Williams & Campbell on Linking Maine to Alaska: K-12 Education Outreach - Jan. 2014

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Skidompha Public Library's Chats with Champions speaker program hosted well-known Nobleboro Central School teacher Ken Williams and his former student Seth Campbell at the library's Porter Meeting Hall at 2 PM on Saturday, January 11, 2014. The two explained the unofficial title of their presentation: "Student finally hands in 1989 homework assignment to Nobleboro teacher at 14,000 feet in Denali National Park, Alaska, or linking Maine to Alaska: K-12 education outreach in Maine about climate change research on the highest point in North America." Climate and glacier researcher Seth Campbell from Nobleboro and Ken Williams, his middle school science teacher, describe their outing to Kahiltna Glacier and beyond in Denali National Park. They were members of a multi-university expedition drilling a 250 meter surface to bedrock ice core at 14,000 feet on the Mount Hunter Ice Divide. Ken Williams has been a middle school teacher at Nobleboro Central School for 29 years. He teaches mostly science, but the small class sizes at Nobleboro and the structure of the middle grades necessitate his working with students in reading and writing as well as the sciences. Along with his regular duties in the classroom Ken leads Nobleboro 8th graders on wilderness backpacks, is the active educator trustee of the Maine State Retirement System and is active in church and community volunteering. Ken's philosophy of teaching is one of high standards, hard work, humor and relationships. He believes that there can't be education without the personal and the fact that he joined former student and scientist Seth Campbell on an expedition to Denali National Park over twenty years since they parted classroom ways is proof positive that education is all about relationships. Seth Campbell developed an interest in the natural sciences through his father, not to mention a "pesky" science teacher that always seemed to give an endless supply of homework at Nobleboro Central School. He is now a PhD Candidate at the University of Maine School of Earth and Climate Sciences with a specialty in glaciology and cold-regions geophysics applications. Seth has been fortunate over the past two decades to work and/or travel throughout the contiguous U.S., Alaska, Antarctica, Canada, Greenland, South America, New Zealand, and Australia. His research has been affiliated with UMaine, Department of Defense, National Park Service, Dartmouth College, University of New Hampshire, University of Washington, and Harvard University. Beyond his scientific endeavors, Seth has worked as a professional climbing guide, outdoor educator, EMT, and wilderness emergency medicine instructor. These technical skills have provided the necessary background to conduct scientific research in some of the most remote and challenging locations on the planet. When closer to home, Seth enjoys spending his free time playing in the woods of New Hampshire and Maine (his favorite place on Earth) with his wife, Kristin, and their coonhound, Kinley.

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