With new professor on site, physics isn't just for rocket scientists

Posted: Wednesday, September 11, 2002

It's been more than five years since Kenai Peninsula College has had a full-time physics instructor, but the wait is finally over. Andreas (Andy) Veh comes to KPC most recently from Pendleton, Ore., where he taught physics for seven years at Blue Mountain Community College. Previously, Veh held a position in Scottsbluff, Neb., at Western Nebraska Community College where he taught physics, astronomy, math, geology and German.

Not all physics professors have the ability to teach German, but since Veh was born and raised in Berlin, the language comes to him naturally.

Andy first came to the United States while vacationing with his family. On one of those vacations, which happened to be in Hawaii, he was just 8 years old when he met his future wife, Kate, then 5 years old. Kate's family was visiting from Ketchikan where she grew up. What started out as a chance meeting turned into regular visits and exchange of Christmas gifts between the two families.

In 1990, while attending University of Alaska Fairbanks, Kate had the opportunity to study in Spain for a semester. While in Europe, she spent the holidays with Andy and his family. The rest is history with Andy and Kate marrying in 1994 while both attended Mankato State University in Minnesota.

Andy has master's degrees in physics, astronomy and mathematics. He is excited about making physics something that students will be excited about.

His goal is to cultivate a lifelong interest in physics by putting concepts into examples that students see everyday. He wants his class to know why the tides come in and go out and why the sun continues to come up every day.

Andy's favorite hobby is astronomy and he hopes to get others on the peninsula excited about it. He has plans for a monthly column that will identify all the "cool" celestial events the Alaska sky has to offer in the winter.

Both Andy and Kate are happy to be on the Kenai Peninsula and are looking forward to ice skating, cross-country skiing and, of course, star gazing this winter. KPC welcomes them to the community.

Still more fishing to do

Back by popular demand: Beginning Fly-Fishing. This course is designed for those new to fly-fishing and offers an introduction to the basics, including selection of equipment, types of line, flies and techniques geared toward area rivers and streams. Included will be a Saturday field trip to the upper Kenai River.

Dave Atcheson, a fly-fisher and author of "Fishing Alaska's Kenai Peninsula," will teach the class. The book, published by Countryman Press, is available online at major bookstores and from the publisher.

Atcheson also has written a number of articles for Alaska Magazine, The Alaska Fly-Fishing Quarterly, The Fly-Fishing and Tying Journal and Outdoor Life.

Don't miss this opportunity to learn from a real expert. This one-credit class meets Wednesdays at 7:15 p.m., beginning Sept. 25. For more information, contact Atcheson at 262-0330 after 5 p.m.

This column is provided by Suzie Kendrick, community relations coordinator at Kenai Peninsula College.

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