Instructors

Photo of Maïté Agopian

Maïté Agopian

Maïté has lived in the Alaskan woods with her family since 2005. When she carved her first string marionette in Prague in 2017, the passion was born, and her exploration of the art of puppetry never ended. She took multiple classes from professional puppeteers in USA, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, and Iceland, learning different kinds of puppet construction and manipulation.…Read More

Maïté has lived in the Alaskan woods with her family since 2005. When she carved her first string marionette in Prague in 2017, the passion was born, and her exploration of the art of puppetry never ended. She took multiple classes from professional puppeteers in USA, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, and Iceland, learning different kinds of puppet construction and manipulation. You can see more of her work on chakpuppetry.org.

Photo of Deb Ajango

Deb Ajango

Deb is a senior lead instructor for Wilderness Medical Associates (WMA) and is a member of the WMA faculty committee. She has spent more than 2,000 days in remote areas of Alaska and the world and has taught medicine in the U.S., Chile, Ecuador, Morocco, Japan, China, Malaysia, and Spain.

Deb has presented nationally and internationally on the topic of risk management, emergency action planning, and wilderness medicine.…Read More

Deb is a senior lead instructor for Wilderness Medical Associates (WMA) and is a member of the WMA faculty committee. She has spent more than 2,000 days in remote areas of Alaska and the world and has taught medicine in the U.S., Chile, Ecuador, Morocco, Japan, China, Malaysia, and Spain.

Deb has presented nationally and internationally on the topic of risk management, emergency action planning, and wilderness medicine. In 2012, Deb was awarded the Charles (Reb) Gregg Award in recognition of “exceptional leadership, service, and innovation in wilderness risk management,” and in 2014 she was awarded the Paul K. Petzoldt Award “for excellence in wilderness education.” Ms. Ajango has written two books on safety education and risk management. The second book, Lessons Learned II: Using Case Studies and History to Improve Safety Education, is used as a text book in a variety of colleges and university across the country.

She received her Master of Science degree in clinical psychology and education from the University of Wisconsin Madison.

Photo of Serena Allen

Serena Allen

From podcasts to websites to hardware, Serena Allen is a serial inventor who knows how to identify a problem and create a successful solution. Her ideas have taken her across the country and the world, and she has participated in over 11 different entrepreneurship accelerators with notable collaborations with Cornell University, University of Southern California, and University of Alaska Fairbanks.…Read More

From podcasts to websites to hardware, Serena Allen is a serial inventor who knows how to identify a problem and create a successful solution. Her ideas have taken her across the country and the world, and she has participated in over 11 different entrepreneurship accelerators with notable collaborations with Cornell University, University of Southern California, and University of Alaska Fairbanks. She has been working in the Alaskan startup space for the past two years and was the 2023 UAF Arctic Innovation Competition Grand Prize recipient for her venture AirVitalize Innovations. Serena is passionate about helping others succeed in their entrepreneurship journey.

Photo of Kadey Ambrose

Kadey Ambrose

Kadey made her first basket sitting in the dirt of the Arizona desert in 2009. She then went on to study traditional skills and ethnobotany – including basketry – under the tutelage of her long-time mentor Karen Magnuson at Earthwalk Northwest in Issaquah, WA. She has since dedicated herself to the art, craft, and cultural significance of basketry.…Read More

Kadey made her first basket sitting in the dirt of the Arizona desert in 2009. She then went on to study traditional skills and ethnobotany – including basketry – under the tutelage of her long-time mentor Karen Magnuson at Earthwalk Northwest in Issaquah, WA. She has since dedicated herself to the art, craft, and cultural significance of basketry. Kadey holds a BAS in Ethnobotany from The Evergreen State College and a MA in Studio Art from Eastern Illinois University, both degrees focused on basket making. As an artist, her work investigates the connections between ancient craft, ethnobotanical knowledge, and the ever-evolving innovations of living culture. Kadey is from Fairbanks and is grateful to have grown up in this exceptional community.

Photo of Rosario Andrade

Rosario Andrade

Rosario Andrade is the director & founder of Ch’eno’ Polynesian Arts, a local Polynesian cultural arts program. Rosario has always made plant & flower embellishments but credits Kumu (teacher) Kuana Torres Kahele for providing structure in lei making. Ch’eno’ Polynesian Arts performs with fresh plant & flower leis & has performed for International Friendship Day, Juneteenth, Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival, AAPI Celebrations, Festival Of Native Arts, and numerous other events.…Read More

Rosario Andrade is the director & founder of Ch’eno’ Polynesian Arts, a local Polynesian cultural arts program. Rosario has always made plant & flower embellishments but credits Kumu (teacher) Kuana Torres Kahele for providing structure in lei making. Ch’eno’ Polynesian Arts performs with fresh plant & flower leis & has performed for International Friendship Day, Juneteenth, Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival, AAPI Celebrations, Festival
Of Native Arts, and numerous other events. Lei making is integral in the authenticity of performances. To make lei is not only to make a craft but the embodiment of sharing mana (soul).

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James Baird

James L. Baird began his practical education in seventh grade industrial arts classes. An informal apprenticeship in auto body and frame repair followed at age13 and continued throughout high school and summers during college. After serving in the US Air Force and working as a driver/mechanic for a tour company in Europe and Asia he completed a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Education at Iowa State University in Ames.…Read More

James L. Baird began his practical education in seventh grade industrial arts classes. An informal apprenticeship in auto body and frame repair followed at age13 and continued throughout high school and summers during college. After serving in the US Air Force and working as a driver/mechanic for a tour company in Europe and Asia he completed a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Education at Iowa State University in Ames. An opportunity to teach vocational auto mechanics brought him to Fairbanks in August 1976 where he built his own house and completed the FAA Airframe and Powerplant Certificate program at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. He retired from the school system to share his enthusiasm for industrial arts with a wider group of students.

Photo of Tricia Blake

Tricia Blake

Raised in the deciduous forests and salt marshes of New England, Tricia grew up camping and exploring the outdoors. Her undergraduate studies in ecology brought field work on everything from turtles and coyotes to bats and birds–from Cape Cod to Queensland, Australia. She moved west and north, looking for wild places to work and play, and discovered a love of teaching along the way.…Read More

Raised in the deciduous forests and salt marshes of New England, Tricia grew up camping and exploring the outdoors. Her undergraduate studies in ecology brought field work on everything from turtles and coyotes to bats and birds–from Cape Cod to Queensland, Australia. She moved west and north, looking for wild places to work and play, and discovered a love of teaching along the way. She led backcountry and camping trips for kids and families from Massachusetts to Oregon, and eventually ventured north to Alaska where she led the the Alaska Bird Observatory’s education program for almost a decade.

Tricia has been with the Alaska Songbird Institute since its inception in 2013. As the Executive Director, she leads ASI’s daily operations, programs, fundraising, and finances, and works with the Board of Directors to provide overall strategic guidance.

Tricia holds a B.S. in Biology from Boston College and an M.S. in Ecological Education from Lesley University.

Photo of Bianca Blickenstaff

Bianca Blickenstaff

Bianca Blickenstaff an artist, potter, and teacher. She works with various mediums including acrylic, watercolor, pastel, charcoal, wood burning, jewelry, sewing, knitting, leather, paper crafts, ceramic sculpture, and pottery. Her artwork is spiritually inspired by nature. Bianca’s artwork portfolio is located on her website in the Willow Studios Gallery. www.willowstudiosak.comRead More

Bianca Blickenstaff an artist, potter, and teacher. She works with various mediums including acrylic, watercolor, pastel, charcoal, wood burning, jewelry, sewing, knitting, leather, paper crafts, ceramic sculpture, and pottery. Her artwork is spiritually inspired by nature. Bianca’s artwork portfolio is located on her website in the Willow Studios Gallery. http://www.willowstudiosak.com

Photo of Renae Bookman

Renae Bookman

With over two decades of experience, Renae Bookman is a passionate artist, creator, and educator who has dedicated their life to inspiring and nurturing the creative spirit within others. Drawing from a deep love for the outdoors and a 20-year residency in the stunning landscapes of Alaska, Renae has seamlessly woven the beauty of nature into their work and teaching.…Read More

With over two decades of experience, Renae Bookman is a passionate artist, creator, and educator who has dedicated their life to inspiring and nurturing the creative spirit within others. Drawing from a deep love for the outdoors and a 20-year residency in the stunning landscapes of Alaska, Renae has seamlessly woven the beauty of nature into their work and teaching. Born with an insatiable passion for learning and a compulsion for teaching, Renae is enamored by the world of wet and needle felting. This captivating craft, rooted in tactile artistry, has become her medium of choice, allowing her to translate the wonders of the natural world into vibrant, textured creations. Whether teaching beginners or advanced artists, her patient and enthusiastic approach creates an environment where every student feels encouraged and supported in their artistic journey.

Photo of Ryan Bowers

Ryan Bowers

Best known for contributing his driving bass and soaring tenor to contra dance and string bands like Eel House, Norris Bowers Band, and Lost Dog Stringband, Ryan Bowers is a multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, and father from Fairbanks, Alaska. Trained in voice at University of Alaska Fairbanks, and in bass and songwriting at Berklee, his songs range from the cinematic to the intimate, from the personal to the global, and from the familiar to the uncommon.Read More

Best known for contributing his driving bass and soaring tenor to contra dance and string bands like Eel House, Norris Bowers Band, and Lost Dog Stringband, Ryan Bowers is a multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, and father from Fairbanks, Alaska. Trained in voice at University of Alaska Fairbanks, and in bass and songwriting at Berklee, his songs range from the cinematic to the intimate, from the personal to the global, and from the familiar to the uncommon.

Photo of Gwendolyn P. Brazier

Gwendolyn P. Brazier

Gwendolyn P. Brazier holds a Bachelor of Music Education and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Alaska Fairbanks. She is a private lessons teacher in the Fairbanks area and a public school music teacher for the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District. She is an avid jazz and funk performer around Fairbanks.Read More

Gwendolyn P. Brazier holds a Bachelor of Music Education and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Alaska Fairbanks. She is a private lessons teacher in the Fairbanks area and a public school music teacher for the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District. She is an avid jazz and funk performer around Fairbanks.

Photo of Alex Brede

Alex Brede

A recent arrival to Fairbanks, Alex Brede has more than 35 years of experience teaching woodworking to children and adults. He has taught every grade from K-5, as well as serving as a Title One Reading Specialist, during his last 30 years in the Bellingham Public Schools (in Bellingham, WA).Read More

A recent arrival to Fairbanks, Alex Brede has more than 35 years of experience teaching woodworking to children and adults. He has taught every grade from K-5, as well as serving as a Title One Reading Specialist, during his last 30 years in the Bellingham Public Schools (in Bellingham, WA).

Photo of Bonni Brooks

Bonni Brooks

A dancer and choreographer in her earlier years, Bonni Brooks took a spinning class as a cure for cabin fever and immediately fell hard down the fiber arts rabbit hole.  Bonni is a spinner and weaver, specializing in tapestry, rigid heddle looms and other work on small, easy to chuck in your backpack looms.  She loves introducing people to the joys of working with fiber – from the healing aspect of holding fiber in your hands and feeling it slip through your fingers to the creativity that opens up when fiber newbies discover how very easy it is to get started!Read More

A dancer and choreographer in her earlier years, Bonni Brooks took a spinning class as a cure for cabin fever and immediately fell hard down the fiber arts rabbit hole.  Bonni is a spinner and weaver, specializing in tapestry, rigid heddle looms and other work on small, easy to chuck in your backpack looms.  She loves introducing people to the joys of working with fiber – from the healing aspect of holding fiber in your hands and feeling it slip through your fingers to the creativity that opens up when fiber newbies discover how very easy it is to get started!

Photo of Randy Brown

Randy Brown

Randy has been a hand tool kind of a wood craftsman for over 40 years. Roy Underhill of the Woodwright’s Shop has had a great influence on his approach to wood working projects. Randy has built numerous log cabins, dog sleds and toboggans, chairs, tables, benches, wooden bowls, birch bark canoes, and many other items over the years.…Read More

Randy has been a hand tool kind of a wood craftsman for over 40 years. Roy Underhill of the Woodwright’s Shop has had a great influence on his approach to wood working projects. Randy has built numerous log cabins, dog sleds and toboggans, chairs, tables, benches, wooden bowls, birch bark canoes, and many other items over the years. He enjoys the opportunities provided by the Folk School to share his craft skills with others.

Photo of Helena Buurman

Helena Buurman

Helena Buurman is a Fairbanks-based scientist who is concerned that not everyone appreciates science as much as they should, and that this is because scientists need some help with their story-telling skills. Outside of her day job at the University of Alaska Fairbanks she doodles science cartoons and creates science talks that capture the imagination of kids and adults alike.Read More

Helena Buurman is a Fairbanks-based scientist who is concerned that not everyone appreciates science as much as they should, and that this is because scientists need some help with their story-telling skills. Outside of her day job at the University of Alaska Fairbanks she doodles science cartoons and creates science talks that capture the imagination of kids and adults alike.

Photo of Marian Call

Marian Call

Marian Call is a touring singer-songwriter based in Juneau, AK. She's made twelve albums and played shows in all 50 States, in addition to touring Canada and Europe. Now she's working on helping other Alaskan musicians find opportunities to play more, play better, and if they want, play for money.Read More

Marian Call is a touring singer-songwriter based in Juneau, AK. She’s made twelve albums and played shows in all 50 States, in addition to touring Canada and Europe. Now she’s working on helping other Alaskan musicians find opportunities to play more, play better, and if they want, play for money.

Photo of Bruce Campbell

Bruce Campbell

Boat-building: Bruce Campbell built his first canvas covered kayak at age 14, in 1966. His first plywood skiff in 1976, his first stitch and glue skiff in the early 1980's, and finished his most recent plywood skiff this year. Prior Boat Series classes instructed include: Lap Clamps and Lapstrake Wooden Toolbox. Cooking: Bruce Campbell started cooking over a campfire in 1963.…Read More

Boat-building: Bruce Campbell built his first canvas covered kayak at age 14, in 1966. His first plywood skiff in 1976, his first stitch and glue skiff in the early 1980’s, and finished his most recent plywood skiff this year. Prior Boat Series classes instructed include: Lap Clamps and Lapstrake Wooden Toolbox.

Cooking: Bruce Campbell started cooking over a campfire in 1963. At 14, while canoeing in Northern Manitoba, the group of older teens ran out of food, took their fishing seriously, and Bruce acquired a lifelong interest in planning and creating camp meals. A master of heat control with fire, Bruce’s cooking classes explore different aspects of campfire cooking, such as Dutch Oven camp cooking and more primitive forms of cooking.

Letterpress: Bruce Campbell originally learned how to use his grandfather’s Kelsey Letterpress 50 years. He has enthusiastically revived his family’s press at the Folk School and has become the resident expert on “all things letterpress”. Bruce is a current Folk School board member.

 

Photo of Emily Carroll

Emily Carroll

Nadine and Emily Carroll are Gwich'in Athabascan sisters who grew up in Fort Yukon, AK. Both were taught traditional beading by their grandmother, Jessie Carroll, at a young age. Nadine graduated from UAF with an MBA and is currently a Project Manager with the Council of Athabascan Tribal Governments and has one son, Hayden. Emily also graduated from UAF with an AAS in process technology and is the Payroll Specialist with the Interior Regional Housing Authority.…Read More

Nadine and Emily Carroll are Gwich’in Athabascan sisters who grew up in Fort Yukon, AK. Both were taught traditional beading by their grandmother, Jessie Carroll, at a young age. Nadine graduated from UAF with an MBA and is currently a Project Manager with the Council of Athabascan Tribal Governments and has one son, Hayden. Emily also graduated from UAF with an AAS in process technology and is the Payroll Specialist with the Interior Regional Housing Authority. Nadine and Emily both continue to bead and skin sew as a hobby.

Photo of Nadine Carroll

Nadine Carroll

Nadine and Emily Carroll are Gwich'in Athabascan sisters who grew up in Fort Yukon, AK. Both were taught traditional beading by their grandmother, Jessie Carroll, at a young age. Nadine graduated from UAF with an MBA and is currently a Project Manager with the Council of Athabascan Tribal Governments and has one son, Hayden. Emily also graduated from UAF with an AAS in process technology and is the Payroll Specialist with the Interior Regional Housing Authority.…Read More

Nadine and Emily Carroll are Gwich’in Athabascan sisters who grew up in Fort Yukon, AK. Both were taught traditional beading by their grandmother, Jessie Carroll, at a young age. Nadine graduated from UAF with an MBA and is currently a Project Manager with the Council of Athabascan Tribal Governments and has one son, Hayden. Emily also graduated from UAF with an AAS in process technology and is the Payroll Specialist with the Interior Regional Housing Authority. Nadine and Emily both continue to bead and skin sew as a hobby.

Photo of Maureen Chambrone

Maureen Chambrone

Alaska has, for 20 years now, been my place for gathering materials from the woods and turning them into functional things. I have made snowshoes and adventured with them, plus a birchbark canoe and 2 skin on frame canoes which all made summer-long trips. In Talkeetna I built my own log cabin and all the furniture in it, then I built another one so the first one could become a shop.…Read More

Alaska has, for 20 years now, been my place for gathering materials from the woods and turning them into functional things. I have made snowshoes and adventured with them, plus a birchbark canoe and 2 skin on frame canoes which all made summer-long trips. In Talkeetna I built my own log cabin and all the furniture in it, then I built another one so the first one could become a shop. In the shop I dabble in various woodworking projects but mostly spoon carving, snowshoe making, and canoes these days. I also enjoy recording bird songs, making herbal products, skiing, writing, and just hanging out in the woods. I work seasonally for ADF&G when I find time around my hobbies or I need the money.