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.
- The Making of a Research Reserve. This 30-minute presentation outlines the dramatic events leading up to the founding of the Kachemak Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve in 1999 and the cutting-edge research subsequently undertaken since the Reserve’s inception. Conducted from mid-June through mid-August at the Alaska Islands and Ocean Visitor Center.
- 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. Held at the Alaska Islands and Ocean Visitor Center, 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.
- Barley & O.A.T.s (Outdoor Adventure Talks) spotlight nature-based recreation throughout Alaska. These short, dynamic talks are in a held at Grace Ridge Brewing for a more relaxed setting. Offered September through May each year.
All public programs are free of charge.
- Naturalist in the Classroom brings KBNERR educators into K-12 classrooms and out into the school yard. These hour-long programs cover a breadth of topics ranging from forecasting weather to bears on the beach. New program topics are offered monthly and teachers register during a call-in day in mid-August each year.
- 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 three-day for-credit workshop offers vetted, classroom-ready activities. Overarching topics will vary.
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. Information on previous training events can be found by accessing our past coastal training workshops.
For questions or comments related to the Coastal Training Program, including questions about upcoming or past training events, please contact Syverine Bentz, Coordinator for the Coastal Training Program.