The University of Alaska Anchorage KPC Kachemak Bay Campus in Homer now has three fully articulated whale skeletons hanging in one of its buildings - Courtesy Photo

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Ralph Stover and Diana Jeska - Courtesy Photo

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Community news - Dec. 22

December 22nd, 2016 | Staff Report Print this article   Email this article  

KPC campus boasts of three articulated whale skeletons​

The University of Alaska Anchorage KPC Kachemak Bay Campus in Homer, home to 700 students each semester, now has three fully articulated whale skeletons hanging in one of its buildings.

Put together by KBC students, the work is led by Lee Post, an adjunct biology professor known as the "Bone Man," and Dr. Debbie Tobin, KBC professor of biology.

"As far as I know," said Post, "this is the only campus in Alaska with more than one articulated whale skeleton on display."

Post recently completed teaching his third semester of Marine Skeletal Articulation, a course during which he guides students through the process of reassembling the skeletal remains of a Kachemak Bay or Cook Inlet whale. At the end of each reconstruction, he and his students tote the completed framework down a hallway and — with the assistance of KBC's maintenance manager, a mechanical lift and some hooks and pulleys — hoist it up and attach it to the ceiling with ropes

Currently, completed skeletons of a Stejneger's beaked whale, a beluga and an orca calf — all constructed by college students — hang from the ceiling. The fully articulated Stejneger's beaked whale is believed to be one of only four such skeletons in the world.

Post's class spent eight weeks piecing together the 13-foot-long orca calf skeleton, beginning the process by unearthing the bones from beneath four feet of horse manure. The orca remains were buried two years earlier after the dead whale was discovered and necropsied near Bear Cove across Kachemak Bay. Microbes in the manure devoured the soft tissue and oils in and around the bones, preparing them for the steps to come. The bones were then scrubbed with stiff-bristled brushes, bleached in a bath of hydrogen peroxide and reassembled under Post and Tobin's supervision.

Homer school start, end times to change

In August, 2017, with the start of the new school year, 10 school locations in the southern peninsula will begin with new school start and end times. This change takes place to accommodate a switch from single-tier to double-tier bus transportation, which is already in effect for other schools throughout the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District. No changes will take place in the 2016-2017 school year.

The change to two-tier busing means KPBSD transportation routing will only be from home-to-school and school-to-home. Bus routing and schedules will be updated in summer 2017, and available on the KPBSD website at the same time as districtwide school routes are posted.

Southern Peninsula principals continue to meet and work with community service providers to discuss after-school childcare, recreation and structured activity options for the 2017-2018 school year.

For August 2017

Chapman School 8 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.

Ninilchik School 9 a.m.. - 3:35 p.m.

Little Fireweed 7:50 a.m. - 2:20 p.m.

Paul Banks Elementary 7:50 a.m. - 2:20 p.m.

West Homer Elementary 8 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.

Big Fireweed 8 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.

Homer Middle School 9 a.m. - 3:45 p.m.

Homer High School

9 a.m. - 3:45 p.m.

McNeil Canyon 8:20 a.m. - 2:50 p.m.

Petersen picked for Governor's Award

Homer artist Lance Petersen was chosen as a 2017 Governor's Arts and Humanities Awardee by the Alaska Humanities Forum and the Alaska State Council on the Arts.

The award recognizes and honors noteworthy contributions to the arts and humanities in Alaska, including artists, educators, historians and institutions for their enduring impact on people and communities across our state.

Each year, nominations submitted by the public are reviewed and nine recipients are selected across seven categories?

The Governor's Awards ceremony will be held in Juneau on Jan. 26 and is open to the public to attend. Further details and tickets are available at

Lighthouse Grill shares the spirit

Lighthouse Seafood Grill and Smokehouse owners Ralph Stover and Jane Pascall (not pictured), present $1,500 in Lighthouse meal coupons to Diana Jeska of the Homer Food Pantry. The coupons were handed out to hungry food pantry clients on Monday.


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