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Pre-symposium excursion

See your email for the latest itinerary and meet-up location.

Access the field guide as a google doc or download a pdf.

We are organizing a 3-day, 2-night excursion (Friday, June 17th - Sunday, June 19th) to world-famousGlacier Bay National Park(GBNP), a World Heritage site. The trip will be guided by Andrew Bliss, glaciologist with the National Park Service (NPS), Jamie Womble, wildlife biologist with the NPS, and Roman Motyka, professor emeritus and glaciologist with UAF and UAS, as well as other scientists and naturalists.

Overview maps can be found on the Glacier Bay National Park's maps page.

time-lapse camera at Johns Hopkins Inlet

Time-lapse cameras in Johns Hopkins Inlet.


Day 1: Depart Statter Harbor, Juneau on Friday morning, June 17th, via Allen Marine 78 ft catamaran, arriving in Bartlett Cove (headquarters of GBNP) by early afternoon after a 3 ½ - 4 hour-long trip. En route we will have spectacular views of outlet glaciers from the Juneau Icefield (weather dependent) as well as opportunities for whale-watching and viewing other marine wildlife. Lunch will be provided.

Participants will stay at the historic Glacier Bay Lodge, the only accommodations within the park. Most participants will need to share rooms due to limited available space. Dinners and breakfasts at the lodge are included in the excursion fees.

After check-in and before dinner, you will have the opportunity to explore the GBNP visitor’s center and Bartlett Cove hiking trails. After dinner, we will hold an orientation and provide short presentations at the visitor center auditorium. Alternately, we may meet with representatives of the Tlingit indigenous community at Xunaa Shuká Hít - The Huna Tribal House. Exact day and timing are under negotiation.

Day 2: Day boat trip up the West Arm and into Tarr Inlet to the tidewater faces of the Margerie and Grand Pacific Glaciers.  En route we will also have views into John Hopkins Inlet.  The catamaran departs from the dock at Glacier Bay Lodge on Bartlett Cove.  Passengers board at 7:00 am, depart at 7:30 am, and return around 3:30 pm daily.  Lunch and a beverage are included in the tour.  This 8-hour tour includes narrations by a National Park Service Ranger, as well as by the trip guides and other scientists who can answer all your questions about the tour and what you will see.  Learn about the effects that glacial isostatic adjustment associated with the Little Ice Age advance and retreat has had on indigenous inhabitants and on local and regional terrain.  Learn about the first glaciological studies of tidewater glaciers, the tidewater glacier cycle, regional tectonics, recent glacial histories, landslides, the park’s wildlife, and the region’s post-LIA plant successions.

After returning to Bartlett Cove, you will have time to decompress and explore before dinner. That evening we will meet at Tribal House if we had not done so the previous night. Alternately, we can sip Alaska’s finest beers on the veranda as we watch the sun set behind the Fairweather Range (weather permitting of course!).

Margerie and Grand Pacific glaciers

Margerie and Grand Pacific Glaciers.

Day 3: After a leisurely breakfast, take time for some short walks along the beach and look for whales. Check out from the lodge and meet the Catamaran at the dock late morning. More whale and wildlife watching on the return trip, lunch provided. Arrive back at Juneau by mid-afternoon, in time to check into your lodging and then attend the icebreaker at Forbidden Peak Brewery.


$US 900 (double occupancy)

$US 1150 (single occupancy)

We have been able to negotiate steep discounts with vendors for this trip. Price includes van shuttle transportation to and from the boat harbor from UAS housing, Catamaran travel to and from GBNP (4 hour each way), breakfasts and lunches, 2 nights lodging at Glacier Bay Lodge, an 8-hour boat tour up the West Arm, and presentations at the Huna Tribal House and at the GBNP visitor center.

Maximum number of participants: 50 (first-come-first-serve)

We strongly advise arriving the day before the excursion to ensure connections for the trip. We also advise booking a room at the University housing option (not included in the excursion costs). We will shuttle participants from UAS housing to and from the harbor. Participants staying at other locations may need to obtain their own transportation.

Because lodging is limited, we must ask for participants to share rooms as much as possible.

Here is a breakdown of rooms available to us (first come, first serve):

  • Standard lodge rooms: 10 with a double bed plus bunk bed; 2 with single king bed; 1 with two double beds; 1 with a double bed (ADA).

  • Deluxe rooms: 2 with single king bed; 7 with two double beds.

We are also looking for overflow lodging in the nearby town of Gustavus.

We will update this page as more information becomes available.

harbor seals

Harbor seals resting on an iceberg in Glacier Bay.