We are Alaska’s National Estuarine Research Reserve. We put federal funding, data, science, and tools to work on behalf of Kachemak Bay communities, the State of Alaska, and the nation.





Reserve Focus

Established in 1999, the Kachemak Bay Research Reserve is headquartered in Homer and helps to protect 372,000 acres across the Kenai Peninsula. As part of a nationwide network of 30 Reserves, we provide and interpret science to encourage stewardship of this special place.

In support of that, we explore the impacts of climate change and land use, and we monitor short-term change and long-term trends in our coastal waters and habitats. We provide a bridge between this knowledge and resource management, working with stakeholders—from children to adults— in remote villages and cities. We also engage students of all ages in the natural science and wonder of and the surrounding watershed.

Groundwater in Kachemak Bay

Reserve Team

Katherine Schake, Manager

Katherine joined the Kachemak Bay NERR team as Reserve Manager in 2023. She brings two decades of diverse career experience working in both the private and nonprofit sectors throughout Alaska. A deep sense of stewardship has driven her work as a naturalist guide, coordinator for statewide salmon data synthesis working groups and invasive species partnerships, and as a geospatial project manager. Katherine values partnerships as an avenue for accomplishing shared conservation goals across the vast geography of Alaska and within Kachemak Bay. She holds a Masters Certificate in Remote Sensing from Penn State University, a B.S. in Environmental Science from the University of Minnesota, and an A.A. Degree from Franklin College Switzerland.

kschake (at) alaska.edu | (907) 235-1593

Syverine Bentz, M.S., Coastal Training Program Coordinator

Syverine currently works in the Coastal Training Program providing workshops, trainings and technical assistance. She enjoys translating science for stakeholders and values collaborations between scientists, decision-makers and local community members. Her primary interests include landscape change, coastal processes, and ecosystem services. She grew up on Kachemak Bay and started as a science collaborative and discovery lab volunteer at KBNERR. She has a B.S. in Geology and an M.S. in Earth Sciences from Montana State University with a focus on sedimentary geology and spatial science.

syverine (at) alaska.edu

Ingrid Harrald, M.S., Education Coordinator

Ingrid joined the Research Reserve in January 2022. She first came to Alaska in 1996 and spent a large portion of her adult life on remote islands studying seabirds. She is interested in how we can build community around our environment, sense of place, citizen science, and social justice in the sciences. She hopes her work in education will help inspire the next generation of conservation biologists. She has worked as both a scientist and educator with many local organizations, including Cook Inletkeeper and USFWS. She has a degree in Biology/Psychology and a Masters in Social Work. 

ieharrald (at) alaska.edu

Lauren Sutton, PhD, Research Coordinator

As Research Coordinator, Lauren’s interests include using long-term environmental monitoring data to inform about biological communities, understanding how diversity is influenced by Kachemak Bay’s dynamic climate, and collaborating across disciplines. She has a PhD in Marine Biology from the University of Alaska Fairbanks along with a BS in Environmental Science and a BA in Bio-cultural Anthropology, both from Western Washington University. Her PhD focused on the diversity of Alaskan Arctic epibenthic communities and their interactions with a changing climate. 

lsutton7 (at) alaska.edu | (907) 235-1504

Conrad Field, Biological Technician & Education Specialist

Conrad is a biologist and naturalist residing in Homer, Alaska. He works as a seasonal botanist, collecting plant data in Kachemak Bay and Cook Inlet saltmarshes for intertidal habitat projects. These projects entail identifying and habitat mapping of saltmarsh and riparian vascular plant ecosites, as well as the classification of the plant communities associated with these habitats. He is also an accomplished artist in the media of pen-and-ink and scrimshaw. Conrad wrote a guide to spineless wonders of the north, Alaska Seashore Creatures. He is also the author of Alaska Ocean ABCs, a colorful children’s book. Over the years he has produced several biological illustrations for many different institutions worldwide.

Chris Guo, Aquatic Biologist

Currently a graduate student in the College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences at UAF, Chris’ research focuses on topics in coastal ecology. He is interested in understanding how estuarine and nearshore habitats support their biological communities and food web linkages, particularly for juvenile fish species. He has a B.S. in marine biology from the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

cguo2 (at) alaska.edu

Rosie Masui, Coastal Training Program Specialist

Prior to working at the Reserve, Rosie worked on various projects across the state of Alaska studying arctic fish migrations, interpreting marine mammal imagery, and assisting in salmon run monitoring. When last at the Reserve, she worked in the community monitoring, system wide monitoring, and coastal training programs. She is excited to jump back in and engage with our local and statewide partners. Rosie has a B.S. in Fisheries Biology with a minor in History from the University of Vermont and is currently finishing a M.S. in Project Management through the University of Alaska Anchorage.

rmmasui (at) alaska.edu

Jasmine Maurer, M.S., Harmful Species Lead

Jasmine has worked at the Reserve since 2012, starting as a field biologist in the watershed program and now leading the Harmful Species Program. She grew up in Homer and enjoys living, learning and studying the marine environment and its inhabitants. She is eager to share her work with others and contribute to understanding our changing marine systems. Jasmine received a B.S. in environmental science and biology from Oregon State University and a M.S. in Marine Science from Moss Landing Marine Labs, California State University with a focus on Ichthyology.

jrmaurer (at) alaska.edu | (907) 235-1505

Kim Schuster, M.S., Harmful Species Biologist

Kim moved to Homer in 2015 and started working at the Reserve in 2022. Her work currently focuses on invasive species in Alaska, managing the Alaska Non-indigenous Aquatic Species Clearinghouse and monitoring for harmful algal blooms in Kachemak Bay. Kim’s work as an ecologist also inspires her artwork, which you can find on display at Ptarmigan Arts in Homer. She received her B.S. in Marine Biology from UCSC and her M.S. from the University of Alaska Fairbanks, where she studied benthic invertebrates in the Chukchi Sea.

kkschuster (at) alaska.edu


The Kachemak Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve (KBNERR) is a partnership of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Center for Conservation Science at the University of Alaska, Anchorage. NOAA provides funding and national guidance, while the Center supports the Reserve’s monitoring, research, education, stewardship, and training programs.

We also work closely with the KBNERR Community Council, a committed group of local residents and agency partners who meet quarterly to provide input on our work and programs and represent our work in communities across our region.

We also work with academic institutions, state agencies, nonprofits, and others to advance understanding and management of Kachemak Bay and the Kenai Peninsula.

Homer Flex School

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