The WWF Arctic Global Polar Bear specialist, Geoff York, is on a field trip in Churchill on the Hudson Bay, observing and blogging about polar bears. Below is the second blog from our ‘eyes and ears on the tundra’ – here is his first blog.
By Geoff York
My first week in the town of Churchill is focused around meetings with partners and scientists, so this is very much a working trip for me. Many of you may ask, why Churchill? WWF has long supported polar bear research efforts in the Hudson Bay region going back to the early 1970’s. We continue that direct support today, helping to maintain one of the best long term research and monitoring efforts on polar bears anywhere in the world. You can see tangible results of the current support via our online Polar Bear Tracker. This long term research has provided some of the clearest links between changes in polar bear population dynamics directly tied to changes in climate and sea ice.
I am also here as an invited specialist to participate in a series of outreach and education events with other polar bear researchers, climate scientists, and policy experts sponsored by our partner, Polar Bears International. The program series is called Tundra Connections and allows panellists of researchers and resource people to broadcast live video classrooms to students and interested communities around the world and live from the tundra.
This year participants include scientists from the Canadian Wildlife Service, University of Alberta, York University, Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, Manitoba Conservation, WWF, PBI, American Zoological Society, Canadian Aquarium and Zoological Society, NASA, Brigham Young University, Apple Education, and Discovery Education. The expressed goals are to educate people around the world on the current scientific understanding around polar bears and climate change and inspire people to make a difference through taking action by lowering their personal carbon footprint.