Canadian polar bear expert Ian Stirling given lifetime award

Ian Stirling with his lifetime achievement award from Polar Bears International. (Kt Miller/Polar Bears International)
Ian Stirling (PhD) was awarded Ice Bear Lifetime Achievement Award Saturday by Polar Bears International, a non-profit solely focused on polar bears and their sea ice environment.

Stirling began studying polar bears in the 1970’s and is now recognized as a worldwide authority.

Working with then grad-student Andrew Derocher, now also recognized as a worldwide polar bear expert, in the 1990’s they were the first to propose that sea-ice loss from climate change would pose a threat to the bears.

Employment and previous awards

Stirling is currently a research scientist emeritus with Environment and Climate Change Canada, an adjunct professor in the University of Alberta Department of Biological Sciences, and a long-time scientific advisor to Polar Bears International. He is also a member of the International Union for Conservation of Nature, (IUCN), Polar Bear Specialist Group.

In 2015 Stirling was nominated by scientists of the Association of Canadian Universities for Northern Studies and was awarded the Weston Foundation prize of $50,000 for Lifetime Achievement in Northern Research. He has also won the Kenneth S. Norris Lifetime Achievement Award, as well as having received the Order of Canada, and is fellow in the Royal Society of Canada.

In addition to the PBI award, the organisation also released a video of Stirling’s lifetime of research in polar regions.

Related stories from around the North:

Canada: The garbage polar bears get into is getting into them, CBC News

Finland: Growing deer population leading to more accidents, property damage in Finland, Yle News

Norway: Could drones help prevent polar bear attacks on the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard?, The Independent Barents Observer

Russia: Bear ‘invasion’ in Arctic Russia: media too quick to blame climate change, experts say, The Independent Barents Observer

United States: After deadly bear attack, hikers in Anchorage, Alaska weigh risks, Alaska Public Media

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