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Upcoming Expeditions

These are our upcoming confirmed expeditions, sorted by date, nearest first. If an upcoming expedition has openings for interns, they are so noted. More expeditions are in the works and will be listed here as they are confirmed. Subscribe to our Posts to get announcements of new expeditions and internship opportunities. 

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2024 April 5 – April 16

This is our annual spring humpback whale survey run by the Alaska Whale Foundation and led by executive director Andy Szabo, Ph.D. The whales will have just returned from their winter grounds in Hawaii and will be feeding on herring that gather in the sound for mating. The whales will be much thinner than when they left Alaska in the fall. As with the fall survey, the researchers identify individual whales by the unique patterns on their flukes and measure their body mass with drones carrying a flat plane camera and precise altimeter (we may also attach tracking devices to some whales using suction cups). Click here for a summary of the fall 2023 expedition. The weather is unpredictable this time of year (meaning, likely to be bad), but Sitka Sound is relatively protected from the Gulf of Alaska and its waves. The team flies in and out of Sitka. You can find the Alaska Whale Foundation website here. This work and all photographs, video, and acoustic data are being collected under National Marine Fisheries Permit Number 19703. We have two internships available for this expedition. Click to inquire.

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2024 May 1 – May 15

The Star of Bengal was a 264-foot schooner that sank off Coronation Island, Alaska, on September 20, 1908. The ship was heading back to San Francisco, full of canned salmon and laborers from the cannery at Wrangell. In the middle of the night, the weather picked up and the ship broke on the rocks and sank.  Of the 27 white crewmen, 15 died. Of the 110 laborers – most of them Chinese – all died except one. In May of 2022, the Endeavour and a team of eight found the wreck. We’re going back this year to continue the research, looking for the aft part of the ship which may be in deeper water, and building a detailed map of the wreckage. Much of the same team will be on board, including marine archeologist Jenya Anichenko. We will be operating under a permit from the State of Alaska, with a grant for which we need matching funds. To see our onboard report from the 2022 expedition, click hereWe don't know yet about internship availability.

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2024 May 18 – May 24

The Alaska Wildlife Alliance will be taking observers to the west side of Prince of Wales Island. We'll be doing bird and sea mammal counts, looking for wolves, and investigating the extensive logging practices on the island.  Specifically, how well (or not) the previous cut tracts have recovered, and the extent to which modern harvesting practices are more ecologically sound than the old. The team will be flying into and out of Ketchikan. There are no internships available for this expedition. 

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2024 June 1 – June 12

Black Bay is a remote and rarely visited site on Chichagof Island rich with wildlife -- especially brown bears, eagles, and sea lions this time of year, when the salmon are running in the river that empties into the bay. We'll be taking a team of six students and a faculty member from a high school in California to the bay for a benchmark study -- essentially a census of the animals, plants, birds, and geology of the site. On the way to and from the bay, we'll stop at a ghost town and an abandoned gold mine. After the expedition, the students will present their findings in a research paper. The students will fly in and out of Sitka. 

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2024 July 14  – July 27

Dr. Bruce Molnia is a leading glaciologist, focused on Alaska glaciers. He has authored or co-authored more than 500 publications, including the monumental 550-page ‘chapter’ of The Satellite Image Atlas of The Glaciers of the World. Click on the title to download a free copy. It’s a safe bet that no one knows more about Alaska glaciers than Dr. Molnia. One of his research techniques is to compare new photographs and historical photographs taken from the same spot, sometimes a century apart.  We took Dr. Molnia and two other researchers to photograph the Kenai Fjords glaciers in 2021. Click here to see his presentation after that expedition. This year, we’re taking him to photograph glaciers in Glacier Bay and then up the Lost Coast to Lituya Bay (site of a 1,720-foot glacier-related tidal wave in 1958), Yakutat Bay, and Icy Bay (site of a 500-foot glacier-related tidal wave in 2015).  The Endeavour will pick up the team in Gustavas (adjacent to Glacier Bay) and deliver them to Cordova (in Prince William Sound). We have four internships available for this expedition. Click to inquire.

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2024 October 20 – October 31

This is our annual fall humpback whale survey run by the Alaska Whale Foundation and led by executive director Andy Szabo, PhD. The researchers identify individual whales by the unique patterns on their flukes and measure their body mass (a proxy for health) by flying a drone over the whale with a flat plane camera and precise altimeter. most of the work is done from our RIB which can put us very, very close to the whales. We'll be working in Frederick Sound, Stephens Passage, and Seymour Canal. The team flies into and out of Petersburg. For a summary of last fall's survey in a thank-you letter to the foundation that helped underwrite the expedition, click here.  For a short video of the expedition, click hereWe have two internships available for this expedition. Click to inquire.

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