Watch a clip from one of our expeditions in Pack Creek. Local USFS Wilderness Manager John Neary leads educators into brown bear territories on Admiralty Island!
Get ready teacher's, 2013 Teacher Expeditions information is available below. Registration begins January 9th, download and fill out your registration form here.
About Teacher Expeditions...
Earn three professional development (500 level) credits from the University of Alaska-Anchorage while exploring Southeast Alaska's Inside Passage. Expeditions are led by veteran naturalists with many years of field experience. They are accompanied by outstanding professional guides from Above and Beyond Alaska, Spirit Walker Expeditions, Alaska Sea Kayakers and Lazy Otter Charters - several of Southeast Alaska's premier wilderness adventure companies.
These professional-level courses devote five days or more to field study of the habits of some of the region's most iconic animals as a means to understanding the broader ecology of the area. Opportunities abound to closely observe the behavior and habitat of Alaska's world-renowned animals, deepening the understanding how humans interact with other species and what it takes to keep those relationships healthy. Exploring the American wilderness ideal is an integral part of each course.
In addition to natural history, you will learn the kayaking, hiking and camping skills needed to safely and comfortably travel in wild country. We provide group gear and all meals, and can advise you on personal items you may wish to bring along.
Prices / Payment / Cancellation Policy Information:
Prices include round trip transportation (air and water) between Juneau, Gustavus or Girdwood AK and each remote camp site, kayak and camping gear rentals, kayak training, permit and guide fees, food and the professional development credit fee. Participants are responsible for round trip transportation between their home town and their trip departure town (Juneau, Gustavus, or Girdwood) and in most cases food and lodging for the first night of the course, which is spent in Juneau, Gustavus, or Girdwood.
A deposit at 50% of the trip fee is required at the time of registration and is non-refundable after March 15, 2013. If you withdraw from the course before March 15th, 2013, your deposit minus a $150 administrative fee will be returned to you. Payment is due in 60 days before departure, with 50% refundable minus the $150 administrative fee up to 45 days before departure. No refunds will be assessed less than 45 days prior to the trip date unless we can fill your spot, in which case the $150 administrative fee will be assessed on top of the 50% that is not refundable.
In addition to payment, please download and fill out the registration form.
Bears of Admiralty Island: June 3- June 9, 2013
$1195 for members, $1225 non-members
5 Spots available
Walk in the footsteps of brown bears and paddle the waters of Seymour Canal as you explore various bear habitats to learn the needs and vulnerabilities of bears and the importance of wilderness protections and proper management of human uses. Forest Service naturalist Don MacDougall will introduce you to brown bear behavior and wilderness management issues in the heart of Admiralty National Monument's Kootznoowoo Wilderness.
Floatplanes will transport up to 10 participants and two guides to base camp near the world famous Pack Creek Bear Viewing Area sanctuary. From there, you will paddle in stable double kayaks to nearby locations to observe how brown bears use different habitats, with opportunities to hike along trails established by the bears themselves. A more strenuous hike into the alpine zone is an option. Evening gatherings and daytime breaks will give participants an opportunity to compare notes and share insights.
The class starts in Juneau the evening of the first day, with an orientation and get-to-know-you meeting. We will depart early the following morning for our camp on Admiralty Island. After five days of field exploration, we will gather on the morning of the final day to review our experiences, debrief and summarize the results of our expedition. Afterwards we will break camp and return to Juneau.
“Thanks for all your hard work! I and the other teachers who were on the trip were constantly in awe of the beauty and majesty of the region, and Don and Tom were amazing at helping us get past the jaw-dropping phase and on to the understanding of the ecosystem and the natural and political forces that have resulted in what it is today. I know we all left with a much better understanding of what unique and precious and fragile areas the Admiralty Island and Pack Creek are, and will be mindful of these lessons as we return to our classrooms.”
-Cat (Bears of Admiralty Island student, 2011)
Exploring Prince William Sound: June 11-17, 2013
$995 for members, $1025 non-members
This trip is FULL
Glaciers and Climate Change in Wild Alaska: June 22-29, 2013
$1295 for members, $1325 non-members
3 spots available
Paddle your kayak among drifting ice bergs. Place your hand in the footprint of a wild bear. Relax at camp listening to nearby whales. You might even hear a wolf howl. These experiences are at the heart of Glaciers and Climate Change in Wild Alaska, a multi-day exploration of the wildlife, forests and glaciers of southeast Alaska. Special emphasis is placed on how the region is responding to global climate change and what changes in the north mean for the rest of the world.
The class is led by Forest Service ranger and naturalist Kevin Hood. The classroom is a wild stretch of Alaska’s famed Inside Passage. The group will travel by boat to a base camp on a remote island. Each day, participants will camp, walk and sea kayak in the Tracy Arm-Fords Terror Wilderness - with a visit to Dawes Glacier - at a pace suitable to the group.
The class will assemble at the Forest Service office in Juneau on the evening of the first day for an orientation session. The following morning we will travel by boat through the scenic Inside Passage to Endicott Arm. Passage to and from Endicott Arm is provided by American Safari Cruises and participants will be overnighting each way aboard an American Safari Cruises vessel in their tents on the deck. During the five days spent in the field, we will camp, kayak and explore this area, which is home to harbor seals, sea lions, humpback whales, bears, wolves, eagles and more and is surrounded by old growth temperate rain forest. After some reflection and expedition debriefing, we will return to Juneau aboard an American Safari Cruises vessel which will again be an overnight.
“I loved the time spent observing and discussing wildlife and history of the area. I appreciated the change of locations so we had a more varied experience. Kayaking definitely was a highlight. Kevin did a good job of balancing the different goals, needs and personalities of the group. It brought some concrete ideas for observing and data taking as a student project. It gave me a better understanding of this area in Alaska but also how climate change and wilderness ties in globally.”
-Julie (Glaciers and Climate Change in Wild Alaska student, 2011)
Whales of Icy Strait: July 24 - July 29, 2013
$1195 for members, $1225 non-members
5 spots available
Study the behavior, habitat and management issues of humpback whales and other marine mammals such as sea lions, seals and killer whales while kayaking in Icy Strait and camping along the north shore of Chichagof Island. We will explore the ecological connections between terrestrial and marine systems and the effects of human use patterns on the landscape through forest, meadow and stream walks in the uplands bordering these rich marine mammal feeding waters.
Veteran Discovery Southeast and SEAWEAD naturalist Bob Christensen will lead our inquiry into the natural systems of this wildlife-rich area, including mapping exercises to facilitate an understanding of how ecological “hot-spots” are identified and managed. In group gatherings, participants will have opportunities to discuss methods of incorporating natural resource lesson plans into class curriculums.
On our first day, we will meet in Gustavus in the afternoon for an orientation and gather equipment, meet our guides and review details of the expedition. It is recommended to take the ferry to Gustavus from Juneau on July 24th. (See travel information below). That afternoon we will board a boat for the trip across Icy Strait to Chichagof Island. At our drop off point, we will make base camp and practice kayaking skills in anticipation of our journey toward the Humpback Whale hot-spot at Point Adolphus. On our final morning, we’ll reflect on our personal experiences and the expedition's accomplishments before boarding a boat for Gustavus and then our flight back to Juneau.
Getting to Gustavus:
Recommended: Take the ferry from Juneau to Gustavus via Alaska Marine Highway. Ferry leaves Juneau at 7 AM arrives Gustavus at 11:15 AM.
Fly with Alaska Airlines July 23rd Flight 71 Depart Juneau 4:12pm Arrive Gustavus 4:45 pm *Teacher Expedition begins July 24th must stay the night in Gustavus at your own expense*
Alaska Air Excusions, Wings of Alaska, and Fjord Flying also have numerous flights a day between Juneau and Gustavus. You must be in Gustavus by noon on July 24th.
Fly with Alaska Airlines on July 29th Flight 77 Depart Gustavus 5:28 pm Arrive Juneau 5:55 pm *Note this is a daily flight, if you wish to stay longer in Gustavus this is a good option.*
The earliest ferry that is scheduled afterwards is for August 1st Departing Gustavus at 12:45 pm and Arriving in Juneau at 5 PM. *Note this would require spending 2 nights in Gustavus*
Lodging options in Gustavus:
The Gustavus Inn http://www.gustavusinn.com
The Annie Mae Lodge http://www.anniemae.com/
Cottonwood Cabin Rentals http://cottonwoodlodge.net/RatesCottonWood.html
Aimee’s Guest House http://glacierbayalaska.net/
Blue Heron Bed & Breakfast www.blueheronbnb.net
Additional information about Gustavus
Gustavus Visitors Association www.gustavusak.com
These expeditions are made possible by the joint efforts of our outstanding partners: Above and Beyond Alaska, Alaska Discovery, Spirit Walker Expeditions, Alaska Geographic Association, USDA Forest Service, Alaska Department of Fish and Game and the University of Alaska Anchorage.