Photo: Erinn Hermsen / Polar Bears International
Polar Bears International Ice House
Located in Longyearbyen, Svalbard, Norway at 78° North
Most Northern Pop-Up Interpretive Center
Every summer, tens of thousands of people spend time in the remote community of Longyearbyen before heading off on small cruises to see glaciers, fjords, and sea ice, as well as wildlife including polar bears, walruses, Arctic foxes, and beluga whales.
Polar Bears International has conducted polar bear den research in Svalbard for nearly a decade, working in partnership with the Norwegian Polar Institute and the San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance. Now, in a joint effort with the Svalbard Museum, we’re expanding our presence through a new, seasonal interpretive center that shares our conservation message with Arctic travelers.
Photo: Kt Miller / Polar Bears International
A Focus on the Region’s Polar Bears
Polar Bears International Ice House is a place where people can stop in and learn about the region’s polar bears, as well as sea ice loss and the urgent need to take action on climate change—all in a small, engaging space.
The temporary center is staffed by scientist ambassadors and will open daily, free of charge, from 10 am to 5pm, July 5-August 10.
About the Ice House
The Polar Bears International Ice House (Isbjørn Internasjonalt Ishus) is a clear dome, shaped like an igloo, located in Forskningsparken/Svalbard Research Park in front of the Svalbard Museum. It features a dynamic interpretive display and stunning photographs. The structure can be moved or taken apart, so when the summer season is over, we can store it for another time.
The exhibit provides an understanding of the Arctic food web, the Barents Sea polar bear population, the needs of moms and cubs, the impacts of climate change, and the need to take action.
Our goal is to motivate and engage people in conservation and the actions necessary to save the Arctic ecosystem—helping to sustain the polar bears’ future and our own.
The pop-up will be open for five weeks in the summer of 2023. If successful, we plan to regularly open the Ice House during the tourism season in Svalbard and ideally expand the number of weeks we are there.
This year, two polar bear researchers, Dr. Louise Archer and Larissa Thelin, are staffing the center.
The pop-up was made possible by generous support from performance luxury brand Canada Goose, a longstanding partner of Polar Bears International for over 15 years. In addition, two generous board members, Dick and Val Beck, helped support the educational display.
The Ice House is a joint venture with the Svalbard Museum. Other partners include Hearts in the Ice and the Norwegian Polar Institute. Special thanks, too, to the University Center in Svalbard and PostenBring AS, Tromsø.
Photo: Emily Ringer / Polar Bears International
Forskningsparken/Svalbard Research Park
July 5 – August 10
10 am – 5 pm Daily
For more information, see our Q&A on the Ice House.