World Science Festival Event at Museum Thursday, May 30

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Arctic waters are home to many amazing animal species, including such whales as narwhals (which have a long, spiraling tusk, pictured below), belugas, and graceful bowheads.

Narwhal (Monodon monoceros) with characteristically long tusk, side view. DKGetty Images

Narwhal (Monodon monoceros) with characteristically long tusk, side view.

© DK/Getty Images

Today, researchers are using the travels and travails of these still-mysterious Arctic whales to illuminate the changing nature of Arctic sea ice as Earth warms.

Bowhead Whale Arctic DNA study

A bowhead whale amid the ice floes off Point Barrow, Alaska.

Brenda K. Rone, NOAA/AFSC/NMML


On Thursday, May 30, at the Museum, a bevy of explorers and researchers will discuss Arctic whales and climate change at a special event, World Science Festival: How Whales are Unlocking Arctic Secrets.


Beluga whales are odontocetes, or toothed whales. Living mainly in Arctic waters, baby belugas are born gray; only later do they become white.

Laura Morse/Courtesy of NOAA

At the event, Laura Allen, editorial producer of the Museum's Science Bulletins program, will present a new data visualization created in tandem with the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), providing context for the current reductions in Arctic sea ice.

The May 30 program will also include screenings of rare Arctic footage and a musical performance by Garth Stevenson, who recently traveled to the Antarctic and played his bass in response to whale calls, attracting 12 whales to his ship. 

Purchase tickets to World Science Festival: How Whales Are Unlocking Arctic Secrets, on Thursday, May 30, starting at 7 pm. From 6 to 7 pm that evening, ticket-holders to the event can visit the special exhibition Whales: Giants of the Deep, free.

Tags: Whales