We are volunteers and agency representatives who bring a community voice to discussions in support of the Kachemak Bay Research Reserve and its programs.

About

Committees

Meetings

Participate

Members

About

We foster dialogue and recommendations between agencies, local governments, Indigenous communities, Reserve staff, researchers, environmental educators, conservation groups, and others interested in natural science research and education. This work is guided by our charter.

The Kachemak Bay Research Reserve provides quarterly reports on their programs, projects, and other activities to the council.

The council often collaborates on letters of support for the Reserve, research proposals, and policies.

Letters of Support

DateSubjectLink
January 16, 2024Support for Reserve and Kachemak Bay Campus Shared Facilities Planning & Design Project, as well as Reserve Truck and Boat Engine AcquisitionHere
January 16, 2024Support for Kenai Peninsula
Borough Resilience and Adaptation Initiative proposal
Here
December 12, 2023Support on behalf of the Council for funding the Beluga Peatlands
Acquisition and Conservation proposal
Here
November 29, 2021Letter to Murkowski Staff: NERRS PAC FundingHere
February 26, 2015Council support of KBNERR’s Science Collaborative Research ProposalHere

Council Committees

We’ve established three standing committees to assist the Reserve:

  • The Education Committee is made up of council members and volunteers from the Kachemak Bay communities with a particular interest in the Reserve’s educational programs. Members support the Reserve’s education staff by providing community/teacher perspective on the merits of topics they propose to develop, especially those for which the Reserve is seeking outside funding.
  • The Research Committee is made up of council members and local and regional researchers who help provide research direction and review. Members support the Reserve by providing input and advice on proposals and research direction, and they review Graduate Research Fellowship applications and the Research Reserve Management Plan. They also sometimes volunteer on Reserve field projects.
  • The Legislative Affairs Committee is made up of council members only, with membership rotating according to specific undertakings. Some examples of letters of support they have written are here, here, and here.

Oftentimes ad hoc committees are formed to provide prompt feedback and support on the shifting needs of the Reserve. For instance, land conservation prioritization and the Homer Harbor expansion are two focus areas that Community Council Committees have addressed.

Groundwater in Kachemak Bay
Aerial view of streams running into the ocean.

Meetings

Council meetings are held on a quarterly basis but may occur more often as circumstances warrant. Meetings are open to the public and we encourage you to attend!

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Participate

We rely on the help and enthusiasm of volunteers to accomplish the Council’s many tasks. Whether you have hours or days to spare, we welcome your participation in our work and conversations. 

  • Join the Council: Seats are filled as vacancies occur. Applicants should be residents of the greater Kachemak Bay community, interested in the dynamic ecosystems of our region, supportive of Reserve science, and have time to contribute!
  • Attend a meeting: Council meetings are open to the public. If you are interested in joining the Council or attending a meeting, contact the council chair, George Matz.
  • Volunteer at the Reserve: Interested in supporting the Reserve’s programs?
Groundwater in Kachemak Bay

Council Members

Council members represent the diversity of interests and perspectives of people throughout Kachemak Bay and the Lower Kenai Peninsula from education and research to recreation and industry.

Donna Aderhold

Donna Robertson Aderhold

Donna Robertson Aderhold is the program coordinator for the Gulf Watch Alaska-Long Term Monitoring program that evaluates the conditions of the northern Gulf of Alaska ecosystem more than 30 years after the Exxon Valdez oil spill. She is also elected to the Homer city council. She participated in the Alaska Humanities Forum Alaska Salmon Fellows program from 2018 to 2020. Donna brings more than three decades of Alaska experience in wildlife research, National Environmental Policy Act compliance, wetlands assessment, project management, local government policy making, and love of the Kachemak Bay estuary to the Kachemak Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve Community Council.

Paul

Paul Allan

Paul retired from a career in education and moved with his wife to Homer in 2014. After earning a master’s degree in science education from Columbia University he taught science and mathematics grades 7 – 12 in a variety of schools for over 25 years. After leaving the secondary classroom Paul worked in various university programs supporting better science teaching and communication. Life in retirement for Paul is active and usually outdoors. He bikes, hikes, skis, and plays pickleball. He plays bridge and enjoys cooking and baking. He is involved in several local groups which contribute to learning more about where he lives, and which also contribute to his hometown and worthy organizations.

Bretwood Higman

Hig (Bretwood Higman)

Hig (Bretwood Higman) is a geologist who lives in Seldovia, and specializes in natural disasters, climate change, geomorphology, and sedimentology. He received a PhD from the University of Washington, Seattle, in 2007, and is executive director of a small nonprofit, Ground Truth Alaska. He is interested in the challenges surrounding the mitigation risk from emerging hazards, and is currently studying landslides in glaciated mountains, which are increasing with climate warming and can have cascading impacts, notably by generating tsunamis if they impact lakes or fjords.

James Hornaday

James Hornaday

James Hornaday has lived in Alaska since 1964, practicing law in Kenai for more than a decade before serving as a judge in Alaska District Court. James also presided over the Homer City Council for eight years as the Mayor Emeritus.

George Matz

George Matz

George Matz, a Homer resident, has worked in the private sector (laboratory instrumentation and environmental consulting), state government (mostly as budget and policy analyst) and non-profit conservation organizations. He has served on a number of boards and committees, including the Board of Game. Currently, he serves on the KBRR Community Council, Homer Fish & Game Advisory Committee, and is active with Kachemak Bay Birders. He has organized the Kachemak Bay Shorebird Monitoring Project and the Kachemak Bay Sea Duck Survey.

Carol Harding

Carol Harding

Carol Harding moved to Homer in 1994 to work at the Pratt Museum as Curator of Education and Exhibits, then went on to work for the next 15 years at Denali NPP & Wrangell St. Elias NPP as Interpretive Specialist. One of her proudest achievements, however, was being one of 12 local education, science and environmental specialists to write a grant that brought NERRS to Homer in 1998. Carol is an avid environmentalist and outdoor enthusiast, and since retirement in 2018 she enjoys volunteering on local Boards, kayaking, camping, fishing, boating, hiking, birding, and traveling around Alaska and the world.

Michael Opheim

Michael Opheim

Michael Opheim has been on the Community Council for many years. While Michael was working for the Seldovia Village Tribe many of the projects he worked on aligned with many of the projects of the Kachemak Bay Research Reserve. Being on the Community Council has been great to hear and be a part of the conversations that affect the Research Reserve and their projects.

Michael Opheim

Jessica Shepherd

Jessica Shepherd is a former staff member of the Kachemak Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, serving as the Education Coordinator for 11 years, and as the acting Manager for three of those years. She now works part time for Water Policy Consulting as grant manager, serves on both the KBNERR Community Council and the Homer Community Food Pantry board, and enjoys gardening, writing, and all forms of outdoor activities here in Homer.

Michael Opheim

Laurie Daniel

Laurie Daniel is a local wildlife conservation biologist and former KBNERR staff, with a particular interest in habitat assessment and restoration.  She’s also worked with the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge and several Homer-area conservation non-profits over the years and is a longstanding participant in some LTER citizen science projects, as well as the annual Kachemak Bay Shorebird Festival, triennial local science conference, and recent community-led climate change solution efforts.  She enjoys being out conducting field work and playing on the beaches and trails around the bay or paddling on the water, often in the company of friends of both the two and four-legged variety. 

Michael Opheim

Francie Roberts

Francie Roberts has been a long term resident of the Kachemak Bay area. She has worn many hats during her time in Homer, working for the National Weather Service for many years, then teaching mathematics at Homer High School for over 20 years and homesteading on Ohlson Mountain Road. Francie has been active in many community organizations, serving on the Homer City Council for nine years, She continues to advocate for the Homer community, serving on several boards including the SPARC. She has a wide variety of interests ranging from gardening to bridge to kayaking.

Michael Opheim

Louise Seguela

Louise Seguela has lived on the ridge above Homer with her husband since 1995. She has a BS in biology and has worked in the field for the US Forest Service and ADF&G and as an outdoor educator. She is currently co-owner of Ashore Water Taxi and Freight, in its 18th year of doing business on Kachemak Bay. Her interests include botany, ornithology, hiking, skiing gardening and working to promote conservation of wild lands.

Michael Opheim

Janette (“Jan”) Keiser

Janette (“Jan”) Keiser, PE, is a registered professional civil engineer and lawyer who has worked in the field of public works infrastructure for her entire 45+ year professional career. Most of the public works projects Jan has helped guide, as project manager and construction counsel, has related to projects that help the environment, such as transit mega projects that get cars off of the roads as well as wastewater and storm water treatment facilities that protect water quality. Jan uses her engineering background to understand the technical issues and her legal background to develop defensible and collaborative solutions. Her most recent work as the Director of Public Works and City Engineer for the City of Homer is representative of Jan’s passion for protecting the natural environment from adverse effects of the built environment. Jan lives in Homer with her husband Kim Zook. She enjoys fishing, kayaking and other ways of experiencing the great outdoors.