ABOUT WHALEFEST

Sitka WhaleFest is a unique science festival to celebrate marine life! The core of the festival, is a unique science symposium blending local knowledge and scientific inquiry of the rich marine environment of our northern oceans.  Surrounded by community and cultural activities, the weekend events include lectures, marine wildlife cruises in beautiful Sitka Sound, 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 this unique tradition with our community.

Festival dates are November 3 – 5, 2017.

Online Registration will begin on June 1st, 2017.  Paper Tickets will be available at the Sitka Sound Science Center (834 Lincoln Street, Sitka) beginning on October 1st and at Old Harbor Books (201 Lincoln Street) on October 20th.

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FESTIVAL NEWS

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WhaleFest Theme

 

Each year the Sitka WhaleFest planning committee selects a theme based on current issues and events that are relevant to our marine wildlife and environment.  This year’s theme will be announced in March at our annual Food Web Cruise fundraiser.

The Food Web Cruise will be on Saturday, March 25th from 8:30 – 11:30 am departing from Crescent Harbor, 330 Harbor Drive, Sitka, Alaska.  Online tickets will be available on February 1st and paper tickets on March 1st.  

Sign up for updates by sending your email or mailing address to whalefest@sitkascience.org

Science Symposium 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.

DAY 1

Friday, November 3, 2017

Talk 1   1:00 – 1:45 pm

Talk 2   2:00 – 2:45 pm

Talk 3   3:00 – 3:45 pm

DAY 2

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Talk 1   1:00 – 1:45 pm

Talk 2   2:00 – 2:45 pm

Talk 3   3:00 – 3:45 pm

DAY 3

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Talk 1   1:00 – 1:45 pm

Talk 2   2:00 – 2:45 pm

Talk 3   3:00 – 3:45 pm

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


Craig George & Billy Adams

"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


Jan Straley & Michael Castellini

"WhaleFest 2036"

2:00 pm - 3:30 pm

Food Web Cruise

Film Fest

Marine Art Reception

Market & Cafe

Maritime Grind

WhaleFest Run – 5K or…

Marine Wildlife Cruises

Marine Mingle

Feeding Grounds Banquet

Family Concert

Mar

25

Food Web Cruise

8:30 am - 11:30 am


Marine Art Reception & Market & Cafe & WhaleFest Run - 5K or 10K Run & 2-mile Walk

10:00 am - 4:30 pm


Symposium Lectures

1:00 pm - 3:45 pm


Marine Wildlife Cruises

8:45 am - 11:30 am


Marine Mingle

6:00 pm - 6:45 pm


Feeding Grounds Banquet

7:00 pm - 10:00 pm

Nov

2

Marine Art Reception

5:30 pm - 6:30 pm


Film Fest

6:30 pm - 8:30 pm

Nov

3

Marine Art Reception & Market & Cafe

10:00 am - 4:30 pm


Symposium Lectures

1:00 pm - 3:45 pm


Maritime Grind

7:30 pm - 9:30 pm

Nov

5

Marine Art Reception & Market & Cafe

10:00 am - 4:30 pm


Symposium Lectures

1:00 pm - 3:45 pm


Marine Wildlife Cruises

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