Want to know the science behind the scenery in the wilds of Alaska? Give a little something back to the environment on this small group adventure (limited to 20 guests). You'll enjoy an engaging wilderness tour while supporting area research programs on this hands-on science based excursion to Alaska's renowned Stephens Passage and the Mendenhall Glacier. A $100 cash refund is provided by the tour operator for all guests at the conclusion of the tour if whales are not sighted/observed on the trip.
This exclusive wildlife and research tour guarantees whale sightings/observations. You will play a significant role in a monitored citizen science program while viewing the likes of whales, seals, porpoise, sea lions and sea birds in their natural habitat. Get hands on experience collecting water samples, trawling for plankton and recording whale behaviors. Your specialized science guide is there to share the current understanding of what these animal behaviors mean. All observational data-logging will improve scientists' understanding of the local food chain and other environmental variables that affect marine populations.
Your trip begins with a project debriefing from your trip leader en route to view the Mendenhall Glacier. Here you will participate in studies by either gathering baseline data that enables scientists to study the effects of climate change on the life-cycle of plants, or monitoring the water quality of the Steep Creek watershed. Both activities are particularly interesting in an area that is visually impacted by the effects of a changing climate and a receding glacier. Next, you will board a custom-built safari vessel that provides a comfortable cabin, a low to the water vantage, and an open bow and stern - perfect for wildlife observations. As a citizen science observer, you will work to identify, track and record the behaviors and environs pertaining to a variety of marine mammals including humpback whales. In addition to this one-of-a-kind tour experience, you will also have the satisfaction of knowing your efforts made a contribution towards safeguarding and deepening the understanding of both the delicate marine and glacial environments of Southeast Alaska. A $100 cash refund is provided by the tour operator for all guests at the conclusion of the tour if whales are not sighted/observed on the trip.
Participants must be willing and able to walk approximately 0.5 miles on a paved path. The 40-foot safari vessel is equipped with a comfortable covered cabin, an open bow and stern, perimeter seating and a marine head. Each participant receives a business card with the company's web address in order to provide links to current research findings, identification of all the supporting non-profit partners and a list of ongoing field notes. Sturdy shoes suitable for an easy walk, layers of warm clothing, and rain gear are recommended. Bottled water and a snack pack are provided. Binoculars are also available on the boat. Group size is limited. All participants on this excursion are eligible to enter to win cash prizes in the tour operator's Capture Juneau Photo Contest. No wheelchairs and no walkers permitted on this tour. The Steep Creek Trail is a stairs free route, suitable for an easy walk.