Sustainability Leadership Fellow Cohort: 2021-2022
Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Fish, Wildlife and Conservation Biology and the Graduate Degree Program in Ecology
Research Summary: Polar bears in the Southern Beaufort Sea historically spent all year on ice, hunting over the continental shelf north of Alaska. Recently, however, the summer ice has receded beyond the shelf, forcing the bears into a difficult decision: remain as the ice retreats poleward into unproductive waters, or swim to land. It is unclear which decision – if either – will help the bears withstand the pressures of climate change. The purpose of my research is to examine this choice, to better understand what the bears do on land, and contribute to the conservation science of an iconic and imperiled species.