab.
  • Lisa said she might be able to help with Seldovia labs if topic was marine mammals or coastal birds.


Holiday programming

Lisa reported on Islands & Ocean’s upcoming WinterFest [December 17th – January 1st ]. I&O will be open Tue, Wed, & Thu during these two weeks. She solicited craft ideas from the group. Catie suggested making candles. Other ideas include an ice fishing clinic (Carmen), Yule logs and holiday suet (Lisa). Beth and Lisa will coordinate for crafts and walks. Beth said there would be a Solstice/Full Moon Open House at the Wynn on Dec. 21st. There will also be an event on Dec. 19th at the Wynn and Wednesday Walks at the Wynn both weeks.


Lisa also told the group about an upcoming special event (play) coming December 7th or 8th to Homer to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Arctic NWR. Stay tuned for details.


Winter Family Fun Day

The group decided this would be Saturday, January 15th from 1 – 3 pm at Karen Hornaday Park. Kris and Debbie have avalanche beacons for an activity.


Earth Day 2011

The group agreed to collaborate on a Kids in Nature workshop for parents & caregivers: Growing Family Nature Clubs on Friday, April 22, 2011. There would be a morning workshop led by Carmen and in the afternoon KBEEA members would offer hikes to familiarize parents with local trails to gather at with fellow family nature club members. Lisa and Catie offered to host a geocaching hike somewhere (Wynn, Diamond Creek, or elsewhere). Beth offered to host a FNC hike at Wynn. Ryjil offered to host a hike at the Pratt. Perhaps there could be a family greenhouse tour and beach hike, too.


Spring Break 2011

Spring Break is March 14 – 18, 2011. At the Wynn there will be a family winter camping program (March 12 – 13), a Wednesday Wynn Walk, and a Sunday winter program on March 20th. Rebecca and Rachel are looking for ideas of programs to host at Islands & Ocean during Spring Break.


Other 2011 events

- Lisa gave an overview of the National Ocean Sciences Bowl, happening February 4 – 6, 2011 in Seward. Vicki Lowe at HHS may have students interested in forming a NOSB team. Kris offered to coach a Homer team, with help from others (Lisa, Catie, Carmen, Patrick, and Debbie offered to help Kris). One option for coaching time could be the HHS’s FOLs at the end of the day 3 times a week.

Mud Games at The Wallow will next happen on May 21, 2011.

- Kachemak Bay Shorebird Festival takes place May 5 – 8, 2011.



- Carmen shared that there is a new statewide website for helping get families outdoors – www.getoutdoorsalaska.org. She also described the Children & Nature Network’s latest initiatives: Natural Leaders Network, Natural Families Network, Natural Teachers Network, and collaborations with pediatricians.

- Carmen would like outdoor winter activity details from each organization sent to her by October 29th to be included in the Nature Rocks Homer seasonal/winter calendar of outside activities for families.

- There will be a COASST training hosted by CACS on Saturday, Nov. 20th. Carmen said they could use ½ the lab classroom; she’ll book it on the I&O calendar.

- Beth said there would be a AK Seas & Rivers curriculum training with Marilyn Sigman/COSEE in the future.

- Lisa reminded the group that the AK Science Teachers Assoc. meetings are each October in rotating locations.

- Kris described a new program being developed with Patty Yancey at Humboldt State University, linking programs with NOAA (like ANSEP) and setting up undergraduate student exchanges. They’re looking for partners and we’ll hear more through Kris.

- Debbie described the new KPC Art & Science project developed with Wesley University and the University of Missouri – St. Louis, which will start next year and feature a forest ecosystem focus (tropical rainforest in Guyana, temperate rainforest in Homer, and hardwood forest in CT).

- Debbie also introduced KPC’s Semester by the Bay program for 2011 and shared brochures for this. This program is limited to about 24 students. B&Bs and Ocean Shores Motel are providing housing for students and local restaurants will feed students using punchcards.

- Also, Jasmine Fry, who grew up in Homer, is joining KPC-KBC as adjunct faculty in the fall of 2011. She’ll teach a cell biology lab, biology 102/103, and a biology 116 section.

- Patrick shared that he can do presentations on CoastWalk in classrooms or as a brown bag presentation.

- CACS will offer marine debris challenge grants soon (small > $1500-$2000), with applications coming out in Dec/Jan and with a Feb. 15th deadline. These are statewide and to be used for activities done in spring (March) through the end of September 2011.

- AK Seas & Rivers has climate change activities…see these online at AK Sea Grant’s website.

- Megan led a discussion about Peninsula-wide coordination of EE efforts. We talked about the status of the KPECE group (now disbanded) and what kind of topics/efforts might benefit from Peninsula-wide coordination or a listserve: climate change initiatives, invasive species monitoring, and EE outreach were suggested.


New KBEEA banner

Lisa will ask Carla to make 2 Tyvek banners. NOAA Kasitsna Bay Laboratory will be added.


The next semi-annual KBEEA meeting will be on Friday, February 18th from 11am – 4pm. 



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