Every year for 30 years now, Great Whale Count brings volunteers together to count whales from shore as part of a long-term survey of humpback whales in Hawaii. This event provides a snapshot of local trends in cetacean population abundance and is one of the world’s longest running citizen scientist projects.
There are 12 survey sites along the shoreline of Maui, offering a chance to spend time at a favorite spot or to explore a new part of the island. Participants receive a brief training from a Pacific Whale Foundation site leader in the morning, and then go to work counting whales and observing behaviors during timed scans. Site leaders record data from their volunteers throughout the event. Our research team tallies the results from all the sites and produces a report after the count is finished.