Alaska Sea Grant Education Specialist finalist presentations

Alaska Sea Grant is recruiting an education specialist. Each of the three finalists will give a public presentation on their vision and qualifications for this role. The UAF community is invited to attend presentations and provide feedback.

Keane Richards, Thursday, May 20, 11:30 a.m.

Krysta Williams, Wednesday, May 26, 12:00 p.m.

Leigh Lubin, Wednesday, May 26, 2:00 p.m.

The Alaska Sea Grant education specialist leads statewide formal and informal education engagement efforts focused on Alaska’s marine ecosystems and coastlines. These candidates have experience teaching science in classrooms and outdoor settings across the state, including rural Alaska.

Learn more about each candidate and register for their online presentations, below. 

Keane Richards

Courtesy of Keane Richards

Keane Richards was raised on a homestead on the banks of the Kandik River in eastern Alaska, where he lived a subsistence lifestyle until moving to Fairbanks to pursue a degree at the University of Alaska Fairbanks in 2007. Keane holds a Bachelor of Arts in political science, with a minor in geosciences. After graduating from UAF, he went on to earn a Master of Science in experiential education from Minnesota State University and a Master of Arts in teaching from the University of Alaska Southeast.

Keane has worked in a variety of educational programs for the past 10 years, including five years in diverse communities in rural Alaska as a K–12 science teacher. During that time, he designed his own curriculum, focusing on experiential teaching while integrating authentic research opportunities. Keane organized district-wide science fairs as well as science events for community residents. His academic interests in education include Project-Based Learning (PBL), experiential teaching models of education in K–12 schools, and designing and teaching curriculum through outdoor education. 

Keane lives in Nome with his wife, two daughters, thirteen sled dogs, and two goats. He currently works as the Village Program Development Specialist for UAF Northwest Campus. Keane enjoys adventuring in the outdoors and taking advantage of the many subsistence opportunities in western Alaska.

Register for Keane Richards’ talk

Krysta Williams

Courtesy of Krysta Williams

Krysta’s professional life has oscillated between education and biology. She is currently teaching 6th grade in Cordova, Alaska, where she lives by the motto “the fun is in the figuring” with two daughters, two Boykin spaniels, and one husband.

Because she believes it’s easier to think outside the box when you’re not in one, she strives to include as many opportunities for place-based learning and outdoor experiences for her students as she can. Along with outdoor experiences, Krysta focuses on incorporating community partners into her classroom program. Educators at the Prince William Sound Science Center and the Copper River Watershed Project, the editor of the Cordova Times, a local astrophotographer, the owner of the local yarn shop, and the CEO of Cordova Electric Cooperative provide instrumental expertise for her students. Krysta is fortunate to be part of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum’s Teacher Innovator Institute where she had the great honor of collaborating with amazing STEM teachers from across the nation. 

When she’s not scheming to get her students out into the world for authentic learning opportunities, she’s dreaming of travel opportunities and very much hoping to make it back to Iceland one day. 

Register for Krysta Williams’ talk

Leigh Lubin

Courtesy of Leigh Lubin

Leigh Lubin is an educator and seasoned guide with over two decades of experience instructing in classrooms, universities, outdoors, online, and in studios in the United States, rural Alaska, China, and Ecuador. Leigh has a Master of Arts in teaching, a Bachelor of Arts in environmental studies with an emphasis in natural history, is an Alaska Certified Science Teacher, and is a certified and experienced registered yoga teacher. She emphasizes connecting students to material and creating experience-based learning regardless of location or subject matter. Leigh draws on familiarity with an abundance of educational environments, cultures, age groups, teaching formats, program goals, evaluation methods, and teaching styles to facilitate authentic interest, learning, and integration. Her successes stem from her deep appreciation and awe for the natural world, marine environments, inquiry, and the learning process. Leigh’s teaching style and ability to connect with students aims to inspire deep learning and a desire to understand more fully.

Leigh has been in Alaska year-round since 2003 when she came to guide sea kayaking in Prince William Sound. The wildness of Alaska and the authenticity of its people are what keep her motivated and thriving. Leigh believes that there is always something to learn and is thankful for all that her students and nature have taught her.

Register for Leigh Lubin’s talk