Polar bear mom and cub walking together

Tundra Connections Schedule

Join us this fall for our annual Tundra Connections broadcasts during the fall gathering of polar bears near Churchill, Canada! You're invited to take part in a mix of educational webcasts and more casual live chats, as polar bears roam outside our mobile Tundra Buggy studio. Our programs are designed for students, teachers, and lifelong learners curious about polar bears and the Arctic.

To watch, register (for webcasts only), then visit our Tundra Connections viewing page at the appropriate time. To submit a question, use the chat window on the viewing page or email us at questions@pbears.org. Also check out our new educational content on FlipGrid.

Fall Webcasts 2020

Week 1: White Bear Whereabouts (with Connected North)

Tuesday, October 20th, 10:00 am Central
Polar Bears Live from the Tundra (Gr 3+) - Webcast, register here
BJ Kirschhoffer (Polar Bears International), Dr. Kristin Laidre (University of Washington)

Connect to polar bears live from Churchill, Manitoba! Do you wonder what it looks like on the Arctic tundra and how polar bears travel on the sea ice? Meet polar bear scientists from around the world and connect with Tundra Buggy One, Polar Bears International’s mobile broadcast studio on the tundra outside Churchill. Students will discover how our ecosystems are linked together, how people are impacting the polar bear’s sea ice home, and what we can do to help. Who knows, maybe a polar bear will come say hello! Add to calendar

Supporting materials:
Youth Climate Solutions Handout
Flat Nanuk Activity
Coloring Book
Polar Bear Adaptations (YouTube)

Wednesday, October 21st, 1:00 pm Central 
Polar Bear Season Kick-off - Explore.org live Chat
Kieran McIver, Dave Allcorn, BJ Kirschhoffer, Alysa McCall (all Polar Bears International staff)
Buggy One is back for another fantastic, if slightly different, polar bear season! Join our staff (both from Buggy One and across North America) to talk about how this year may be different but much the same for our white furry friends. Add to calendar

Thursday, October 22nd, 2:00 pm Central
Tracking Polar Bears Paths with STEM - Using Math and Science to Investigate the Life of a Polar Bear (Gr 6+) - Webcast, register here
Alysa McCall (Polar Bears International), BJ Kirschhoffer (Polar Bears International), Stephanie Penk (University of Toronto)

Connect with staff and ambassadors at Polar Bears International to learn about the importance of tagging and tracking polar bears. How are polar bears tagged, where do they move, how do we track individual bears, and what can this teach us? Students will also learn how we can use STEM to assist in learning about and protecting polar bear populations. Add to calendar

Supporting materials:
Polar Bears International’s Bear Tracker
Ursula & Her Cubs (YouTube)
Polar Bear Tracker PowerPoint
Polar Bear Specialist Group: State of the Polar Bear
Four Sea Ice Eco-regions (YouTube) 

Week 2: Salty Science 

Tuesday, October 27th, 12:00 pm Central
Keeping Polar Bears and People Safe - Explore.org live chat
Alysa McCall (Polar Bears International), BJ Kirschhoffer (Polar Bears International), Dr. Andrew Derocher (University of Alberta)
Preventing human-polar bear conflict is a growing concern in our warming world but luckily we have some great groups of people dedicated to the issue. Tune in to learn about how people can stay safe in polar bear country, and specifically about some progressive initiatives being led in Churchill. Add to Calendar

Wednesday, October 28th, 1 pm Central Time
Feast or Fast? Brown Bears vs. Polar Bears
Mike Fitz (explore.org) and Polar Bears International staff
Ranger Mike spent his summer watching the brown bears of Katmai, Alaska feast on salmon, culminating in the biggest Fat Bear Week ever. Now it’s time to watch the polar bears of Churchill, Manitoba, a slightly different situation! Tune in to learn the similarities and differences between the bears, habitats, and cams, and what you can expect from the polar bears this fall.  

Thursday, October 29th, 1:00 pm Central
Seriously Cool Sea Ice (Gr 5+) - Webcast, register here
Alysa McCall (Polar Bears International), Cassandra Debets (University of Manitoba), Dr. John Iacozza (Centre for Earth Observation Science/University of Manitoba)
Sea ice is as important to the Arctic as soil is to a forest. Learn how sea ice forms the base of the entire Arctic food chain and how polar bears are perfectly suited for a life upon this frozen ocean ecosystem. Learn how this ecosystem impacts the entire world, why it is at risk, and what we can all do to help protect it and the polar bears that call it home. Add to calendar
Supporting materials:
Four Sea Ice Eco-regions (YouTube)
A Life Tied to Sea Ice – Preserving a Future for Polar Bears & People (YouTube)
Arctic Biodiversity Lesson Plan
Save Our Sea Ice Campaign
Polar Bears In a Warming World Lesson

Week 3: Polar Bear Week (with Microsoft Education's Skype in the Classroom)

Tuesday, November 3rd, 12:00 pm Central
Zen Out with Polar Bears - Explore.org live chat
Between the pandemic and the U.S. election, it's a time for deep breaths. Relieve stress and tap into some arctic inspiration with a special live performance by Canadian poet Wali Shah followed by soothing music and live Arctic scenes brought to you by the Polar Bear Cam. Add to calendar

Wednesday, November 4th, 12:00 pm Central
Polar Bear Claws and Paws - A Lesson on Arctic Adaptations (K-5) - Webcast, register here

Alysa McCall (Polar Bears International), Dr. Thea Bechshoft (Polar Bears International), Ron Togunov (University of British Columbia)
Join us to learn from polar bear scientists using replicas of polar bear skulls, paws, and claws and find items in your home or classroom that mimic the physical features of polar bears. Add to calendar
Supporting materials:
Polar Bear Adaptations (YouTube)
(K-4) All About Polar Bears (presentation)
(Grade 5+) All About Polar Bears (presentation)
Polar Bear Facts Handout
Youth Climate Solutions Handout

Thursday, November 5th, 12:00 pm Central
Tracking Polar Bears with Technology - Explore.org live chat
BJ Kirschhoffer (Polar Bears International), Alysa McCall (Polar Bears International), Geoff York (Polar Bears International)
Polar bears have been tracked with technology in some form since the 1980s but the gadgets used keep getting smaller and stronger. Tune in to learn about the different tracking techniques and PBI’s cutting-edge new project to track polar bears in the least invasive way possible. Add to calendar

Week 4: Curiosity Conserved the Polar Bear (with Discovery Education)

Tuesday, November 10th, 12:00 pm Central
Curious Creatures: Polar Bears on the Tundra (K-5) - Webcast, register here

Kyle Schutt (Discovery Education), BJ Kirschhoffer (Polar Bears International), Alysa McCall (Polar Bears International)
Polar bears are curious creatures, and we bet you are curious to learn more about them! Join us live to learn about these wondrous creatures while they roam their native habitat on the shores of Hudson Bay. Add to calendar
Supporting materials:
Polar Bear Adaptations (YouTube)
(K-4) All About Polar Bears (presentation)
(Grade 5+) All About Polar Bears (presentation)
Polar Bear Facts Handout
Youth Climate Solutions Handout

Wednesday, November 11th, 1:00 pm Central
Chat with Charlie- Explore.org live Chat
Charlie Annenberg (Explore.org), BJ Kirschhoffer (Polar Bears International)
We all know that remote cameras can give us a special look into the lives of animals around the world and polar bears are no exception. Join us for this special chat with Explore.org founder Charlie Annenberg to learn more from our team and all about the live polar bear cams we know and love. Add to calendar

Thursday, November 12th, 11:00 am Central
The Phenomena of Polar Bear Migration: A Live Virtual Field Trip to Churchill, Manitoba (Gr 6-12) - Webcast, register here
Kyle Schutt (Discovery Education), BJ Kirschhoffer (Polar Bears International), Alysa McCall (Polar Bears International)
From the migration patterns of polar bears to the northern lights, the Arctic is filled with fascinating phenomena. Join us live as we connect with scientists and see polar bears in their Arctic ecosystem on the shores of the Hudson Bay. Add to calendar
Supporting materials:
Polar Bears International’s Bear Tracker
Ursula & Her Cubs (YouTube)
Burr on Fur Q&A
Collar cams
Maternal Den Studies

Week 5: Bye-Bye Bears, for Now (with Explore.org)

Tuesday, November 17th, 12:00 pm Central Time
Cool Tools - Studying Polar Bears with Cutting-Edge Technologies (Gr 3+) - Webcast, register here
Alysa McCall (Polar Bears International), BJ Kirschhoffer (Polar Bears International), Dr. Anthony Pagano (Polar Bears International/San Diego Zoo/U.S. Geological Survey in Alaska)
Students around the globe are in different learning environments this year in the classroom and using new technology for personalized learning experiences. Learn how polar bear scientists also use innovative technologies in order to find and study polar bears. Add to calendar
Supporting materials:
Polar Bears International’s Bear Tracker
Ursula & Her Cubs (YouTube)
Burr on Fur Q&A
Collar cams
Maternal Den Studies
Polar Bears From Space
Dens Under the Snow

Thursday, November 19th, 12:00 pm Central
Season Highlights & Cam Creatures - Explore.org live chat
Tune in to listen to PBI’s Kieran McIver and Dave Allcorn chat with Alysa McCall and BJ Kirschhoffer about the explore.org community’s favorite moments from the 2020 polar bear cams. The content will be collected over the entire season to create a full reel of fun moments, so be sure to let us know your own favourite highlights before we say bye-bye to the polar bears as they head out for the winter to hunt seals. Add to calendar

We're grateful to our Platinum Sponsor, Frontiers North Tundra Buggy Adventure. Generous support has also been provided by explore.org, the philanthropic media organization and multi-media arm of The Annenberg Foundation, as part of its Pearls of the Planet initiative, a variety of live feeds that aim to help people fall in love with the world again.

Special thanks also to Dr. Julene Reed, an Apple Distinguished Educator and PBI Education Advisory Council member, who works with the Tundra Connections program, and to Discovery Education, Microsoft Education's Skype in the Classroom, Connected North, Frontier School Division, Churchill Northern Studies Centre, TakingITGlobal, and Canada Goose.