Raised on the Kenai Peninsula, Laurie started her career tagging king salmon on the Kenai River for ADF&G. After receiving a B.A. in History from the University of Wyoming and an M.A. in English from the University of Alaska, Laurie spent seven years abroad teaching and developing communication curriculums in Latvia, Japan, and Korea. Laurie has also formally studied East Asian Religion and Philosophy, as well as Interactive Design. Currently, Laurie is part of an Educational Doctorate cohort with the University of Missouri St. Louis, building a theory of change model that inspires social justice, sustainability, and a participatory culture in a world experiencing significant shifts in our human and natural ecologies.
Laurie comes to the Pratt Museum after nine years at the Alaska SeaLife Center in Seward, where she led the Education, Interpretation, and Exhibit teams. In this role, she focused on methods for integrating marine science understanding in schools and public programs, with the goal of increasing civic engagement around issues affecting our shared ocean resources.
Outside of the office, Laurie can be found on the trails or at the beach with her dogs.
Scott Bartlett joined the Pratt as Curator of Exhibits in September, 2012. Scott’s community-based exhibition work draws from his experiences with various immigrant communities in the Seattle area, and with Tahitian musicians and craftspeople in Hawai`i. After studying anthropology and music at Washington State University, including stints at the University of Edinburgh and the Smithsonian Institution, he worked as an audio engineer, producer, and educator with Jack Straw Productions in Seattle. That work included a variety of oral history, heritage, and community arts projects. Scott went on to receive a Master of Arts degree in Ethnomusicology and a Graduate Certificate in Museum Studies from the University of Hawai`i at Manoa, where his graduate work combined those two fields. From 2010 to 2012 he served as curator of exhibits and collections with the Kitsap County Historical Society in Bremerton, Washington, garnering awards from the Washington Museum Association. He joined the Museums Alaska Board of Directors in 2016. Scott and his family love the sea and the mountains, and are thrilled to make their home in Fritz Creek above Kachemak Bay.
Jennifer Bartolowits was born and raised on the Kenai Peninsula. She attended Ninilchik School and went on to receive a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting from the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Since graduation, Jennifer’s work has focused on the audit of design contractors through the lens of regulations compliance with State and Federal government. She loves the fiber arts and maintains quite the stash of yarn she acquired herself, old sewing machines gifted from family members, and bias bindings inherited from her grandparents. Her excel spreadsheet recording yarn yardage is deliciously accurate. Jennifer looks forward to bringing her experience and enthusiasm to the Pratt and to the greater Homer community.
Savanna Bradley was born and raised in Homer, Alaska. After an exciting summer internship at the Pratt during high school, Savanna was inspired to pursue a museum-related career, which led to her current position as the Pratt’s Collections Manager. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Art with a minor in Anthropology from the University of Alaska Fairbanks in 2010, after which she interned in collections for several seasons at the Pratt. Savanna received a Master of Science degree in Arts Management Museum Studies from the University of Oregon in fall of 2013. Her graduate research focused on collaborative care and the use of museum cultural collections in small communities. Savanna is excited to apply what she has learned to her work with the Pratt’s collections and our community. Outside of the Museum, Savanna enjoys creating art, beach walks with her dog, and spending time at coffee shops.
Art Koeninger enjoys a wide variety of tasks as Building Manager. Besides regular maintenance and repair of the four museum buildings, his responsibilities include monitoring the climate control, fire and security alarm systems; supervising and assisting garden, grounds, forest and trails staff and volunteers; maintaining the aquaria; and providing support for exhibit installations and gift shop displays. As a local metalsmith and jeweler, with decades of experience, Art has created many of the mounts for the artifacts and other objects in the Museum’s permanent exhibit. He also created the mounts and installed the exhibits at the Seldovia Village Tribe Museum, and has led a mount making workshop with Museums Alaska.
Chessie was born and raised in Jacksonville, Florida, but always enjoyed spending childhood winters and summers in the mountains of North Carolina. After graduating with a B.A. in Music from the University of the South in Sewanee, TN, Chessie moved to Jackson, WY to work as a teaching intern at a small independent school with a focus on place-based education. She decided to stay in the area to complete a one year graduate program with Teton Science Schools. Chessie enjoyed learning teaching strategies while using nature as a classroom. She completed her degree at Antioch University New England in Keene, NH and chose to complete a collaborative Master’s project with three peers. The group worked with a non-profit in Boston, helping reorganize and launch their new website. After spending another year in Jackson teaching field education programs with Teton Science Schools, Chessie followed her heart to Homer. Since then she has worked for Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies, leading spit kids programs and dock tours, and the School District as a substitute teacher. Chessie is thrilled to now work at the Pratt Museum as the Education Director. When not working, she enjoys volunteering as an EMT and Firefighter with the Homer Volunteer Fire Department, visiting with friends, and running/walking/skiing on the hills and beaches of Kachemak Bay.
Kim Wylde has worked at the Pratt Museum since February, 2007 as Visitor Services Manager, Office Manager and assisting in all other departments as well. After graduating from University of Delaware with a BA in Communications with an English Minor and an emphasis in Biology, Kim left the east to explore the beautiful forests of the west. She has taught preschool, downhill skiing and ballet. Kim loves to share her knowledge of the culture, art and science of this region with everyone from local schoolchildren to visitors from around the world. She and her husband are raising 4 children, sometimes officially homeschooling but always teaching them to live and learn from the earth and nature. Kim and her family are all lifelong learners and depending on the season, they enjoy spending time out on the water, with their hands in the soil growing food, skiing or playing music in their studio and around town.
Sara is Alaska Native and a native Alaskan with Alutiiq/Slavic heritage. She was raised in Ninilchik, has spent most of her life on the Kenai Peninsula, and has roots in commercial fishing, homesteading, Native issues and Alaska history and culture. She and her family have been members of the Pratt Museum for many years. She has a continuing interest in studying and preserving the culture and history of Kachemak Bay and the surrounding areas. Jackinsky has served on several boards, including the Ninilchik Traditional Council. Jackinsky joined the Board in 2010 and is serving a three-year term.
Linda Rowell is a retired educator who has taught in Maryland, Illinois and Alaska and has worked with students from preschool through college. She has been an active volunteer at the Pratt since moving to Anchor Point over 15 years ago. During this time she worked as a docent with school groups, developed educational materials, served as a National Park Service Laureate interpreting the bear camera, led the Harbor Walking Tours for summer tourists, and helped make countless gingerbread houses at the annual Stocking Stuffer Party. Active with the Patrons of the Pratt Society, most recently Linda completed two terms as president. Prior to that she was the president of the Anchor Point Public Library Board for five years, where she wrote their newsletter and ran their summer reading program. Rowell was elected to serve on the Board in 2012 and is serving a three-year term.
John Fenske first visited Homer and met Sam Pratt in 1970, and moved from Anchorage in 1978. His diverse background includes work from mining to aerospace and fine art, as a commercial pilot and flight instructor, on Cook Inlet oil platforms, and in Seldovia as owner/operator of a commercial charter fishing business, bed & breakfast, and “Warehouse Books and Coffee.” He has served on the Homer City Council and on the Boards of the Kachemak Bay Visitors and Convention Association; Homer Chamber of Commerce; the Economic Development Commission, Homer; local Church Board; and the South Peninsula Hospital Service Area Board. He was a Charter Member and Board member of the first Homer Rotary. John currently serves on the UAA, Kachemak Bay Campus College Council.
Sue Fallon first moved to Homer in 1994 to work at the Kachemak Bay Campus as a Professor of Psychology. At the same time, she began volunteering with the Pratt Museum, both in the Marine Gallery and as a docent for school groups. Sue also volunteered as a naturalist with the Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies, leading day tours at the Peterson Bay Field Station, and later served on the Board for the Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies, receiving an award for distinguished Board service. Subsequent service roles include the City of Homer Library Advisory Board, the Friends of the Library, supporting classroom activities at Homer schools, and serving as a troop leader for the Kachemak Bay Girl Scouts.
Monica brings 26 years of nonprofit leadership, formal and informal pedagogy, and museum community engagement experience. Her passion is focused on creating authentic community-led and intergenerational experiences based on relevancy, and she thrives in mobilizing teams to be catalysts for collective change. Most recently, Monica served as the Executive Director of the Alaska Museum of Science and Nature. Before that, Monica was Director of Education and Public Engagement at the Anchorage Museum for five years. Previously, she also served in leadership positions at the American Museum of Natural History, The Field Museum, Wonder Works – a Children’s Museum, and the Chicago Center for Music Education. These experiences have provided her with a strong foundation in non-profit fundraising, outreach, and partnership building.
Jeff is a professor in the History/Political Science Department of the Kenai Peninsula College, Kachemak Bay Campus. For the past five years, he has taught and created curriculum for traditional and online history courses at the University of Idaho, George Fox University, and KBC. Jeff’s book, The Criminal-Terror Nexus in Chechnya, dealing with the connection between crime and terrorism in the twenty-first century in Chechnya and the Russian Federation, is due for publishing in April 2017. Jeff’s interests in the Pratt have come from the good things he has heard from the community, especially his colleagues at the college, and are threefold. Firstly, he and his family love Homer and want to be a part of the community in any way they can, and the Museum is a place where he can use his skills. Secondly, being a newcomer to the area, he is interested in the history of the area’s peoples. And third, Jeff is committed to connecting the Museum with his future history and political science courses, and with the college in general.
Bill has long been involved in helping to build and maintain the physical plant of the Pratt Museum because of his appreciation of the contributions made by the Pratt. He says that by weaving together our art, our history and the natural environment, the Pratt itself has become a local cultural icon. Bill’s first work for the Pratt was helping his father work on the old oil furnace before the Marine Gallery addition occurred. He worked on the Building Committee for the final addition to the current building and also worked on the main building and the shop for that addition. Bill has been a member of the Pratt’s Building Committee for the new project since 2009 and has an intimate knowledge of the Museum’s current mechanical systems. He has spent the last seven years on the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly where he was chair of the Finance Committee for 3 years. He has a lot of budgetary experience and has also been Board service trained by the Foraker Group. A pre-statehood Alaska resident, Bill moved to Homer in the mid 70’s. After retiring from a 29-year stint as a mechanical contractor, he has spent the last 7 years doing project management for an electrical contractor. Bill currently serves on the UAA KPC Kachemak Bay Campus Citizen Advisory Board and the Borough Mayor’s Health Care Task Force. Previously, he spent 7 years on the City of Homer Planning Commission, with additional service on the Borough Planning Commission, the Kachemak Bay Advisory Commission, the Board of the Alaska Municipal League, the South Peninsula Hospital Service Area Board and numerous City of Homer committees. Bill says that he is pleased with the progress toward the new Museum building and hopes to work for the fruition of this critical project. Given his blend of work experience and political experience, he believes he can make a positive contribution to the Board of the Homer Society of Natural History.