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UM News
March 13, 2012


A noted polar bear biologist will present the second installment of the spring semester Natural Resource and Environmental Policy Forum at The University of Montana.

Ian Stirling of the University of Alberta will deliver “The Ecology of Polar Bears, Climate Warming and the Effects on Human-Polar Bear Interactions” at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 22, in Urey Lecture Hall.

The presentation, which is free and open to the public, will focus on how climate change may cause more human-bear conflicts as ice becomes less available. It will be held in conjunction with the fourth International Human-Bear Conflicts Workshop.

Stirling is the author of four books on bears, including 2011’s “Polar Bears: The Natural History of a Threatened Species,” considered the definitive work on polar bear biology. Copies of the book will be available for purchase and signing at the event.

Stirling studied polar bears in the Canadian Arctic for more than 37 years with the Canadian Wildlife Service, and his long-term studies of polar bears in Western Hudson Bay confirmed the negative effects of climate warming. He’s currently the most senior member of the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Polar Bear Specialist Group and an adjunct professor at the University of Alberta.

Since 2010 UM’s Natural Resource and Environmental Policy Forum has featured speakers from a variety of disciplines, providing insight into the way we make decisions, resolve conflicts and plan for sustainable use of our air, water and lands.

The series is sponsored by the Center for Natural Resources and Environmental Policy in collaboration with the UM College of Forestry and Conservation, School of Law, Bolle Center for People and Forests, Resource Conservation Program, Department of Geography,  Environmental Studies Program and the Indian Land Tenure Foundation. Polar Bears International provided special funding to support Stirling’s appearance.



Western Montana


Contact: Sarah Bates, UM Center for Natural Resources and Environmental Policy, 406-207-9071,