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Polar Bear Survival Topic of Thursday Talk at AMK Ranch

June 13, 2014
Man sitting next to polar bear
John Whiteman, a doctoral student in the UW Department of Zoology and Physiology ecology program, will discuss his research work on polar bears and changing climate in the Artic Sea at 6:30 p.m. June 19, at the UW-National Park Service Research Center. (John Whiteman)

How polar bears survive in the Artic Sea’s changing climate is the topic of the first of 10 weekly summer lectures Thursday, June 19, at the University of Wyoming-National Park Service (UW-NPS) Research Center. The center is located at the AMK Ranch in Grand Teton National Park.

John Whiteman, a doctoral student in the UW Department of Zoology and Physiology ecology program, will discuss “Meltdown: How polar bears are functioning in the changing Arctic” at 6:30 p.m. at the AMK Ranch, located north of Leeks Marina. A barbecue, at a cost of $5 per person, will take place at 5:30 p.m. Reservations are not required. For more information, call the UW-NPS Center at (307) 543-2463.

Whiteman will talk about how polar bears have coped with warmer temperatures and reduced ice every summer in the Artic Sea, and whether they will continue to cope in the face of a changing climate. Whiteman studied the physiology, nutritional state and behavior of polar bears for two summers.

He received an honors degree in biology from the University of St. Thomas in 2003, in his home state of Minnesota, and worked for research institutions and government agencies before earning a zoology and physiology master’s degree from UW. For his UW doctoral degree in ecology, Whiteman is investigating the physiology of polar bears in the context of environmental change.

The UW-NPS Research Center provides a base for university faculty members and government scientists from throughout North America to conduct research in the diverse aquatic and terrestrial environments of Grand Teton National Park and the greater Yellowstone area.


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