Polar bear expert to speak about climate change at Boise State University on January 31

11 November 2010

Polar bear expert to speak about climate change at Boise State University on January 31

BOISE, Idaho – A researcher whose work led to the decision to list polar bears as a threatened species will talk about how climate change is affecting this charismatic animal on Monday, January 31, at Boise State University.

Dr. Steven Amstrup, of Polar Bears International, will speak at 7 p.m. in the Simplot Ballroom at the Student Union Building. His talk, entitled “Polar Bears and Climate Change: Certainties and Uncertainties in a Warming World,” is free and open to the public.

Amstrup’s talk kicks off a three-day international conference sponsored by The Peregrine Fund, Boise State University, and the U.S. Geological Survey. “Gyrfalcons and Ptarmigan in a Changing World” will bring together biologists, conservationists, and climate experts to explore how Gyrfalcons and other signature species in the Arctic are affected by climate change and what steps might be taken to confront the effects on wildlife.

Amstrup remains hopeful that polar bear extinction can be avoided, despite the alarming loss of sea ice he has witnessed since he began his work in the Arctic in 1980. Because humans are causing climate problems, he believes humans can solve those problems and assure that sufficient habitat remains to allow polar bears to persist in the wild.

Before joining Polar Bears International in August, Amstrup was a research biologist with the U.S. Geological Survey in Anchorage, Alaska. He has been conducting polar bear research for 30 years and has authored numerous peer-reviewed articles on movement, distribution, and population of the bears. He led the team whose reports became the basis of the decision in 2008 by then-Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne to put the polar bear on the U.S. Endangered Species List.

Amstrup earned a master’s degree in wildlife management at the University of Idaho in 1975. He received his doctorate in 1995 at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Information about “Gyrfalcons and Ptarmigan in a Changing World” conference: www.peregrinefund.org/gyr_conference

Information about Polar Bears International:www.polarbearsinternational.org

For more information, contact:

Erin Katzner

Director of Global Engagement
Main Phone: 208-362-3716
Direct Phone: 208-362-8277
Country: USA
The Peregrine Fund