3/19/2012 7:55:14 PM

Polar Bear Expert Will Speak in Missoula

Dr. Ian Stirling

Talk about a phenomenal evening: Dr. Ian Stirling, a world-renowed expert on polar bears and climate change, will give a free lecture at the University of Montana on Thursday, March 22 at 7 p.m. in Urey Lecture Hall.

The talk will focus on how a warming climate is expected to cause more human-polar bear conflicts as sea ice becomes less available, driving bears ashore. The presentation is being held in conjunction with the Fourth International Human-Bear Conflicts Workshop and is free and open to the public.

Stirling is an adjunct professor at the University of Alberta who serves on the Advisory Council of Polar Bears International. He's the author of four books on bears, including 2011's Polar Bears: The Natural History of a Threatened Species, considered the definitive work on polar bear biology. Copies of the book will be available for purchase and signing at the event.

Stirling studied polar bears in the Canadian Arctic for 37 years with the Canadian Wildlife Service. His long-term studies of polar bears in Western Hudson Bay confirmed the negative effects of climate warming. He is currently the most senior member of the International Union for Conservation of Scientists.

The lecture is the second installment in the University of Montana's spring Natural Resource and Environmental Policy Forum. The series is sponsored by the Center for Natural Resources and Environmental Policy in collaboration with the UM College of Forestry and Conservation, School of Law, Bolle Center for People and Forests, Resource Conservation Program, Department of Geography, Environmental Studies Program, and the Indian Land Tenure Foundation. Polar Bears International provided special funding to support Stirling's appearance.

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