Photo: Kt Miller

PBI Researchers skiing across Arctic snow at sunrise

Our Mission, History & Values

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 Beginnings

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.

They were so inspired by the bears that they formed 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

Committed to Polar Bears

From those humble beginnings, Polar Bears International has evolved into a dynamic team of passionate conservationists, scientists, support staff, and volunteers—all working to secure a future for polar bears across the Arctic.

"We're now a recognized leader in polar bear conservation, with projects spanning the Arctic. And we invite you to join us on this journey."

– Krista Wright, Executive Director, Polar Bears International

Arctic sunset behind icebergs

United in Action

Together, we can ensure polar bears roam the sea ice for generations to come. After all, the polar bears' future is not separate from our own. Their story is our story. As a visitor to this website, and a citizen of the world, you play an important role—now and in the future.

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 conserve polar bears and the sea ice they depend on. We also work to inspire people to care about the Arctic, the threats to its future, and the connection of this fragile ecosystem to our global climate.

As a science-based organization with staff including leading polar bear scientists and partnerships that span the circumpolar Arctic, we focus on addressing both the long- and short-term challenges that polar bears face, with a goal of sustaining a future for the bears across the Arctic.

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're committed to building 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. Together, we can make sure that polar bears roam the sea ice for generations to come and improve conditions for people too.