10/16/2013 7:59:05 PM

Polar Bears International Will Air Live Broadcasts from the Tundra During the Polar Bear Migration Along Hudson Bay

October 16, 2013 (Bozeman, MT) -Viewers from around the world will have the chance to see wild polar bears and engage with experts this fall during the live Tundra Connections® webcasts offered by Polar Bears International (PBI) and its education and conservation partners. The free webcasts begin on October 21 and run through November 14—all streamed live from a Tundra Buggy® as arctic winds shake the buggy and polar bears roam outside.

A total of seventeen webcasts are scheduled over a four-week period during the peak of the polar bear migration near Churchill, Manitoba, Canada. Every fall, hundreds of polar bears gather there to wait for the sea ice to form on Hudson Bay so they can return to hunting seals. The backdrop of the bears waiting for the sea ice is a poignant reminder of the need to take action on climate change.

"Each webcast has a different topic and target audience," said Krista Wright, PBI's executive director. "We've always had outreach on polar bears, the Arctic, and climate change for students and specialized audiences like zoos and aquariums. This year, we've expanded our topics to include how businesses, college campuses, and individuals can create a sustainable future. We'll also explore the wild side of the planet, from the ocean floor near Antarctica to the clever ways that arctic animals thrive in their harsh environment."

Favorite topics will return, too, including webcasts on polar bear mothers and cubs, snowy owls, and arctic predators. Viewers will have the chance to learn first-hand from experts and submit questions via email or a chat window, interacting with a range of panelists from polar bear scientists to sea ice and climate specialists and leaders in sustainability.

Each week has a different partner, list of panelists, and focus:

  • Week One with Google Street View (October 21-24) focuses on arctic animals, climate change, and how scientists use technology in studying wildlife
  • Week Two with Climate Counts (October 28-November 1) explores how businesses, college campuses, and individuals can combat climate change and ignite change
  • Week Three with Discovery Education (November 4-8) celebrates Polar Bear Week (November 4-10) with a focus on polar bears and how we each can help
  • Week Four with TakingITGlobal (November 11-14) takes a global perspective on ecosystems and climate change

"Throughout the season, we'll be watching closely for the dates when the polar bears will be able to return to the sea ice," said Dr. Steven Amstrup, PBI's chief scientist. "Twenty years ago, the average date the bears returned to the ice was November 8. A decade ago that stretched to November 20. In recent years, freeze-up sometimes doesn't come until December."

"But the most important thing that we need to communicate is that there is hope," he added. "We can help stop the effects climate change is having on the Arctic and polar bears by reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Programs like Tundra Connections help educate individuals, businesses, and communities about how to make positive changes to do their part."

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