Tundra Time

11/5/2011 3:10:26 PM

Tundra Time

Bears bathed in morning sunlight

Although my time on the tundra is coming to an end, timing is everything to the bears that I will be leaving on Saturday morning. My tundra time was a gift packed with priceless knowledge, personal connections, and a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Seeing the bears was, of course, the highlight of my trip. Rolling along in Tundra Buggy® One—equipped with Internet connections and a live, streaming camera both inside and outside the buggy—allowed my crew and I the ability to bring the tundra to people all over the globe.

As an educator and elementary school teacher from Bozeman, Montana, I was especially excited to connect with students, which we did through the Polar Bears International Tundra Connections program. It was even more exciting to see the questions come flooding in asking what they could do to help polar bears! Knowing that they could do something to help polar bears in as far away a place as the Canary Islands gave all of us on the panel a tremendous amount of hope. We challenged our audiences while out on the tundra to take action. In their homes, in their schools, and in their communities, we charged our listeners with a take action challenge.

Bears sparring in snow

For me, my time on the tundra gave me a glimpse of how hard it is to survive as a polar bear in the best of conditions. Learning from my colleagues about how uniquely adapted these bears are to survive here makes them even more amazing. The fact that that they are losing the ability to sustain themselves because of human-caused climate change is very saddening. Although we saw healthy bears, and many of them, we also saw skinny bears ... and lots of those too. They are hungry. They are waiting for the ice. Time is ticking. It's time to make a change, time to take action, time to go home and help the polar bears.

Photos by Kristin Dantagnan.

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