Humpback Whale Research in Southeast Alaska 

Call For Volunteers


Alaska Whale Foundation (AWF) is seeking volunteers to participate in a series of research projects at its field station on Baranof Island, Southeast Alaska (latitude 57.0877 N, longitude 134.8342 W).  Successful applicants will assist in collecting and/or analyzing data for projects examining humpback whale health, foraging ecology, and social biology.  



Volunteers will work in a team of 5 individuals and will split their time between on-the-water activities and data work.  AWF’s field station is a cooperative living environment so volunteers will also be responsible for cooking, cleaning and basic equipment maintenance.  Volunteers are expected to cover the costs of getting to/from either Petersburg or Sitka, Alaska and to supply their own foul-weather gear (rain gear, boots, etc.) appropriate for work in the Alaskan temperate rainforest and marine environment. 



In return for participation, AWF will provide travel within Southeast Alaska to AWF’s field station, room and board, and Mustang-style survival suits and additional safety gear.  AWF can also assist students that wish to develop for-credit independent projects through their own academic institutions.



Volunteers are asked to participate in one of two ‘blocks’.  The tentative dates for these are: i) May 22 – July 24; and, ii) July 24 – September 19.  Volunteers should plan to arrive in Southeast Alaska no later than noon on the first day and depart no sooner than noon on the final day of the appropriate block.  Because of the logistics involved with travel to/from the field station, we cannot accommodate arrival and departure outside of these dates/times.



All applicants will be considered; however, preference will be given to individuals that are pursing or have recently been awarded a BS/BA degree or higher in biology, environmental science or similar field, and who have basic first aid training.  Additionally, the following will be viewed favorably: 


  • Desire to pursue a career in marine sciences

  • Experience operating small boats, especially in marine waters

  • Experience working in remote field settings

  • An ability to work well with colleagues in both research and cooperative living situations


How to Apply: 

Interested individuals should apply using the form below.  Please include a CV, brief cover letter (no more than 500 words), and contact information for two references in single PDF file.  Applications should be submitted no later than Friday, January 15 @ midnight PST.   Qualified candidates will be contacted shortly thereafter to set up interviews, and final decisions will be made no later than February 1.  Further announcements - including notification that positions have been filled - will be posted on Alaska Whale Foundation’s Facebook page. 

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Thanks for submitting your application!

Stay tuned to our FB page for updates and announcements.

Please indicate a start date if you can ONLY  volunteer in one of the two blocks (i.e., select either May 22 or July 24). Otherwise leave the field blank.

Please provide a link (i.e., in Google Drive or similar) to a single PDF file that includes your cover letter, CV and two references.  Where possible, please speak to the specific qualifications that we have outlined in the call for volunteers above.