Liz O’Connell for Frontier Scientists –
NEWS RELEASE – Fairbanks, Alaska, October 13, 2011 – Frontier Scientists, an interactive website which connects Alaska field scientists to those curious about Arctic discoveries, has released a new series of vodcasts on the mighty grizzly bears of Denali National Park.
The short videos feature field biologists and interpreters who have the difficult task of keeping Alaska bears unacclimated to humans–and the humans who are visiting the Far North safe from bears. The vodcasts are produced by an award-winning Bend, Oregon videographer who specializes in backcountry nature films.
To encourage people to view the videos, Frontier Scientists is inviting the public to send in their own photos of grizzly bears, which will be posted on the website. Submit photos in 300 dpi jpegs via the response form at the end of this post.
The new video footage includes:
• How bears are captured for radio collaring–including the darting of a bear so big (803 pounds) it required a double dose of tranquilizer;
• What bear experts do to cope with the “teenaged boy” antics of newly-independent juvenile bears (think: rubber projectiles fired into rear ends);
• Visitor accounts of backcountry grizzly encounters; and
• Bears just being bears–a mama bear tussling with her cub, a big adult feeding on berries.
“It may surprise some that the biologist who is the best shot in the Park is a woman, Pat Owen, who stands about 5’5,” says Liz O’Connell of WonderVisions, the producer behind the videos. “She’s the one who darts the bears. She relates in one video how she had to approach close enough to one really big grizzly to get it to charge her after it had been darted, so it would be out of the brush before the tranquilizer kicked in.”
Frontier Scientists is supported by the National Science Foundation, with additional support from the University of Alaska Fairbanks, the National Park Service and 360 Degrees North. It features scientific discoveries in some of the Arctic’s most remote and dramatic landscapes, chronicled in short vodcasts, a Twitter feed and blog posts. In addition to grizzlies, stories are organized into the following fields of research:
• Cook Inlet Volcanoes
• Alutiiq Weavers
• Climate Change Watch
Frontier Scientists also provides resources and tips on things to do in Alaska for those considering travel to the Last Frontier state, whether on an Alaska cruise or a backpacking expedition. Visit www.fsci15.wpengine.com, and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
Frontier Scientists: presenting scientific discovery in the Arctic and beyond