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Talking on the tundra

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Geoff and the panel in Churchill, November 2013. © K.T. MillerGeoff and the panel in Churchill, November 2013. © K.T. Miller

Participating as a panelist on Polar Bears International’s Tundra Connections is not only a great way to reach out to people, it’s also my way of reconnecting with the place polar bears call home and the people who live among them.

My panel team this week includes Dr. Martin Obbard from the Ontario Ministry of the Environment, Dr. Tom Smith from Brigham Young University, Kassie Siegel- lead attorney for the Center for Biological Diversity, and Lance Rougeux from Discovery Education. We’re spending this week out on the tundra east of Churchill, Manitoba. During the day, we’re based in Buggy One, a specially equipped Tundra Buggy provided by Frontiers North Adventures as a mobile broadcasting studio. We roam old military trails in the Manitoba Wildlife Management Area in search of interesting wildlife, and do several broadcasts each day.

Watch Geoff and the panel talk about the bears of North America:

In the evenings we dock at The Tundra Buggy Lodge- best described as a series of tundra wagons connected in a line much like a train with sleeping, dining, and service cars. The Lodge is situated about 15 miles from town at Gordon Point, right on the shore of Hudson Bay. There we join up to 40 other overnight guests from around the world, take our dinner and morning breakfast, and provide presentations to the guests in the evening.

We use another Buggy that is kitted out with bunks as our sleeping quarters. As heat rises, I opt out of my stuffy top bunk and make my bed in the front window of Buggy 8. You could not ask for a more spectacular view in the morning! Today, between waking up and eating breakfast I was able to watch 4 adult males and one small female in the immediate area around lodge. Life is good indeed.

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