Get Involved

The Alaska Beluga Monitoring Partnership (AKBMP) is a collaboration between several organizations that facilitate citizen science beluga monitoring in Alaska’s Cook Inlet.

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 will be asked to fill out a short volunteer application and attend a 45 minute in-person orientation. Orientations will be held in Anchorage, Girdwood, and Kenai in mid-late August, during which we will provide you with more information on our monitoring activities and provide instruction on how follow our monitoring protocols and use our data sheets to record beluga activity in the field. If no upcoming orientations are scheduled for your area, you can also complete an abbreviated orientation in the field with one of our partners at your preferred monitoring site. 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 two hours and is typically scheduled around the time at high tide at each monitoring site. Volunteers can view and sign up to attend a monitoring session 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; 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.

AKBMP Monitoring Sites (2019)

Ship Creek

Operated by Beluga Whale Alliance (BWA) as a part of their Citizen Science Monitoring Program

Bird Point

Operated by Beluga Whale Alliance (BWA) as a part of their Citizen Science Monitoring Program

Twentymile River

Operated by Beluga Whale Alliance (BWA) as a part of their Citizen Science Monitoring Program

Kenai River

Kasilof River

Upcoming Monitoring Orientations:

Anyone can attend an AKBMP monitoring orientation. If possible, please email us in advance with your name and the location of the orientation you plan on attending. We recommend bringing along a notebook and pen with you; no other materials are materials. Each orientation lasts about 45 minutes in total. If you are not able to attend one of the following orientations but would like to get involved in our monitoring efforts, please email us here.

Girdwood: August 12, 2019 (time and location TBD)

Anchorage: TBD

Kenai: TBD

Other Ways to Get Involved

 If you are not interested in participating in shore-based monitoring efforts but would like to share past or present Cook Inlet beluga whales sightings, you can do so here.