PETERSBURG, AK The Five Finger Lighthouse is on its way to becoming the first whale research station in Southeast Alaska. The Juneau Lighthouse Association has teamed up with the Alaska Whale Foundation to repurpose the historic building. A research team led by Oregon State University graduate student Michelle Fournet spent five weeks on the island this summer monitoring humpback whales. Fournet’s team is investigating how communications between individual whales influence their spacing across the Frederick Sound feeding grounds. They are also looking at how vessel noise affects the whale’s behavior and ability to communicate. Esmay Joyce spoke with Fournet about her research and future plans for the station.
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