IX.3 State of the Polar Bear

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Dino Citraro

Kim Rees

Jacob O'Brien

Brett Johnson

Domanique Alicia

Andrew Winterman

Designed by members of the Periscopic data visualization firm—namely, lead strategist Dino Citraro, head of data visualization Kim Rees, lead visual designer Jacob O’Brien, technical lead Brett Johnson, interactive designer Domanique Alicia, and computer engineer Andrew Winterman—State of the Polar Bear is the authoritative source for the health and status of the world’s polar bears. This multipart data visualization tool was developed through an international partnership with the Polar Bear Specialist Group, a scientific collaboration of the five polar bear nations: Canada, Denmark, Norway, the U.S., and Russia. The most comprehensive online visualization of polar bear information to date, State of the Polar Bear provides a detailed look at each of the 19 polar bear subpopulations, and explores the factors that have influenced their International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) health-status ratings. The tool includes visualizations of abundance figures, harvest rates, circumpolar pollution levels, the shrinking Arctic sea ice, and other factors. In the next version of this tool, visitors will also be able to watch over two dozen videos of the world’s top scientists explaining the key issues that threaten the survival of this iconic species. To track the health of polar bear subpopulations across nations and ecoregions, visit the interactive visualization at http://pbsg.npolar.no/en/dynamic/app.


Citraro, Dino, Kim Rees, Jacob O'Brien, Brett Johnson, Domanique Alicia, and Andrew Winterman. 2013. State of the Polar Bear. Portland, OR. Courtesy of Periscopic. In “9th Iteration (2013): Science Maps Showing Trends and Dynamics,” Places & Spaces: Mapping Science, edited by Katy Börner and Todd N. Theriault. http://scimaps.org.

Obbard, Martyn E., Gregory W. Thiemann, Elizabeth Peacock, and Terry D. DeBruyn, eds. 2010. Proceedings of the 15th Working Meeting of the IUCN/SSC Polar Bear Specialist Group, 29 June-3 July 2009, Copenhagen, Denmark. Gland, Switzerland: IUCN.

Paetkau, D., S.C. Amstrup, E.W. Born, W. Calvert, A.E. Derocher, G.W. Garner, F. Messier, I. Stirling, M.K. Taylor, O. Wiig, and C. Strobeck. 1999. "Genetic Structure of the World's Polar Bear Populations." Molecular Ecology 8 (10): 1571-1584.

Acknowledgements: This exhibit is supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. IIS-0238261, CHE-0524661, IIS-0534909 and IIS-0715303, the James S. McDonnell Foundation; Thomson Reuters; the Cyberinfrastructure for Network Science Center, University Information Technology Services, and the School of Library and Information Science, all three at Indiana University. Some of the data used to generate the science maps is from the Web of Science by Thomson Reuters and Scopus by Elsevier. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.