The R/V Tiĝlax̂ (TEKH-lah - Unangam Tunuu or Aleut for eagle) and its crew work for the Refuge as its research and transportation support vessel. In a season, the Tiĝlax̂ may sail to islands in Southeast Alaska, the far western end of the Aleutian Chain, and into the Bering Sea, typically traveling, 15,000 to 20,000 nautical miles.

Sea-going Research Platform
  • Seabird surveys
  • Oceanographic studies
  • Marine mammal studies
  • Fish studies
Ambassador to Communities
  • summer and school year youth education programs
  • youth employment experiences through Youth Conservation Corps and tribal partnerships
  • dockside tours and open ship days in communities adjacent to the refuge
Transport to Field Camps (personnel and supplies) 
  • Seabird and marine mammal monitoring
  • Biological inventories
  • Invasive species management
  • Archaeological investigations

Cooperators Use of the Tiĝlax̂

Depending on space available on board or in the schedule, other agencies or universities may apply with projects that contribute to the understanding of marine resources and their management.

To find out about reimbursement costs, availability and the Tiĝlax̂ schedule contact: (attention Tiĝlax̂ scheduler). 

A pair of Horned Puffins with brightly colored yellow and red bills perches on a cliff near their nest. The cliff in the background is blurred.
The Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge stretches from the spectacular volcanic islands of the Aleutian chain to the Inside Passage, and north to the Chukchi Sea, providing essential habitat for marine mammals and some 40 million seabirds, representing more than 30 species.
A polar bear has black eyes and nose, and small ears, in a thick pelt of white fur.
Under direction of the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972 and the Endangered Species Act of 1973, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Alaska is responsible for the conservation of polar bears, northern sea otters, and Pacific walruses that inhabit Alaskan waters. Our sister agency, the National...
A bright blue sky obstructed by fluffy white clouds reflected off of a stream shot from inside a kayak
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service manages an unparalleled network of public lands and waters called the National Wildlife Refuge System. With more than 570 refuges spanning the country, this system protects iconic species and provides some of the best wildlife viewing opportunities on Earth.
Blue and white ship sails towards land over calm blue waters and a blue sky with a few clouds.
From spunky inflatable skiffs to a fully equipped 120-foot research ship, boats give our scientists access to the immense 6,640 mile coastline of Alaska (over 30,000 miles if you count all the islands. Which we do.). Boats also help us to study the wildlife that depends on the diverse marine waters...