Who We Are


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 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, 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 Tidelines Institute, 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

Tanner Horst, Good River Campus Director. 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

Jake and Krista Jacoby, Homesteading Residents, Inian Islands Campus The Jacoby’s are a family of born and raised Southeast Alaskans. Jake and Krista were both born in Juneau and are now raising their two daughters Sophia(10) and Audrey(8) there. Jake and Krista worked for the Juneau School District, Jake as a high school science and math teacher and Krista in elementary classrooms. With the education, wild places, and adventure as focal points of their lives, Tidelines Institute and the Hobbit Hole are a perfect place to feed those passions. Along for the ride are their two dogs, cat, and small flock of chickens.

Ari Romberg, Program Assistant, Inian Islands Campus Ari is from Anchorage, Alaska and loves adventuring outdoors by foot, ski, and boat. During his time as an undergraduate at Montana State University, he researched methods of upcycling plastic waste using microorganisms. After graduating with a B.S. in Chemistry, he lived in the backcountry of Chilean Patagonia for 6 months while helping students learn about the environment and conservation. He enjoys reading science fiction and fantasy novels, gardening, and baking over a campfire. Ari hopes to spend his life learning about the natural world and contributing to environmental sustainability and conservation efforts.

Taylor Bozarth, Kitchen Educator, Good River Campus. Originally from SoCal, Taylor has been in Seattle for the last six years. They live from a framework of consent, and a belief that people are simply trying to get needs met in the best way they know how. They have been working with food in various capacities for the last decade, with a special interest in health and one’s relationship to food. They love hosting dinner parties, backpacking in the summer, doing yoga, dancing and reading.

Maddie Kartoz, Garden Educator, Good River Campus. Maddie Kartoz (Glacier Bay Year ’21, Boston University ’22) is an unusual specimen.  An actor, playwright, and outdoor educator, she finds solace in the weird and the wild.  She has taught outdoor skills for Outward Bound Thompson Island and REI Experiences in Boston, and her theater work has been seen at BU, Playwrights Platform, and the Tank.

Larry Landry, Maintenance Educator, Good River Campus. Larry and his wife Jen live a subsistence oriented life in Gustavus and operate a market garden from which they sell vegetables, berry preserves and herbal products to the community.


Connie Jiang, Program Assistant, Good River Campus. Connie Jiang is a recent graduate of Swarthmore College and Deep Springs College who believes that Nunnian values are increasingly necessary for preserving individual eudaimonia and meaningful human interaction. Some of her aspirations include becoming a better carpenter, a better butcher, and a better reader.

Breanna Lawson, Program Assistant, Good River Campus. Breanna Lawson is a 2023 Glacier Bay Year (GBY) Program Assistant. She is from Pineville, KY and lives in Berea, KY. Breanna graduated from Berea College in 2020 with a BA in Communication. She likes to read, thrift, and hike in her free time. Breanna was a student in the 2022 GBY and is excited to pay it forward to this year’s cohort.


board of directors

Dr. Ann Rembert Safranek, President. 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.

Dr. Amity Wilczek, Vice 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, Treasurer. 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 Tidelines Institute’s vision for place-based education. 

Elizabeth Hillstrom, Secretary. Elizabeth is a mechanical engineer in Juneau, AK, 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 fishing, gardening, hiking, and harvesting.

Feven Negussie, Alumni Representative. My name is Feven Negussie and I am originally from Eritrea (a country in northeast Africa) but currently residing in Orange, New Jersey. I am a recent college graduate and a  Tidelines Gap Year 2022 alum. I am currently part of the Tidelines Board of Directors as the student representative for my cohort. It has been an absolute delight to be part of the Tidelines community for several months now, learning and experiencing the joys and challenges of being a student in Alaska. I have grown so much in independence, confidence and maturity from this experience and I am glad to be working for Tidelines in the various roles I currently hold to enable future students to enjoy such privileges only this program affords. 

Rebekah Contreras works as the Administrative Assistant for the Huna Heritage Foundation. She is of Yupik and Caucasian descent and has been adopted into the Tlingit culture as a member of the Shungukeidí Clan, Eagle/Thunderbird. Rebekah also works in various capacities with youth including a position with the City of Hoonah as a gym and youth center attendant and Middle School girls’ basketball coach. She enjoys volunteering on local and national levels and serves as the secretary/treasurer for the Alaska Native Sisterhood Camp 12. Rebekah also is a member of the Tongass Womens Earth Climate Action Network, and an Administrative Assistant at Huna Heritage Foundation. In addition to her passion for community service, she enjoys creating art and playing basketball in her free time  

Dr. Natalie Dawson began her life in Alaska as a wildlife biologist with the US Fish and Wildlife Service, and later, spent many years studying the evolution of animals across islands in the Tongass National Forest. She now leads experiential education programs and philanthropic development seminars as Director of Strategic Partnerships for Alaska Venture Fund. Her science and policy research focuses on the intersection of climate justice and equity with a focus on intergovernmental partnership and collaboration. She believes that a lifetime of advocacy for what we care about begins with falling in love with places and their creatures. She has been delighted to spend time with Tidelines students exploring shared landscapes of joy in Glacier Bay and when home, participates in all the seasonal rhythmns in Jilkaat Aani K_a Heeni, the Chilkat River Watershed, just over the mountains from Gustavus.

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 an alumna of the Arete Project’s 2016 Blue Ridge Session. She has stayed involved with the Arete Project and Tidelines Institute with faculty hiring and alumnx advising. She has continually been drawn to Nunnian education because of her belief that community should be a central part of education.  Shubhra has worked as a teacher both in the U.S. and abroad and has worked in education and public health. Shubhra has her B.A. from the University of Chicago, M.Phil from the University of Oxford, and is currently a doctoral student in Biological Anthropology at the University of California- San Diego. Her past and current research projects have focused on Indigenous education, critical race studies, and Indigenous health.