Traveling through the Inians is one of the naturalists’ favorite explorations in Southeast Alaska. The abundant wildlife is incredible and most, if not all of Southeast Alaska’s iconic animals can be seen here: sea otters, Steller sea lions, salmon, puffins, and even humpback whales.

The night before we were lucky enough to spot some humpback whales, but only spouts were consistently seen. After learning about Happy Whale and how to contribute to citizen science efforts, many people were super excited to see humpback whales up close and to capture an image of their flukes. The underside of a humpback’s fluke is unique to each individual and can be used as a “fingerprint” to identify whales. Scientists then use this data that everyday people are contributing, which helps them understand whale foraging spots and how to safeguard the charismatic megafauna that we all love.