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Sitka, Alaska's Raptor and Marine Science Centers

Program Number: 19662RJ
Start and End Dates:
5/12/2013 - 5/18/2013;
Duration: 6 nights
Location: Sitka, Alaska
Price starting at: $1,399.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Service Learning; Birding
Meals: 16; 6 Breakfasts, 5 Lunches, 5 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian    

Amid the lush coastal Alaskan rainforest, care is given to injured bald eagles and scientists continue the legacy of protecting this fragile eco-system. Lend a hand to this important work at the Alaska Raptor Center, Alaska’s foremost bald eagle hospital and education center and the Sitka Sound Science Center, the only science center of its kind on the outer edge of the North Pacific US.




Highlights

• Work in close contact with the eagles and take part in discussions of plants, native culture, coastal grizzlies and the complex local ecosystem.
• Support unique scientific research into human impact on marine mammals, marine debris and the intertidal zone.
• On a privately chartered voyage to an offshore bird refuge, marvel at puffins, whales, sea otters and incredible scenery.



Activity Particulars

Walking up to two miles over developed trails and sidewalks. Trails have roots, muddy conditions, elevation gains and stairs.



So you can get the most out of your experience, all of our Birding programs have a maximum participant-to-instructor ratio of 14:1.



Coordinated by Road Scholar.




Sitka

This community, nestled on the west side of Baranof Island, is one of the most beautiful Alaskan seaside towns. Flanked by the Pacific and snowcapped mountains, it boasts a heritage of Native culture, Russian history and Alaskan wilderness. Sitka also lies at the heart of the largest temperate rainforest in the world, the Tongass National Forest.



Accommodations
Native-owned hotel on the historic Sitka waterfront that blends timeless traditions with modern amenities.
Meals and Lodgings
   Totem Square Inn
  Sitka, AK 6 nights
 Totem Square Inn
Type: Hotel
  Description: Totem Square Inn is located on the historic Sitka waterfront, where schooners docked two centuries ago. As the only Native-owned Sitka, Alaska hotel, Shee Atika Totem Square Inn blends timeless traditions with modern amenities. It is located in Sitka's historic district, a short walk to all the attractions.
  Contact info: 201 Katlian St
Sitka, AK 99835 USA
phone: 866-300-1353
web: www.totemsquareinn.com
  Room amenities: The Inn has 68 comfortable rooms. Every room has high speed Internet access, cable TV, a radio alarm clock, writing table, coffee maker, hair dryer, and voice mail. All guestrooms are non smoking.
  Facility amenities: Complimentary airport shuttle; wireless Internet access (WiFi); Business Center with two workstations, printer, copier and fax services; exercise facility; guest laundry on first floor (laundry soap and fabric softener are available for purchase at the gift shop in the lobby); snack center with a microwave, single use dishes and utensils provided free of charge.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: Contact hotel for rate Summer is a busy time of the year so reservations need to be made far in advance if you plan to arrive early or stay after the program.
  Check in time: 3:00 PM
  Additional nights after: Contact hotel for rate Summer is a busy time of the year so reservations need to be made far in advance if you plan to arrive early or stay after the program.
  Check out time: 11:00 AM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Hotel check in begins at 3:00 PM. Program registration begins at 5:00 PM, followed by dinner at 6:00 PM. You will be staying at Totem Square Inn that night.
  End of Program:
Program ends after breakfast. Hotel check out by 11:00 AM. You will be staying at Totem Square Inn the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required. Participants are asked to read the Raptor Center Safety Document before completing the Raptor Center "Adult Volunteer Application." Please return this form to: Road Scholar, 14819 SE 82nd Dr, Clackamas, OR 97015.
  Parking availability:
Bringing a car is not advised since it would involve a very expensive ferry trip. A rental car is not necessary since Sitka is a very walkable town.
Transportation
To Start of Program
  Location:  Sitka, AK
  Nearest highway: Alaska Marine Highway Ferry. No land connection.
  Nearest airport:  Sitka Rocky Gutierrez Airport (SIT)
  From End of Program
  Location: Sitka, AK
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details
 

Sitka, Alaska

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Hotel Shuttle
Totem Square Inn
phone: 907-747-3693

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

Complimentary
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

10 minutes 

 

Distance:

 

2 miles

   

Call the hotel from the airport. Make return arrangements at the desk the day before departure for transportation to the airport.

 
Driving Directions
  Seattle, WA Driving is not recommended since it involves a 5 day ferry ride which is very expensive.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: Sitka arrival and meet the group
(Sunday, May 12)
   
 Arrive To: Independent arrivals to Sitka.

The group gather in the meeting space of the Totem Square Inn for program registration followed by dinner and orientation.

 Dinner: Dinner in hotel meeting space.
   
Accommodations: Totem Square Inn
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Meet the staff at the Sitka Sound Science Center and get to work!
(Monday, May 13)
   
 Breakfast: At hotel.
 Morning: Receive an introduction to the Sitka Sound Science Center by the director of the center. You will meet with the center's staff, have a project orientation and tour the facility. Then the center will offer a a talk on bear safety and bear natrual history.
 Lunch: The lunch will be on site and will range from homemade soups to make it yourself sandwich bar with delicious cookies to give you the energy to keep on working!
 Afternoon: The afternoon will be spent on tasks as assigned. Tasks can be as simple as painting, outdoor yard clean up or more detailed such as helping in the hatchery with fish tagging or helping in the Aquarium on site.

The Sitka Sound Science Center is uniquely qualified to provide unparalleled access for research and education programs in the Gulf of Alaska, Eastern Pacific Ocean, and North American Coastal Temperate Rainforests. The Science Center builds upon Sitka’s legacy as a research and educational community. Sitka has a maritime tradition and commercial, charter, sport, and subsistence fishing all still play vital roles in the economy and culture of our community. Your help in keeping this facility in good shape will go far in continuing this facilities important role.

 Dinner: Dinner at the hotel
 Evening: After dinner is free time to take advantage of the long evenings. It is light until well after 10 pm
   
Accommodations: Totem Square Inn
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Aquaculture, totems and work galore!
(Tuesday, May 14)
   
 Breakfast: At hotel.
 Morning: The group will bus to the science center for a class on the introduction to commercial fishing, and Aquaculture followed by a walk to the National Historic Park in Sitka.

The park preserves the site of a watershed battle between invading Russian traders and the local Tlingit population. The park offers a chance to see Tlingit and Haida totem poles and the restored Russian Bishop’s House which tells the story of Russia’s little known colonial legacy in North America.

 Lunch: Catered lunches will range from soups to wraps
 Afternoon: After lunch tasks will be assigned at the Sitka Science Center or its partner on the campus: the Sitka Fine Arts Camp. Sitka Fine Arts Camp provides youth with the opportunity to develop artistic interests and skills from nationally-recognized instructors in visual arts, music, dance, theater, writing, and Alaska Native Arts. Tasks may include helping with the upkeep of the buildings or work on the campus grounds. Your help will support this important mission of continuing the arts based education of students from all over the country. Free time to relax before dinner.
 Dinner: Dinner at hotel or location to be determined.
 Evening: Free time to enjoy what Sitka has to offer.
   
Accommodations: Totem Square Inn
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Cleaning mews--what are mews?
(Wednesday, May 15)
   
 Breakfast: At hotel.
 Morning: Today will be our day at the Sitka Raptor Center. After a behind the scenes tour of the facility, the group will attend a Birds of Prey presentation.

Each year, the Alaska Raptor Center provides medical treatment to 100-200 injured bald eagles and other birds. Their goal is to release these birds back into the wild; some, however, are injured so severely they could not survive in the wild even after rehabilitation. These birds may join their Raptors-in-Residence, providing excitement and education for more than 36,000 annual visitors and 15,000 schoolchildren around the country.

Your help in getting the facility ready for the summer visitor's season will help to make the education of the public continue. Tasks may include painting, cage cleaning, outdoor plant cleanup or labeling (weather dependent).

 Lunch: Lunch provided at the science center.
 Afternoon: We will divide into two groups with group 1 working on Raptor Center projects. These jobs will be assigned based on the needs of the center. Volunteers at the center contribute by cleaning the mews to helping out in the business office and maintaining the Center's facilities. Group 2 will return to the Fine Arts Camp to continue with projects at that location.
 Dinner: Free time and dinner on your own. Suggestions will be offered by your group leader.
   
Accommodations: Totem Square Inn
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 5: Wildlife Quest and sprucing up amidst the Sitka Spruce.
(Thursday, May 16)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast in the hotel.
 Morning: Enjoy a wildlife cruise with a marine mammal biologist to learn about the workings of this remarkable ecosystem. View an incredible number of nesting pelagic birds such as the puffin as well as birds of prey. Our on-board instructor will provide information as we go and answer any questions. The waters in the area contain many marine mammal species such as whales, sea otters, and sea lions. This is a 2 hr. trip.
 Lunch: Lunch on the science center campus.
 Afternoon: Group 2 will work on Raptor Center projects. These jobs will be assigned based on the needs of the center. Volunteers at the center contribute by cleaning the mews to helping out in the business office and maintaining the Center's facilities. Group 1 will join staff at the Fine Arts Camp to help with projects at that location.
 Dinner: Enjoy dinner at the hotel.
 Evening: After dinner, enjoy some time on your own to explore Sitka.
   
Accommodations: Totem Square Inn
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: More work to do plus artists, too!
(Friday, May 17)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the Hotel.
 Morning: A full morning of work to finish our week's projects at the science center.
 Lunch: Lunch provided at the science center.
 Afternoon: Visit the Sheldon Jackson Museum with a presentation by a local native artist. Sitka is known for its native artistry from weaving to totem carving.
 Dinner: Farewell dinner at a local restaurant
   
Accommodations: Totem Square Inn
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Independent departures after breakfast.
(Saturday, May 18)
   
 Breakfast: At hotel.
 Morning: This morning we will depart at different times, going to different locations, but we will all be taking with us memories of our time in beautiful Sitka and our part in helping Sitka continue its legacy in research and education in both the field of Marine Science and with the majestic birds of prey.
   
Meals Included: Breakfast

Free Time Opportunities
 
  Sitka, AK Charter fishing
World class salmon and halibut fishing on a chartered boat with all gear provided. Non-resident fishing license may be purchased from captain. A list of charter operators can be found online. For additional information, visit www.sitka.com
  Golf
9 holes in a fantastic setting. Rentals available. For additional information, visit seamountaingolf.com
  Hiking
There are hiking trails easily accessed from downtown Sitka. Maps are available.
  Kayaking
Local rentals of sea kayaks and gear. They provide basic safety lessons and guides if needed. For additional information, visit www.ssoceanadventures.com
  Museums
Three museums are located in Sitka: Sitka National Historic Park (concentrating on the local Tlingit culture); Sitka Historical Museum (concentrating on Sitka after purchase) and Sheldon Jackson State Museum (concentrating on the native cultures of all Alaska). For additional information, visit www.museums.state.ak.us; www.sitkahistory.org
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List


A Guide to the Indian Tribes of the Pacific Northwest


Author: Robert Ruby and John Brown


Alaska


Author: James Michner


Alaska Trees and Shrubs


Author: Leslie Viereck and Elbert Little


Alaska: A History of the 49th State


Author: Claus Naske and Herman Slotnik


Description: Claus-M. Naske is retired as Professor of History at the University of Alaska. A longtime resident of the state, he is the author of many works on Alaska history.



Alaska: An American Colony


Author: Stephen Haycox


Guide to Marine Mammals of Alaska


Author: Kate Wynne


Description: This book covers all 29 marine mammal species of Alaska. Each whale, porpoise, dolphin, seal, sea lion, walrus, sea otter, and polar bear is described and illustrated. Color photos and surface profile drawings show all Alaska marine mammals and compare similar species, and color range maps show distribution.



Guide to the Birds of Alaska


Author: Robert Armstrong


Description: This comprehensive guide provides the most current knowledge about the birds in Alaska.



Looking at Indian Art of the Northwest Coast


Author: Hilary Stewart


Nature of Southeast Alaska: A Guide to Plants, Animals, and Habitats


Author: Robert Armstrong


The Sea Runners


Author: Ivan Doig


Description: In this timeless survival story, four indentured servants escape their Russian Alaska work camp in a stolen canoe, only to face a harrowing journey down the Pacific Northwest coast. Battling unrelenting high seas and fierce weather from New Archangel, Alaska, to Astoria, Oregon, the men struggle to avoid hostile Tlingit Indians, to fend off starvation and exhaustion, and to endure their own doubt and distrust. Although fictional it is based on an actual incident in 1853.



Travels in Alaska


Author: John Muir


Description: Take a trip to last century's Alaska through Muir's clean, easy-going, enthusiastic prose. He wrote the way he took pictures, with insight, attention, care and genuine feeling.





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