Marine Science Explorer Program now taking reservations for 20th anniversary in 2014

Posted on April 10, 2013 

Kenai Fjords Tours Marine Science Explorer Program

now taking reservations for 20th anniversary in 2014

Over the past 18 years, CIRI Alaska Tourism Corporation’s award-winning Marine Science Explorer Program has introduced more than 42,000 Alaska students to Resurrection Bay’s deep-water fjord ecosystem. Now in the program’s 19th year, Kenai Fjords Tours is currently taking reservations for the 20th anniversary of the program in 2014.

Operated by Kenai Fjords Tours in Seward, the Marine Science Explorer Program provides excursions for students in grades three through twelve, transforming traditional whale-watching vessels into floating classrooms. During the five-hour field trips, students work closely with National Park Service rangers and other instructors to analyze seawater and plankton, observe as many as 12  species of marine mammals, and view  dozens of seabird species.

“The Marine Science Explorer Program offers an incredible opportunity for students to experience the wonders of Resurrection Bay and to take a closer look at many aspects of this unique environment,” said Leslie Jacoby, Marine Science Explorers Program education coordinator at Kenai Fjords Tours. “Aside from being a fun and educational opportunity for the students, the program also builds strong relationships among youth, educators, the National Park Service, the Alaska SeaLife Center, the University of Alaska Institute of Marine Science and the residents of Seward.”

In 2014, the program will celebrate 20 years of providing marine education to Alaska’s youth and continues to evolve and offer new classes and learning opportunities for students of all ages. This spring, students can choose to take part in an overnight program at the Alaska SeaLife Center, spending the night observing the behavior of night-dwelling marine mammals and seabirds.

“For many kids, the Marine Science Program is their first experience being on a boat and exploring the ocean,” said Ron Wille, General Manager for Kenai Fjords Tours. “We’ve had students return as adults with their friends and family, still remembering their experience as a student of the program. Having the opportunity to educate and inspire the next generation to learn and take interest in marine science is one of the most rewarding parts of our job.”

The Kenai Fjords Tours Marine Science Explorer Program has received numerous accolades, including the “Champion of Children Award” from the National Education Association of Alaska; the “National Environmental Education Achievement Award” from the National Environmental and Training Foundation; and most recently, the “Alaska Ocean Leadership Award” from the Alaska SeaLife Center. The program is highly regarded by teachers throughout the state and praised for its efforts on behalf of public education.

Cost for the program is $50 per student for the five-hour excursion, with a maximum of 80 students onboard each cruise. The 2013 program runs April 15 through May 22. For more information or to make reservations for students for this year or the 20th anniversary year in 2014, call or email Group Reservations at 1-877-476-8775 or kftgroups@ciri.com.

Alaska Native owned and operated, CIRI Alaska Tourism (CATC) is the umbrella company for Alaska Heritage Tours, Kenai Fjords Tours, Kenai Fjords Wilderness Lodge, Talkeetna Alaskan Lodge, and Seward Windsong Lodge.  CIRI Alaska Tourism Corporation is a Minority Business Enterprise, MBE#PS0313. For more information, and to book your Alaska adventure, visitwww.ciritourism.com.


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