The Alaska Beluga Monitoring Partnership (AKBMP) is a collaboration between the Alaska Wildlife Alliance, Defenders of Wildlife, Beluga Whale Alliance, and the National Marine Fisheries Service that facilitates citizen science beluga monitoring in Alaska’s Cook Inlet.
This FREE training enables the public to be a beluga citizen scientist volunteer. You can collect important data on beluga distribution and habitat use in nearshore waters while building working relationships with professional researchers and scientists. The data you collect will be shared with researchers and federal agency personnel to inform ongoing marine mammal research and management activities and will be incorporated into NOAA’s Beluga Sightings Databases.
Become a Beluga Citizen Scientist:
As a volunteer citizen scientist you’ll acquire knowledge about Cook Inlet belugas and their conservation needs, participate in beluga monitoring, and contribute to the collection of scientific data on beluga habitat use at one of our monitoring sites. This is an excellent way to support beluga conservation and recovery all while enjoying your local ecosystem!
If you’d like to sign up with us as a volunteer citizen scientist or receive more information about our monitoring activities, please contact us here. Prior to attending a monitoring session, each volunteer must complete and return a short volunteer application / waiver and attend an in-person monitoring orientation (about 60-90 minutes in total)..All participants must be at least 18 years of age unless accompanied by an adult guardian. We will be happy to help participants document their volunteer hours for course credit or any other purpose.
Monitoring Dates (2019)
Fall Monitoring Season: August 15 – November 15, 2019
Each monitoring session lasts about two hours and is typically scheduled around the time at high tide at each monitoring site. Volunteers can view and sign up to attend monitoring sessions on our AKBMP Monitoring Schedule, which will be made available to volunteers after they attend a monitoring orientation and submit their volunteer forms to one of our partner programs. We ask that each volunteer commit to attending a minimum of three monitoring sessions over the course of a field season (about a six hour commitment in total); however, there is no maximum limit on how many sessions a volunteer may attend. Updates about monitoring orientations and sessions will also be posted on our Facebook page.
In the Kenai area, Alaska Wildlife Alliance is running the monitoring stations on the Kenai River and Kasilof River.