WHO WE ARE
Ensuring the long-term health of marine mammals and coastal ecosystems.
AWF was founded in 1996 by a team of passionate individuals who wanted to shed light on the amazing behaviors of the endangered humpback whales in Southeast Alaska.
The diverse team of biologists, educators, vessel captains and illustrators were inspired by Fred Sharpe’s early work on the social behavior of the region's humpbacks. Together, they fueled an appreciation for the animals and elicited the generous support of individuals, conservation organizations and Alaskan communities.
Decades later, AWF continues to study marine mammals and coastal ecosystems, but with more resources, established scientists and collaborators, and ambitious graduate students and undergraduate interns. As well, the organization has developed a permanent research base in a wild and pristine coastal ecosystem on Baranof Island. Today, AWF is able to fully realize its mission through ambitious scientific research, long-term ecological monitoring, student mentoring, and outreach.