Please review the FAQs below for answers to common questions. If you do not see your question addressed below, please click here to Ask BioMap Alaska A Question

How to register

Simply go to the “Register” link at the top of the web page. You will then select a username and password and fill out a registration form with your contact information. Then, you will be sent an email to validate your account. Once your account is validated, you will be able to report observations immediately.

How to login once registered

To login, click on the “Login” link at the top of the web page. This will bring you to the login page where you enter your username and password. If you have forgotten your password, there is an option to retrieve your login information.

How to log a sighting

If you’re planning on doing an activity in which you may be able to log a sighting (e.g., fishing, boating, walking the coastline, etc.), be prepared! Bring your digital camera, a measuring device, a pen or pencil, and print out a few of our datasheets.

If you observe a species of interest, first try to take a picture of the animal. Then fill out as much information as you can on the datasheet. Descriptions of the datasheet information can be found below.

Species, weight, length, sex, age: If you have caught an animal, record its size (weight and length) if possible and attempt to determine its sex and age. If you are just observing an animal and have difficulty estimating this information, leave size blank and indicate that sex and age are unknown values.

Was one or more of this same species observed?: If you are observing a group of the same species, select “mixed group” and try to count them as accurately as possible and record this number on your datasheet. Please provide details of the sexes and ages you saw in the mixed group if known. If you are taking exact measurements for more than one animal within a group, please fill out more than one datasheet with this information. If you observe more than one species, these should be recorded as separate observations.

Location of observation: Write down a description of the location when you make your observation and record latitude and longitude coordinates if possible. There is a map provided online where you can zoom in on your exact or approximate location and mark where you made your observation if you don’t have latitude and longitude coordinates to input.

Environmental conditions: Note the weather conditions when you make your observation. Also note the conditions of the ocean and if there is sea ice present.

Area description: Please note anything important about the area where you make your observation (e.g., was the animal seen on land, near a dock, around moving boats, near any debris, swimming, on an iceberg, etc.?). This includes anything that might help you describe the animal you saw in relation to its surroundings.

Water depth where animal was observed: Note if the animal was observed in the water (record if it was at the surface, below the surface, etc.) and where you were in relation to its location (on a boat in approximately what depth of water or on the shore/dock, etc.).

Any other anecdotal information related to the observed species or its environment: If you are aware of an important piece of information about the species you observed (such as previous movements of this species in years past, differences in abundance of the animal, if it is with young, a note about a change in its habitat etc.), please record this information here.

How to review sightings

How to decide whether to log a species?  What if I am not sure about what I saw? Log a sighting whenever you see an interesting animal! We are focusing on the 11 species listed in our field guides but feel free to submit other sightings if you have them.  If you couldn’t get all of the information we request, but have a good picture of the species, definitely send in your sighting. The more details the better; this will help us to accurately identify unusual species.

What will the information be used for? The information will be presented on our website and is easily accessible by all interested citizens, research scientists and others. The goal is to provide long-term information that can better help everyone to understand how these species and the marine ecosystem are changing and be better equipped to address any issues or concerns associated with these changes.

Will volunteers be compensated for their time?

No, volunteers will not be compensated, but we appreciate your support! Your contributions will be valuable for many stakeholders wanting to learn more about the changes occurring in the Arctic.

If I sign up, for how long will I need to report sightings?

There is no time requirement to participate in this project. You can report as many observations as you like for as long as you are available. Even a single observation is valuable!

If you still have a question not directly addressed here, please click on the link below.
Ask BioMap Alaska A Question