Beautiful Kachemak Bay is home for the Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies. We offer many opportunities for people of all ages to connect with the outdoors through guided walks, tours, educational programs, overnights, school programs and more. As a 501-c-3 non-profit organization in Homer, Alaska, we deliver educational programs and guided tours to over 12,000 students and visitors every year. Our grassroots organization, started in 1982, enjoys the support of over 350 members, 100 volunteers and a variety of businesses in Homer that assist us in fulfilling our mission.
Since 1984, CACS has held the annual Kachemak Bay CoastWalk event that involves more than 200 volunteers who adopt a section of the Kachemak Bay shoreline and walk it annually, surveying changes, collecting data on marine life and human impacts, and cleaning up beach litter and marine debris.
Our mission is to foster responsible interaction with our natural surroundings and to generate knowledge of the unique marine and coastal ecosystems of Kachemak Bay through science-based environmental education and stewardship.
To provide effective experience-based field science instruction to Alaska residents and visitors, with youth as the primary audience.
To provide the public and decision-makers with science-based information on critical environmental issues.
To serve as a model of land management and environmental education that balances human use with protection of coastal environments.
To inspire citizens to make decisions and take actions that promote the health and integrity of ecosystems.
To engage citizens and students in the process of science through acquisition of scientific data that is needed to monitor the long-term processes and health of coastal ecosystems.
Place-Based Ecology Education
Outside - Direct experience with the environment
Knowledge-based - Uniqueness of Kachemak Bay
Appreciation - Change behavior and attitude
Habitat Protection - The Bay, the coast, the land
Responsibility - Caring
Inclusive - abilities, economic, participants
- CACS operates year-round quality residential environmental education programs.
- CACS models sustainability in its programs, staffing, facilities and financial operations.
- CACS is nationally recognized for its leadership in quality environmental education.
- CACS cultivates environmental stewards for tomorrow.
Board of Directors
Debbie Oudiz, PhD, President, Retired environmental toxicologist for the California Environmental Protection Agency.
Neil Wagner, Vice-President, Retired Tenderboat Captain, Homer Entrepreneur
Kelli Parker, Treasurer, Kelli joins the board in 2017 with a unique background in nonprofits. She has more than twenty years experience in public and nonprofit sector program development and management.
Fran Jacobson, Secretary, Fran moved from the Mat-Su Valley to Homer with her husband in the fall of 2015 after retiring from 25 years in education where she served as an teacher, counselor and school administrator. She has a passion for the outdoors and is committed to continuing to support extended learning opportunities for all ages.
Bryan Zak, Member at Large, Mayor of the City of Homer, Associate State Director for the Small Business Development Center. Owner of Alaska Adventure Cabins, Board member of the Homer Senior Center, Rotarian and member of Homer United Methodist Church.
Betsy Webb, Member at Large, Professional history includes Curator of Zoology at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science and Curator of Collections at the Pratt Museum.
Barry Reiss, Member at Large, Retired Construction and Design Professional
Hayley Walters, Member at Large, Certified Nurse Midwife. She has an interest in outdoor educational and experiential learning.
Joanna Fonkert, Member at Large, Certified Teacher and local naturalist
EDUCATION PROGRAM/WYNN NATURE CENTER COORDINATOR
ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATOR/COASTWALK COORDINATOR
OUTREACH & MARKETING MANAGER
Naturalists and Interns Hired Seasonally
And Amazing Volunteers Make It Happen! We love our volunteers!