After a national search and three finalists, Dr. Reid Brewer, 46, of Sitka, has been selected and approved to become the next Kenai Peninsula College Kachemak Bay Campus director, replacing long time director Carol Swartz.
Brewer, a marine biologist, starts on June 3, 2019, according to KPC Director Gary Thomas in a press release. An interim director will be named in the near future to serve in the interim after Swartz leaves.
Brewer is presently the department chair for the School of Career Education for the University of Alaska Southeast, but operating from the UAS Sitka Campus. He is also a full professor and serves as the Program Director for Fisheries Technology for UAS. He and his wife, Sarah, have two boys ages 6 and 3.
He received his Ph.D. and master’s of science degrees in marine biology both from the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and received his B.S. in environmental science/systems engineering from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. He served as a helicopter pilot and platoon leader in the U.S. Army from 1995-1999, one of three siblings in his family to attend West Point. He spent nine years working for UAF as the first ever Alaska Sea Grant agent in the Aleutian Islands and has served UAS for six years with the Fisheries Technology program.
“Reid brings the right experience, knowledge and familiarity with the Homer area to lead KBC into the future. We are very excited to welcome him to the KPC family and look forward to him starting in June,” Turner said.
In a phone interview, Brewer said he came to know Kachemak Bay while doing research on Pacific giant octopuses and the giant sunflower star. An invertebrate ecologist, over three summers from 2000-2003 he studied prey behavior of sunflower stars, trying to determine if they hunted or scavenged. He determined they did both, but preferred scavenging.
Brewer is very familiar with KBC, as he works with faculty and staff in his current role. He has spent a great deal of time collaborating and conducting research in the Homer area, including spending three summers at the Kasitsna Bay Lab near Seldovia and working with various Homer-based organizations. He spent nine years working for UAF as the first ever Alaska Sea Grant agent in the Aleutian Islands and has served UAS for six years with the Fisheries Technology program.
“The nice thing about Homer, I’ve always been amazed at how the community rallies around the campus there,” Brewer said. “There’s been this great relationship with the community and Homer. I’ve always had a sweet spot for Homer for that.”
In the short term, Brewer said, “Initially it’s going to be try to catch up on what’s going on there now, what’s working. What opportunities are there to grow? What interests are there for faculty and staff?”
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