Kachemak Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve education programs engage students and the public in hands-on learning opportunities while conveying Reserve-based research and scientific findings. Our goal is to promote appreciation of the coastal environment, support understanding of coastal ecosystems; and foster stewardship. We serve a diverse audience of learners and educators throughout the year. Education programs consist of Public Programs, School Programs, Educator Programs, and the Coastal Training Program.
- Estuary Hikes along Beluga Slough. These hour-long walks provide an overview of the natural history of Kachemak Bay. About a half a mile in length, walks originate at the Alaska Islands and Ocean Visitor Center and conclude at Bishop’s Beach. Offered from mid-June through mid-August.
- Public Discovery Labs. Set in a lab classroom, these two-hour long programs cover a broad range of research topics including: tide-pool invertebrates, juvenile salmon, marine birds, volcanos and earthquakes along the Ring of Fire, Alaska’s coastal weather and climate science, and more. Interactive content for all ages. This program is offered opportunistically throughout the year.
- Brown Bag Lunch Lectures. Hour-long talks highlighting coastal research conducted by Reserve staff and a breadth of area partners. Held at the Kachemak Bay Campus in Homer, part of Kenai Peninsula College. These lectures are offered August through April each year.
All public programs are free of charge.
- Scientist in the Classroom brings KBNERR educators and scientists into K-12 classrooms and out into the surrounding environment. These programs cover a breadth of topics focused on current local and relevant science, ranging from forecasting weather and glaciers, to peatlands and plankton. New program topics are created to fit local teachers needs and curriculum. Contact our Education Coordinator, Ingrid Harrald for more details.
- K-12 Estuary Hikes engage students in an outdoor adventure to explore their local estuary up close and personal. Mud boots recommended! Offered in May. Teachers register during a call-in day in mid-August each year.
- Teachers on the Estuary (TOTE). This National Estuarine Research Reserve (NERR) program is implemented at all NERRs throughout the United States. TOTE is designed for formal and informal educators and includes field-based learning. Offered annually in June, this multi-day for-credit workshop offers teachers opportunities to work with local researchers and discover ways to incorporate local science into their classroom.
If you would like more information on a particular program or to plan a program please contact our Education Coordinator, Ingrid Harrald.
Coastal Training Program
The Coastal Training Program (CTP) is a National Estuarine Research Reserve system-wide initiative designed to provide up-to-date scientific information, access to technologies, and skill-building opportunities to individuals responsible for coastal resource decision-making. The KBNERR CTP maintains partnerships with local communities, agencies, and science experts, while collaborating with colleagues nationwide at other Reserves. The program consists of workshops, skill training, webinars, and technical assistance. Assessments of community needs, emerging coastal research, and coastal management issues help shape training and workshop priorities.
For questions or comments, including about upcoming or past training events, please contact our CTP Coordinator, Syverine Bentz.