The Polar Bear Scientists

By: Peter Lourie

Since the 1960s scientists have been studying polar bears in the southern Beaufort Sea to learn about the bears’ population, distribution, and movements. Glossary. Field guide. Suggested books and Web sites. Quoted sources. Index. Full-color illustrations

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ISBN: 9780547283050

JLG Release: Feb 2012


Sensitive Areas: No sensitive areas
Topics: Polar bears , The Arctic , Scientists , Research , Threatened species , Climate change

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Awards & Honors

NSTA Outstanding Science Trade Books for Students K—12: 2013

Praise & Reviews

Starred or favorable reviews have been received from these periodicals:

Book List, The Horn Book Magazine, School Library Journal

School Library Journal

Since the 1960s, wildlife scientists have been studying Alaskan polar bears in their native habitat. Tracking aggressive wild animals via helicopter is a far cry from the stereotype vision of scientists working in a temperature-controlled laboratory. The narrative is a detailed description of such daily duties as chasing down the animals, tattoo

Since the 1960s, wildlife scientists have been studying Alaskan polar bears in their native habitat. Tracking aggressive wild animals via helicopter is a far cry from the stereotype vision of scientists working in a temperature-controlled laboratory. The narrative is a detailed description of such daily duties as chasing down the animals, tattooing them for future identification, weighing them, and drawing blood, all conducted in temperatures that can fall to minus 30°F. Nighttime chores include cleaning the instruments and repacking them for the next day. The full-color photographs are nothing short of stunning. They provide images of the animals staring up at the looming helicopter, mother bears with cubs, and scientists carefully and almost tenderly working on the sedated bears. Included throughout are facts about polar bears as well as the impact of global climate change on their chances for survival.—Frances E. Millhouser, formerly at Chantilly Regional Library, Fairfax County, VA

Horn Book

In the latest entry in the series, Lourie takes us to Alaska to observe biologists researching a subpopulation of polar bears, adding to a data set that has been collected over the past forty years. The wealth of information collected over a two-week period each spring is important to documenting possible effects of global warming on the bears,

In the latest entry in the series, Lourie takes us to Alaska to observe biologists researching a subpopulation of polar bears, adding to a data set that has been collected over the past forty years. The wealth of information collected over a two-week period each spring is important to documenting possible effects of global warming on the bears, now considered a threatened species due to increased melting of sea ice. Lourie joins the field research team on several dramatic helicopter expeditions, called captures, in search of polar bears to measure and tag. The accounts describe every detail of the work—searching and locating the bears, flying in close enough to shoot a tranquilizer dart and sedate them, landing to collect samples and measurements, and tagging and tattooing new bears, or noting the numbers of those captured in previous seasons—all in just under an hour. He then takes us back to the lab to see the painstaking care scientists take to properly process and store these data. Interspersed with the field report are commentaries from the project directors, who spend their time analyzing the data and publicizing their results. Crisp photographs of the polar bears and researchers effectively convey the massive size and beauty of the animals and the details of the equipment needed to do scientific research in such extreme conditions. A glossary, a suggested reading list, websites, and sources are appended.

Junior Library Guild

  • A richly detailed account of the work of a number of scientists who study polar bears, this book includes the scientists’ individual reflections on the majestic animals, and on concerns such as the thinning of Arctic sea ice.
  • Copious photographs show polar bears roaming across the ice, swimming in the sea, and being captur
    • A richly detailed account of the work of a number of scientists who study polar bears, this book includes the scientists’ individual reflections on the majestic animals, and on concerns such as the thinning of Arctic sea ice.
    • Copious photographs show polar bears roaming across the ice, swimming in the sea, and being captured and measured by scientists. There are also many informative images of scientists and their equipment, including helicopters, hollow dart tips, and satellite radio collars.
    • Readers will learn about the scientists’ many responsibilities: after they locate the polar bears, they must sedate them with drug-filled darts, take measurements and biological samples, and sometimes apply radio tags, all in the few hours before the bears awaken.

Book Details

ISBN

9780547283050

First Release

February 2012

Genre

Dewey Classification

599.786

Trim Size

11" x 9"

Page Count

80

Accelerated Reader

Level 8.3; Points: 4;

Scholastic Reading Counts

Level 11.9; Points: 7;

Lexile

Level NC1260L

Format

Print Book

Edition

-

Publisher

Houghton Mifflin

Potentially Sensitive Areas

No sensitive areas

Topics

Polar bears, The Arctic, Scientists, Research, Threatened species, Climate change,

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