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.
Each person will receive a $100 cash refund from the tour operator at the conclusion of the tour if a whale is not sighted on the trip. Group size is limited to ensure a comfortable and interactive atmosphere. Guests must be of age and ability to walk approximately 0.5 miles on a level, paved path, and be on their feet for about 1.25 hours. Sturdy shoes suitable for an easy walk, layers of warm clothing and rain gear are recommended; rain ponchos are provided. Bottled water and a snack pack are provided. This tour operates in all weather conditions. All guests on this excursion are eligible to enter to win cash prizes in the tour operator's annual Capture Juneau Photo Contest.