Photo: Kt Miller

PBI Researchers skiing across Arctic snow at sunrise

Our Mission & History

We know polar bears — their habits, their ecology, and their threats. In fact, we’re the only conservation organization dedicated solely to wild polar bears.

Our Story

Pink hues from the setting sun cast a glow on a lone polar bear striding across the tundra near Churchill. A group of wildlife enthusiasts photographed the scene from an early version of a Tundra Buggy. With all windows open and heat turned off to keep cameras from fogging, frost nipped at their fingers—but no one cared.

Among them was Dan Guravich, a photographer and biologist. He was so inspired by the bears that he led the group to form a nonprofit, now called Polar Bears International, with a focus on polar bear conservation. 

Mama bear with her two cubs sitting on snow with a pink sky background

Photo: Meril Darees

Commitment to Innovation

Polar Bears International is made up of a passionate team of conservationists, scientists, and volunteers—working to secure a future for polar bears across the Arctic.

"While our projects now span the globe, Churchill will always be our home—and polar bears will always be our passion."

– Krista Wright, Executive Director, Polar Bears International

Arctic sunset behind icebergs

Unifying the World into Action

Our story moves beyond the plight of the polar bears, because we know that humans are not immune to the visible threats to our global ecosystem. The final act is unwritten and we use every resource we have to facilitate action; to combat the belief that it’s too late; and to unify the world into action.

Our Vision

We envision the long-term survival of polar bears and the unique part of the world they call home.

Our Mission

Our mission is to ensure the polar bear’s long-term survival—and we invite you to join us on this journey. Together, we can make sure that polar bears roam the sea ice for generations to come and improve conditions for people too.

Strategic Objectives

  • Serve as the global resource for information regarding polar bears and their habitat.

  • Be the leading voice on climate warming impacts to polar bears and their Arctic home while actively seeking solutions through education, advocacy, and action.

  • Conduct, support, and share scientific research that informs polar bear conservation.

  • Educate an international audience about polar bear conservation and provide mentorship for the actions that will help ensure their survival.

  • Proactively and effectively communicate science-based information on polar bears and their conservation.

  • Maintain transparency in fiscal management and sound business policies and practices.

  • Follow best environmental practices as an organization, including minimizing our greenhouse gas footprint.

Core Values

  • Inspire hope: A belief in a future for wild polar bears lies at the heart of everything we do. We focus on a positive vision of what is possible, grounded in science and motivated by the belief that, by working together, we can overcome the challenges of our times.

  • Work with passion and integrity: We are passionate about conservation and committed to a science-based approach in all our work. We work tirelessly on behalf of polar bears and the Arctic ecosystem—and doing the right thing is always the right choice.

  • Make excellence a habit: We strive to deliver the best possible outcomes and products. Through the dedicated efforts of all team members, we reach for excellence every single day.

  • Lead positive change: We work to find adaptive solutions and new paths forward. This includes taking action when others do not, seeking dialogue instead of conflict, and knowing when to ask for help. We do so with a spirit of inclusiveness and cooperation—no ego involved.

  • Be open and supportive: We provide respectful, timely, and honest feedback to our colleagues—celebrating successes and seeking solutions to challenges.

  • Join hands: We strive to build a diverse global community with unique perspectives, encouraging open dialogue and listening with the intent to understand.

  • Respect work/life balance: We all need time for family, friends, and self and our policies support that. We also have fun at work. It’s essential to good health and productivity and fosters strong relationships.

A single polar bear walking across the sea ice with the setting sun in the background

Conserving Polar Bears & Their Sea Ice Home

Big, brilliant, and built for cold, polar bears are the very symbol of a wild Arctic. Yet, despite their size and strength, they need our help to survive the coming decades.