Outdoor Laboratory Overlook

Behind the touch tank you can look out onto the Alaska SeaLife Center’s Observation Overlook.

On the right side and straight ahead

You'll see a large pools that are used for a variety of activities. The pools make for a nice sunny spot for the resident seals and Steller sea lions (it's mentally and physically enriching to move the animals to new surroundings and let them make new friends). The pools also might hold rehabilitated animals waiting to be transferred back into the wild, or serve as temporary quarantine areas.

On the left side

Here you'll see a flock of sea ducks known as Spectacled and Steller's Eiders. It is an important group of birds, since the species are threatened, and this is Alaska's only breeding flock. Even into the 1990's, researchers saw big gaps in their knowledge about the breeding habits and nutritional needs of these incredible birds, but they're learning more. They now know that the birds spend winters in the middle of the Bering Sea, forming what is known as a "raft": thousands of birds gather into a single large group to keep open a hole in the sea ice with their combined body heat. The birds then take turns diving for food as the rest stay together to keep warm.

Getting There