NOAA scientists participating in the annual Aerial Surveys of Arctic Marine Mammals Project say they have seen an unprecedented number of gray whale calves so far this year.
More than 50 calves have been sighted in just the first month of the survey. And though some of the calves are undoubtedly repeat sightings, the total number is far higher than normal.
The aerial survey project kicked off about a month ago in Barrow, with additional effort based out of Deadhorse beginning mid-July. It covers a massive study area in the Alaska Chukchi and Beaufort seas.
The goal of the survey is to document the distribution and relative abundance of bowhead, gray, right and fin whales, belugas and other marine mammals in areas of potential oil and natural gas exploration, development and production activities in the Alaska Arctic.
The research is funded by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, and NOAA scientists will be conducting almost daily flights through October.
Gov. Sean Parnell signed an administrative order to facilitate a continuing timely and effective response by State agencies to marine debris from the March 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami in Japan.
While the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is the lead agency on marine debris, Administrative Order 263 designates the State Department of Environmental Conservation as the lead agency to coordinate the state and federal efforts relating to tsunami-generated marine debris.
The Kachemak Bay Birders field trip on Aug. 11 at Wynn Nature Center is co-sponsored by Audubon Alaska and Center for Alaska Coastal Studies.
This will be a unique opportunity to not only observe local forest birds with other experienced birders, but to also reconvene afterward, and learn how to enter your observation data into eBird.
This new online tool for birders makes it easy to record and recall your observation data, and then compare it to what other birders have recorded. eBird familiarity not only increases your birding skills, but also provides scientists with data that contributes to better bird conservation.
Kachemak Bay Birders will lead the field trip and use the CACS downtown office to present an eBird tutorial. Following the learning session, birders will enter their observations from the trip.
Interested birders should meet in the Wynn Nature Center, located at mile 1.5 East Skyline Drive, at 11 a.m. The hike will last 1-2 hours, followed by the eBird tutorial at 2 p.m.
Bring your binoculars, lunch, and computer, Smart phone or tablet. Computers will be available for those who did not bring one.
Nancy and Randy Boeshart have moved their Malone Insurance Agency from Bethel to Homer, and are located at 378 E. Pioneer Avenue, in the Orca Building.
The Boesharts hired agent Lisa Rich, who moved to Alaska in 2005 and made her home on the Kenai Peninsula in 2007. She is on the leadership council for Big Brothers/Big Sisters, is a Big Sister, and is an avid volunteer for various organizations. The Boesharts have been in the insurance business for 20 years, purchasing Malone Insurance from Vicki Malone of Bethel in 2007.
They sell property and casualty insurance, as well as insurance for businesses, including worker’s compensation.
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