ABOUT WHALEFEST

2016 is the 20th Anniversary of the Sitka WhaleFest, a unique science festival to celebrate the marine life! The core of the festival, is a unique science symposium blending local knowledge and scientific inquiry concerning the rich marine environment of our northern oceans. Surrounded by community and cultural activities, the weekend events include lectures, marine wildlife cruises with beautiful scenery, a marine-themed artisan market, music, local foods, art show, interactive student sessions, and a fun run/walk. Come to Sitka WhaleFest and celebrate with us!

Festival dates are November 4 – 6, 2016

Paper Tickets will be available at the Sitka Sound Science Center beginning  on October 1st and at Old Harbor Books on October 20th.

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FESTIVAL NEWS

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Whales Through Time

As part of its special twentieth anniversary,  Sitka WhaleFest will focus on whales as a time telling device – what we’ve learned in the last twenty years, what whale science is revealing about our changing planet today, and how the study of whales connects the world into the future.   For 20 years, Sitka WhaleFest has brought marine scientists from around the globe to share current scientific research with an eager and interested audience.  For a generation, researchers from a variety of disciplines have reported on new scientific thinking and innovative  tools to study the ocean.

Science has demonstrated over and over how oceans influence every inch of the planet. Whether we are on the coast of Alaska, or in the middle of the Great Plains, we all live with the sea.   Speakers at the 2016 symposium will present on the exciting innovations in whale research and  how whales connect us all.

2016 Speakers

World-renowned scientists come to Sitka to share their current research findings on a wide range of subjects during a three-day symposium.  This innovative science outreach program gives future scientists and life-long learners opportunities to meet and learn from a diverse group of scientists who are passionate about their research.  Each afternoon, symposium participants and guest speakers will explore a daily theme connected to the overall them of the symposium.  Questions and discussion will involve the following topics:

DAY 1

Whale Chronicles

DAY 2

Prevailing Perspectives

DAY 3

Deciding our Legacy

Jim Darling

Trish Lavery

Ellen Chenoweth

John Ford

Travis Horton

Jan Straley

Craig George

Alex Werth

Michael Castellini

Billy Adams

Ray Troll

Nov

4

Jim Darling

"Songs Across the Pacific"

1:00 pm - 1:45 pm


John Ford

"40 Years of Killer Whales and our impact"

2:00 pm - 2:45 pm


Billy Adams & Craig George

"Two Perspectives of the Bowhead – Science and Inupiat"

3:00 pm - 3:45 pm

Nov

5

Trish Lavery

"A Whale Poop Tale"

1:00 pm - 1:45 pm


Travis Horton

"Humpback whale migrations through space and time"

2:00 pm - 2:45 pm


Alex Werth

"Meal Time: Lessons from Whales about the Evolutionary Past and Technological Future"

3:00 pm - 3:45 pm


Ray Troll

"Keynote"

7:00 pm

Nov

6

Ellen Chenoweth

"Getting Along in a World with More Whales"

1:00 pm - 1:45 pm


Michael Castellini & Jan Straley

"WhaleFest 2036"

2:00 pm - 3:30 pm

Film Screening

Student Art Show

Whalefest Market & Cafe

Maritime Grind

WhaleFest 5K & 10K Run…

Marine Wildlife Cruise

Marine Mingle

Feeding Grounds Banquet

Family Concert

Nov

3

Student Art Show

5:30 pm - 6:30 pm


Film Screening

6:30 pm - 8:30 pm

Nov

4

Student Art Show & Whalefest Market & Cafe

10:00 am - 4:30 pm


Maritime Grind

7:30 pm - 9:30 pm

Nov

5

Student Art Show & Whalefest Market & Cafe

10:00 am - 4:30 pm


Marine Wildlife Cruise

8:45 am - 11:30 am


WhaleFest 5K & 10K Run & 2-mile FunWalk

9:00 am


Marine Mingle

6:00 pm - 6:45 pm


Feeding Grounds Banquet

7:00 pm

Nov

6

Student Art Show & Whalefest Market & Cafe

10:00 am - 4:30 pm


Marine Wildlife Cruise

8:45 am - 11:30 am


Family Concert

5:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Beautiful Sitka lies along the coastal edge of Baranof Island in the Tongass National Forest and spectacular Southeast Alaska.  This remote community, with its myriad forested islands and rugged coastline, is home to whales and other marine mammals that can be observed each November during Sitka WhaleFest.  Enjoy delicious local seafood and shop Sitka’s many galleries and shops.  Sitka’s weather this time of year is in the 40’s and lower 50’s.  Rain or shine, the festival will go on!

AIR

Alaska Airlines, one of the west coast’s major carriers (and one of the country’s most highly rated airlines) has never abandoned its tradition of service to rural Alaska. Sitka has a direct flight daily from both Seattle and Anchorage, and a connecting flight to Juneau.  Thanks to Alaska Airlines, all registered participants receive a discount code for travel to Sitka WhaleFest; the discount code in included in the registration confirmation email.

FERRY

Alaska Marine Highway, The southern U.S. terminal is located in Bellingham, Washington (just north of Seattle). Departing from Bellingham, you can expect to stay aboard the ferry for roughly three days and two nights, sleeping either in a cabin, in one of the lounges, or camped on deck. Cafeteria service and showers are available on all ferries, but only the larger boats have private accommodations. The Juneau to Sitka ferry schedule is convenient for this year’s festival. For reservations, more information, or a schedule contact: Alaska Marine Highway P.O. Box 25535 Juneau, Alaska 99802-5535 1-800-642-0066 or 747-8737 in Sitka

PRIVATE PLANE

Harris Aircraft Services, offering floatplane and twin engine aircraft service to and from Sitka’s outlying communities. Generously offering special WhaleFest rates to attendees. For scheduling and rates call 907-966-3050.

Westmark Sitka is offering WhaleFest participants a discounted room rate of $126 per night, including $7 Resort Fee plus Taxes. Mention WhaleFest when you make your reservation or for online reservation click the link and enter promotional code WhaleFest.

Click here for hotel booking 

Housing is also available on the Historic Sheldon Jackson Campus through the Sitka Fine Arts Camp.

Click here to register for housing on campus

For more information about Sitka, other accommodations, or other visitor opportunities please contact Visit Sitka by visiting their website (www.sitka.org), following their Facebook page (www.facebook.com/VisitSitka) or calling 1-907-747-8604.

Contact us

Sitka WhaleFest 834 Lincoln Street Sitka, Alaska 99835
907.747.8878 ext. 2
whalefest@sitkascience.org