The John H. Ostrom Program Series
Courtesy American Museum of Natural History
Courtesy American Museum of Natural History

The Polar Bear on Thin Ice

With Richard Ellis

Thursday, February 28 at 5:30 pm

Free admission


The snow-white, powerful and dangerous polar bear is the very symbol of the Arctic. With its circumpolar range, Nanook has been hunted and revered by aboriginal people for as long as they have shared this icy habitat. Europeans first encountered these bears when they ventured northward in search of the elusive Northwest and Northeast Passages and found their paths blocked by impenetrable rafts of iceā€”the very ice that polar bears inhabit so comfortably. Today, polar bears are part of our culture: they are featured in zoos and circuses, and appear in advertising, feature films and innumerable nature programs. Yet far from the Arctic greenhouse gases spewed into the atmosphere are warming the land and the oceans, and warming oceans mean melting ice. Celebrated author, painter and conservationist Richard Ellis will discuss why its disappearance spells doom for the bears.


Book signing to follow.