Synopses & Reviews
In the world there are probably fewer than 30 people who spend all or most of their effort working with polar bears. A veteran polar bear biologist, and the man in charge of Alaskan polar bear research for the past thirty years, Dr. Steven Amstrup has worked full time on polar bears since he joined the Polar Bear Project in 1980.and#160; The Polar Bear Project conducts ongoing research on polar bear populations and habitats in the Southern Beaufort Sea in Barrow, Alaska. and#160;Now under the leadership of George Durner, the Project has collected four decades of detailed, valuable data about how polar bears are responding to sea ice changes in the Arctic. This information has helped raised awareness about polar bears and their plight,and#160;and the same data may one day help scientists make new decisions for polar bear survival.
Amstrup and Durner now spend most of their time 725 miles south of Barrow, Alaska at the University of Alaska, Anchorage campus, conducting research and drawing conclusions based on the discoveries that their team makes.and#160; Those scientists include polar bear biologists Kristin Simac and Mike Lockhart, based at times out of the abandoned Navy Arctic Research Laboratory inand#160;Barrow.and#160; Every spring scientists like Kristin and Mikeand#160;go out for six to eight weeks to capture bears on the Southern Beaufort Sea. By capture one means "tranquilize, take samples and measurements, tag, and release"and#160;--Theand#160;Polar Bear Scientistsbegins on the first day of capture season and follows Kristin, Mike, and their helicopter mechanic as they fly through the skies over Barrow, looking for polar bears, and finding more water and less ice than they've seen in the past.
The process of capturing polar bears is an exciting and challenging one.and#160; The polar bears haveand#160;to be properly tranquilized in a safe area -- so just because the team spots a polar bear, doesn't mean they automatically try to capture it.and#160;Tranquilizing a bear too close to water or thin iceand#160;might mean the polar bear could stumble in and drown.and#160; It's also a challenge to tranq a mom bear and her babies, but when the opportunity presents itself, the team does its best to get the job done.and#160; Once they are on the ground with a captured bear, the research begins.and#160; All sorts of information and measurements areand#160;taken, blood is drawn, tags are affixed.and#160; What does it all mean?and#160;and#160;Are the polar bears getting smaller and moving further to find food every year?and#160;and#160;Is there more water and less ice than there was before?and#160;and#160;What can be done?
"Meant to be like a youth version of Braasch's Earth Under Fire: How Global Warming Is Changing the World, this beautifully photographed global guide offers a look at how research in diverse fields leads to an understanding of the warming climate and what children and adults are doing about it. The first and largest of the book's four sections, 'Where We Find Clues About Climate Change,' presents researchers, citizen scientists and schoolchildren examining the natural world and unearthing data about climate. Spreads jump from topic to topic, from rainforests to tree rings, oceanic mud samples to 800,000-year-old ice cores. The empowering 'What Scientists and You Can Do' section provides practical, proactive suggestions, e.g., eating less meat, drinking tap instead of bottled water. While heavy on the jargon, Cherry (The Great Kapok Tree) immediately and clearly defines all science terms. The book would be overwhelming to read in one sitting; kids and educators will find this timely information is best served up via its bite-sized chapters. Readers young and old looking to make a difference will appreciate the book's hopeful tone as well as its comprehensive resource lists. Ages 10-14." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
When the weather changes daily, how do we really know that Earth's climate is changing? Here is the science behind the headlines - evidence from flowers, butterflies, birds, frogs, trees, glaciers and much more, gathered by scientists from all over the world, sometimes with assistance from young "citizen-scientists." And here is what young people, and their families and teachers, can do to learn about climate change and take action. Climate change is a critical and timely topic of deep concern, here told in an age-appropriate manner, with clarity and hope. Kids can make a difference! This book combines the talents of two uniquely qualified authors: Lynne Cherry, the leading children's environmental writer/illustrator and author of The Great Kapok Tree, and Gary Braasch, award-winning photojournalist and author of Earth Under Fire: How Global Warming is Changing the World.
About the Author
Peter Lourie is an author and photographer. He has published more than twenty books for young readers. He lives with his family in Vermont.