Juneau's Premier Whale Watching and Hiking Excursions
Citizen Science Participation
Guests who participate in our Discover Alaska’s Whales tour play a significant role in gathering scientific data for various educational/research organizations, while at the same time enjoying whale watching as part of an exclusive group. This page outlines our science partners and the engaging tour activities that support their research.
The purpose of the activity: To collect humpback whale photo ID’s and corresponding data from existing platforms, to be used to help monitor humpback whales in the Juneau area. Photo identifications allow us to track individuals through time, estimate abundance, individual preferences in feeding locations, and document important life history information, such as frequency of calving.
Contribute important baseline data for monitoring humpback whales.
Provide an opportunity for more directed research questions.
Engage the public in the scientific process and give them hands-on experience with the data collection process.
Interested in learning more? Check out the 2021 Humpback Survey for a summary of whale sightings, or visit Happywhale.com to see the data from our Gastineau Guiding trips.
Activity: Orca Observations
Scientist: Research Associate, Josh D McInnes with Marine Mammal Research Unit Institute for Oceans and Fisheries, Aquatic Ecosystem Research Laboratory at University of British Columbia
The purpose of the activity: With three morphotypes of orca in Alaskan waters (resident, transient and offshore), we attempt to get photographs of the dorsal fin and saddle patch when we encounter orca.
Help identify and track Eastern Pacific Orca
Determine the individual orca coupled with the geographic location to determine their range and sometimes feeding behavior
Identify which morphotypes are in Juneau waters (resident, transient, and offshore).
The purpose of today’s activity: To monitor Southeast waters for the presence of the invasive European green crab and capture snapshots to record the number and types of animals released from the trap.
These monitoring efforts:
Test Auke Bay waters for either the presence or absence of the invasive European green crab; they have been recently been found within 100 miles of the Alaskan boarder as zooplankton!
Use photography to provide baseline data on the ecology of Auke Bay.
Provide an opportunity to learn about some of the area’s ‘less popular’ marine animals.
All of the above activities are considered “citizen science”, which is scientific research conducted, in whole or in part, by amateur scientists or lay persons. The process of science (or citizen science) can be tedious at best; however, it is many small observations over time that can lead to significant truths. By participating in this tour, and its citizen science projects, you are contributing to a better understanding of the nature of Southeast Alaska.
Are you a researcher interested in our data? We’re happy to provide you with any of our data sets! Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.