SOUND COLLECTIONS is a mini-series that explores the wonders of the found items of Kachemak Bay. From bits of shells collected on the beach to seed pods found in the forest, we believe that the things we collect can teach us a lot about the place we live.
You can tune in live to new episodes on KBBI AM 890 every Sunday at 8:35 AM, and check back on this page to see all our episodes along with photos submitted by our show’s guests.
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On our first episode of the series, we hear from Marilyn Sigman, a writer, naturalist, and the co-curator of the Pratt’s latest exhibit, Entangled: Exploring Natural History Collections from Kachemak Bay.
Marilyn sees collecting small natural pieces of the landscape as a window into the mysteries of Kachemak Bay. Ultimately, she compiled her experiences and the many lessons she had learned from the natural landscapes of Alaska into her book, Entangled: People and Ecological Change in Alaska’s Kachemak Bay.
On this episode, born-and-raised Homerite and the Pratt Museum’s Curator Savanna Bradley shares stories about her favorite collected wonders.
Savanna became enamored with collecting at a young age; one of the earliest collections she remembers gathering was of mosquito specimens which she dutifully scotch-taped to her journal. Since then, Savanna has ventured into the world of professional museum collections and curation, but is still driven by the same curiosity and wonder that inspired her as a child.
On this episode, we hear from Geoffry Coble, a geophysicist based in Homer, AK who has been unlocking the mysteries to be found in geological landscapes for years.
Geoffry is drawn to collecting rocks and fossils for the stories that they hold, and the puzzling challenges that each new discovery brings along with it. His curiosity and sense of adventure have led him to field expeditions all around the country, although he says the geological puzzle of Kachemak Bay keeps him quite busy at home too.
On this episode of the series, we hear from Anna McCarthy. Anna McCarthy was born and raised in Homer. Now she is bringing up her two daughters to have the same love of Kachemak Bay that she does. Anna’s family has a long-held tradition of collecting sea glass, and their beachcombing habits have become even more special since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
This week’s episode of Sound Collections features author, citizen scientist, and Kachemak Bay adventurer Janet Klein. Janet has lived in Homer for over 40 years and has been a part of numerous projects to learn about and document the ecology and natural history of the area. She never ceases to be surprised and delighted by the many mysteries to be unlocked in the mountains and beaches right outside her door.
In the photos on the left, you can see a few glimpses from some of Janet’s expeditions; including a community field effort to core and date hemlock trees in Kachemak Bay, an alder leaf fossil, and the process of radiocarbon dating a steppe bison horn core to learn about the animals that lived here between 20,000 and 50,000 years ago.
Don’t let his age fool you. Carter Davis has been collecting insects, shells, and rocks for most of his life, and at 10 years old, is already an impressive amateur entomologist. His bedroom is home to everything from carefully pinned insect specimens and resource books to live cockroaches and frogs. Carter joined us on Sound Collections to talk about his love of learning and collecting, and to share some advice for other kids who may be interested in starting their own collections.
Lee Post has had a fascination with collections of all sorts since he was a kid. Since moving to Homer over 40 years ago, he’s gained quite a reputation for his animal bone collecting. From beached whales to marine birds, Lee has preserved, illustrated, and categorized hundreds of animal skeletons, contributing crucial information about the ecology of the region. Check out our latest episode of Sound Collections, where we hear stories and adventures from ‘the bone man’ himself!
On this episode of Sound Collections, we hear from Diane Selanoff, who has been gathering traditional foods with her family for almost as long as she can remember. Originally from Port Graham, Diane now lives in Valdez, where she gathers and collects all sorts of things from the beaches and forests surrounding her home. Tune in to hear a sampling of Diane’s stories and vast knowledge of the local edible ecology!
This week on Sound Collections we hear from Willie Suter, who together with his wife Brigitte owns and operates Brigitte’s Bavarian Bed and Breakfast in Homer. Willie and his wife have spent years converting their property into an oasis of collected treasures; with everything from walls lined with license plates to fishing nets and driftwood structures artfully scattered among the grounds. We chatted with Willie about the utility of their collections, and how he’s come to find himself happily “stuck” in Homer.
What do water hemlock, thistle, gooseberries, and currants have in common? They can all be found growing in Alaska and are all referenced throughout Wiliam Shakespeare’s writing! This week on Sound Collections we hear from actor and teacher Sarah Brewer, who connects her natural surroundings to her favorite literary works.
Check out our bonus episode with Sarah to hear her recite some of her favorite Shakespearian botanical references!