POLAR BEAR CAPITAL OF THE WORLD: Cape Churchill, Manitoba
Each year, in mid to late October, polar bears move to the Cape Churchill area on the west coast of Hudson Bay in Manitoba, Canada. The bears understand that fresh water ice flows will be coming down the large rivers and pack against Cape Churchill by the “wagnertok,” or northwest winds. This becomes the first ice shelf in lower Hudson Bay from which the bears can hunt ringed seals, their primary food source. The program will focus on the bears and other animals that inhabit this area and the Great Bear Foundation’s (GBF) trips to bring people to learn about the animals, geology and ecology of this special place. A short segment from the upcoming film “Walking Bear Comes Home” will also be shown about the life and work of Dr. Charles Jonkel , the first scientist to systematically study polar bears. Dr. Jonkel founded the International Wildlife Film Festival in 1977 and co-founded the Foundation in 1982.
The Great Bear Foundation offers high-quality, low-impact experiential learning opportunities in polar bear habitat. Their summer field course, Berries, Belugas and Bears and winter courses on Polar Bear Ecology have been offered since 1984 by the non-profit foundation. Graduate and undergraduate credit options in Environmental Studies are available but not required through the University of Montana School of Lifelong and Extended Learning. 100% of the proceeds from the field courses directly fund bear conservation and education projects primarily in Montana, Alaska and Canada. Dr. Frank Tyro, the presenter, has traveled to Churchill 39 times over a period of 32 years and has observed the animals and changes in the climate and attitudes toward bears He will be co-leading his 40th visit to Churchill in August of this year.
Frank retired in 2016 from 32 years of teaching and managing a public television station at Salish Kootenai College. He is currently the President of the Board of the Great Bear Foundation and the Flathead Lake International Cinema fest.
Frank’s background includes 48 years in broadcast, producing television documentaries and teaching. He has a B.S. in Film and Television from MSU, Bozeman, an M.A. from Temple University, Philadelphia in mass communications, and an interdisciplinary PhD from the Union Institute and University, Cincinnati in Distance Education with a focus on Internet-based coursework for American Indians. He has received numerous awards for his work in film and television.
Bitterroot Audubon invites you to join them Monday, February 20th at 7:00 P.M. for this fascinating multimedia program, which will include Frank’s outstanding photography. It promises to inform and educate.
The program will be held in the Forest Service/Natural Resources Building, 1801 North 1st. (north end of Hamilton), west side of HWY 93. Enter the building on the west side. The Public is invited.