Educators of all kinds benefit from our hands-on professional development opportunities, resources integrating local data and science, and programs that engage students in the natural science of Kachemak Bay.

Learning Tools

Field Trips

Professional Ed

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LEARNING TOOLS

Kachemak Bay Research Reserve research can expand and strengthen your work as a science educator by connecting your teaching to local science and data through ready-made curricula and activities.

  • Peatlands (kindergarten through grade five): If like many Alaska educators, you have peatlands close by, this curriculum will help you communicate the importance of peatlands and visit these habitats for outdoor learning in the early fall.
  • EPSCoR curriculum: This four-unit curriculum will support your explorations of our region—from the top of the watershed, through our saltmarshes, and into our coastal waters. We have equipment available to support each unit.
  • Estuaries 101 (Kindergarten to grade 12): This national compendium of estuary education resources will help you bring estuarine science into the classroom through hands-on learning, experiments, fieldwork, and data explorations. These resources can be used independently or as a supplement to existing curricula.
  • Data Mysteries (Grades five through 12): Ominous blobs, shoreline shrimp slaughter, a catastrophe on Bang’s Lake—who said science was dull? Educators across the National Estuarine Research Reserve System created these data mysteries, designed to help your students explore real events and make predictions about future ones.
Getting Wet KBNERR

Field Trips & Classes

Kachemak Bay Research Reserve educators can support your work by visiting your classroom, taking your students into the field, and providing equipment, data and ideas to support your lesson plans. We’ve worked with local schools in Homer, Anchor Point, Kenai, Hope, Soldotna, and Anchorage, as well as rural and native villages like Nanwalek, Seldovia, Port Graham, and Ninilchik.

ProgramGradesField or classroom?DescriptionResources
Saltmarshes4-12Field/classClassroom lessons on plant ecology, wetland ecology, field monitoring skills. Field trip to Beluga Slough, Anchor Point, or other KBAY wetlands. Focus can be specified by teacher. Options: plant communities, fish communities, aquatic invertebrates, water quality. Field trips include natural history, cultural/historical knowledge and KBNERR data/research. Here & here
PeatlandsK-12Field/classClassroom lessons on water cycle, groundwater, climate change, field monitoring skills. Field trip to local peatlands, Anchor Point, or other KBAY wetlands. Focus can be specified by teacher. Options: plant communities, fish communities, aquatic invertebrates, water quality. Field trips include natural history, cultural/historical knowledge and KBNERR data/research. Here
European green crabs4-12Field/classClassroom lessons on crab identification, invasive species science, data collection, and handling of crabs. Hands on crab monitoring field trip to Pier One Beach (tide dependant).Here
Plankton2-12Field/classClassroom lessons on marine food webs, plankton identficiation, Harmful Algal blooms, tides and currents, water quality, microscopes. Field trip to local monitoring site to collect plankton and idenfitying and quantifying samples using microscopes.Here
Tunicates6-12Field/classClassroom Lessons on tunicates, invasive species, monitoring skills and data collection. FIeld trip to Homer or Seldovia Harbor for tunicate plate collection, identification and monitoring.Here
Geology4-12Field/classClassroom lessons on local KBay geology, glaciers, erosion. Field trip to local beach to observe rocks and the history of the landscape.Here
Invasive species4-12Field/classSee above under Green Crabs and TunicatesHere
Communicating through science4-12Field/classFollow up to classroom/field trip visit. Focus on ways to communicate what students learned through art and other creative arts.Here

Professional Development

Teachers on the Estuary (TOTE): Every summer, we adapt this national training opportunity into a unique resource for Alaska’s educators. You’ll see firsthand how the Kachemak Bay Estuary is changing through field visits and an exploration of data from the Reserve’s monitoring programs. You’ll interact with local scientists and test hands-on field activities—developed with nationally vetted estuary education resources—to take back to your students. Registration for the 2024 TOTE will begin in the spring.

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