Who We Are

staff


Zach Brown, Co-Executive Director. Zach grew up surrounded by the wilderness of Southeast Alaska. With parents in the National Park Service, Zach had ample opportunity as a boy to explore the mountains and fjords of this region, experiences that gave him a lasting love of the natural world. Attending college in Southern California, Zach studied chemistry and biology. When the opportunity came to travel to the Arctic, his life changed forever. Zach spent a field season in the high Arctic archipelago of Svalbard, observing how seabirds are responding to a changing climate. This unforgettable experience led Zach to pursue a PhD at Stanford University, where he continued to study how changing sea ice affects the marine biological communities of the polar regions, especially the phytoplankton that form the first link of the food chain. During his time at Stanford, Zach was thrilled to undertake multiple research expeditions to the Arctic and Antarctic. Completing his PhD studies in spring 2014, Zach set off on a 4-month, 2300-mile solo trek, hiking and paddling from Stanford to his Alaskan homeland, to spread the word about creating Inian Islands Institute, now Tidelines Institute. zach@tidelinesinstitute.org

Laura Marcus, Co-Executive Director. Laura is committed to a vision of education that integrates the active life with the life of the mind. As co-executive director of Tidelines Institute and founding director of the Arete Project, she has worked with her students to create experiential and liberal educational programs that prepare students to be thoughtful stewards of the world around them. Prior to founding the Arete Project, Laura worked at Deep Springs College and as a ranger with the National Park Service. Laura has her B.A. from Yale University, her M.Phil from the University of Cambridge, and is a doctoral candidate at Stanford University. In her spare time, she is an avid backpacker, reader, and cook. laura@tidelinesinstitute.org

Colter Barnes, Homesteading Resident, Inian Islands Campus. Hi there, my name is Colter Barnes and I am 34 years old. I was born in Montana, raised in Oregon, and have lived in Alaska going on 12 years now; in Kokhanok, Wrangell, Coffman Cove, and now at the Hobbit Hole! I have a bachelor’s degree in Mathematics from Montana State University and a master’s degree in Educational Leadership from the University of Alaska. I taught K-12 math and science for 5 years before switching over to the dark side and being a school principal the last 5 years of my career. After leaving the “bush” of Southwest Alaska, I set sail for Southeast aboard my ketch-rigged Ingrid 38 “Lionheart”… and have been here ever since. While on Prince of Wales Island, I was fortunate to manage 4 aquaponic greenhouses for Southeast Island School District where I got to professionally combine my loves of working with children and growing/preserving/eating food on the daily. This brings me to my true passion… practicing, learning about, and sharing everything “homesteading”. I have a 2-acre homestead in the village of Kokhanok where I ran a WWOOF farm for 6 years, hosting 29 WWOOFers from all over the world. We kept bees, goats, pigs, rabbits, and chickens, grew outdoors and indoors, foraged, hunted, fished, and milled/built structures with local wood. I also have a (very) remote 17-acre homestead on the south fork of the Kuskokwim River I “won” in the state land lottery for $25. I’ve slowly been developing that piece of land with the hope of turning it into a homesteading/experiential field school in the future. My interests are basically everything DIY (do-it-yourself); growing/foraging/preserving food, brewing beer and wine, milling wood, renewable energy, subsistence hunting and fishing, COMPOSTING, tanning hides and skin-sewing, recycling, and basically anything that encourages me to use my resources (people, environment, skills, time, information, etc.) better. “Do your best until you know better. When you know better, do better.” -Maya Angelou. “How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.” -Annie Dillard. colterbarnes@gmail.com

Amy Erfling, Garden Educator, Good River Campus. I am originally from Boulder, Colorado and moved to Southeast Alaska in 2011. I began working semi-professionally in the green industry in my early college years in Boulder, where I graduated with a B.A. in Germanic Studies. After graduating, I continued to work in the green industry and realized how much I enjoyed working with plants and landscapes. I returned to college to receive a B.S. in Landscape Horticulture in 2006 from Colorado State University. I’ve worn many hats as a landscape designer and horticulturalist, which brought me to Skagway in 2011. Skagway is where I realized the importance of a local food supply and I have been growing fresh, local produce in Southeast AK ever since.

Ellie Henkemeyer, Local Foods Educator, Good River Campus. Inspired by the incredible growth and richness that can come from living intimately with the land, Ellie has spent the past four years and over 400 trail days as a canoe and wilderness therapy guide in Canada, the southwest US, and Alaska. She is impassioned by the simple things in life that bring people together: laughter, authenticity, physical labor, and food. Since moving to the Great Frontier, Ellie has excitedly soaked it all up like a sponge, especially that which can be eaten and shared. Catch her foraging for greens along the beach, making salmon chowder and halibut burgers in the kitchen, or enthusiastically dancing by herself in her cabin. ellie@tidelinesinstitute.org

Tanner Horst, Campus Director, Good River Campus. Tanner is an educator who has worked at a variety of experiential and community-based schools as a teacher of manual skills, a maintenance person, and administrator. He is a graduate of Deep Springs College in California and Bowdoin College in Maine. He believes that learning to care for the physical world is more a feat of imagination than some type of knack, and that learning this care can help us to reimagine our habits, futures, and communities. tanner@tidelinesinstitute.org

Erin Ohlson, Administrative Guru. Erin and her husband Travis were born and raised in remote Alaska, and are now raising their own daughters similarly because of the sense of harmony and community that’s possible when living in such a place. The opportunity to be a part of something that fosters and teaches these values with the next generation of leaders is what drew Erin to work with Tidelines Institute. Erin received her master’s degree in public administration from the University of Alaska Southeast, and she spends her free time playing board and card games, traveling the world, and spending time with her family. erin@tidelinesinstitute.org

Morgan Peterson-Park, Kitchen Manager, Inian Islands Campus. Hello! My name is Morgan and I am the fun around here. I am the resident cook but never shy away from helping out where I can. My love for cooking began at a young age with my mother making meals for our large family. Graduated from the school of hard knocks, got a masters degree in kicking ass and a phd in taking names. I have lived in Southeast Alaska for the last seven years. I love my job and am one of the luckiest people in the world. I like getting students excited about cooking and bringing people together with food. Sharing meals with the people you love in a beautiful place, it’s what life is about. petersonpark24@gmail.com


board of directors


Amity Wilczek, President. Amity is an evolutionary ecologist whose role as an educator and researcher has been shaped by attention to place, history, and student experience. Amity’s teaching career started at Harvard and Brown before transitioning to Deep Springs College, where over 10 years she served as Herbert Reich Chair of Natural Sciences, Academic Dean, and Vice President. As a teacher, she strives to emphasize the dynamic nature of scientific knowledge by inviting students to contribute to the process of building understanding of the natural world. Her work on plant responses to changing environments has appeared in Science, PNAS, Ecology, American Naturalist, and Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society. Nearly all of her research involves substantial collaboration with undergraduate and pre-PhD co-authors. Amity currently lives in Concord, Massachusetts and serves as trail steward of the Emerson-Thoreau Amble for the town. amity@tidelinesinstitute.org

Molly Kemp, Vice President. Molly fell in love with Southeast Alaska nearly 40 years ago and put down roots near the Chichagof Island community of Tenakee Springs. Recognizing the vulnerability of her forest home led to decades of political activism and the formation of the Chichagof Conservation Council. Recently retired from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game after 30 field seasons, Molly is thrilled to have an opportunity to help advance the vision of Tidelines Institute.

 

Dr. Ann Rembert Safranek, Treasurer. Ann thrives at the intersection of health, environmental justice, equity, and sustainability. Earning her B.S. in Molecular Biology from Vanderbilt University, her M.D. from the University of Texas Southwestern and completing her emergency medicine residency at the University of New Mexico, Ann worked in emergency medicine in rural Colorado, urban California, The Northern Mariana Islands, and Alaska–her 20+ year home. In recognizing the undeniable link between health, place, and community, and being inspired by the natural wonders and incomparable people of Alaska, Ann contributes to programs and partnerships with several Alaska nonprofits and foundations. She enjoys unifying the efforts, resources, and vision of government agencies, nonprofits, medical centers, universities, corporations, and other changemakers. Ann, an avowed lifelong learner, is currently pursuing her MPH in Community Health Sciences from University of California, Berkeley. She loves to create, live, and play in the blue and green spaces of Alaska and the Pacific Northwest. When she’s not building bridges, promoting wellness for all or encouraging education and empowerment outside the classroom, she loves to hike, surf and swim in open water.

Elizabeth Hillstrom, Secretary. Elizabeth is a mechanical engineer in the San Francisco Bay Area, and a former Inian student and summer intern. She graduated with a B.S. from Stanford University, where she was first given the opportunity to travel to Southeast Alaska and participate in an Inian Islands Institute program, as part of a course entitled In the Age of the Anthropocene: Coupled Human-Natural Systems in Southeast Alaska. At her day job, she builds devices to mitigate methane releases from concentrated geologic methane seeps. She spends her free time hiking, backpacking, biking and spending time on her sailboat, Sea Slug.

Sage Logan, Alumni Representative. I am Lingit of the Kiks.adi and I came to Alaska from Bremerton, Washington to learn about my rich heritage. At University of Alaska Southeast I am majoring in Accounting and have minors in Tlingit language and Alaskan Native Studies. I decided to run for a board seat because of my experience at the Arete Project’s Glacier Bay Session. During my time I learned extensively how to live off the land and the privilege of subsistence living. I believe this lifestyle is heavily ingrained in Indigenous values, something I heavily support in all curriculum. I hope to offer both traditional values ideals and financial opinions that are heavily based around equity while serving on the Arete Project Board. Currently, I am working as a finance intern for Sealaska Corporation and in my free time I enjoy reading about finance and investing as well as researching sustainable ways to invest and how I can tie my cultural values into investments.

Jeromy Grant. Jeromy serves as the Hoonah Indian Association (HIA) IGAP Coordinator. He attended Allied American University where he studied to be a Network Administrator, and Clover Park Technical College where he went through the Computer Networking Information System Security (CNISS) program. In Hoonah, he oversees HIA Environmental’s PSP monitoring program, which includes setting up sampling sites, collecting weekly water samples from those sites and at least once a month collecting shellfish samples from the sites as well. In winter 2019 he was working on administering another round of In-Home Air Quality monitoring, and partnering the monitoring with the Home Energy Leadership program to promote community health and help save the community money. This spring he is working on doing a E-waste backhaul. He also writes The Tide Newsletters and monitors its Facebook page www.facebook.com/HIAEnvironmental/. He is an avid hunter, fisher and out the road explorer, and he practices Bush Craft and other minimalist survival practices.

Hank Lentfer. I believe the quickest way to connect with the land is to eat it. Gardening, hunting, and fishing transform food from groceries to gifts. Through writing, recording wild voices and mentoring new arrivals to Alaska, I’m dedicated to helping others sense their connections to each other and the earth. I’ve spent all of my 50+ years here. Along the way, I’ve learned to pound nails, smoke fish, and a suite of other homesteading skills.  I’m eager to share them all with the students of Tidelines Institute.

 

Jessica Lindmark. Jessica first traveled to Southeast Alaska in 2003. She came away from that trip filled with a sense of awe for Alaska’s powerful landscapes, its creatures, and its enduring wilderness. She is thrilled to work with Tidelines Institute to bringing this experience to students and researchers, and to give back to this incredible part of the planet. Her formal background is in English, communications, and editing, which she often puts to service for startup projects, particularly those related to sustainability. She currently lives in Seattle, where she hikes some, gardens often, and works primarily as a yoga instructor, taking classes into the outdoors at every opportunity.  

Shubhra Murarka. Shubhra is drawn to the idea of community as a central component of education. She finds Tidelines Institute compelling because it intentionally moves beyond the classroom to include care of the land and community as integral to the pursuit of great learning. She attended the Arete Project’s Blue Ridge Session in 2016 and has stayed involved through the Faculty Hiring Committee and the Alumni Advisory Board. After receiving her B.A. from the University of Chicago, she has taught both in the U.S. and abroad. In her spare time, Shubhra enjoys reading, dancing, and theater.

Amelia Wilson. Amelia is of Tlingit and Irish descent from the village of Hoonah, AK and is a member of the Chookaneidi brown bear clan. Amelia serves as Executive Director for Huna Heritage Foundation, a non-profit affiliate of Huna Totem Corporation established to foster and support educational and cultural opportunities. She is a motivated service-to-community oriented professional who enjoys volunteering at the local level as a city council member, vice mayor of Hoonah, member of the Alaska Native Sisterhood, member of the Hoonah Liquor Board, Big Sister through the Big Brothers Big Sisters program and a Tlingit dance group member of the Gaawx Xaayi Dancers. Amelia was appointed by the governor of Alaska to serve on the Alaska State Historical Records Advisory Board. Amelia is personally and professionally committed to the ongoing development of her cultural knowledge base, passionate about building bridges and believes in the power of unity.