Our six most recent posts - click a title to expand/collapse:

Experience Polar Bears in their Natural Habitat in 2018

November 16th, 2017

Polar Bear on the shore of Hudson Bay

Experience the polar bear migration with the Great Bear Foundation


Conservation-based Polar Bear Field Courses on Hudson Bay

Travel to Churchill, Manitoba with the Great Bear Foundation in 2018 to experience polar bears and other arctic wildlife in their natural habitat. What makes our trips different?

The Great Bear Foundation offers the only truly low-impact, conservation-based polar bear programs in Churchill, Manitoba. If you think of yourself as a traveler, rather than a tourist, you love to learn through your travel experiences, and you want to observe wildlife with as little impact as possible, our trips are for you. Great Bear Foundation field courses place the well-being of wildlife and habitat first, while offering high-quality, learning-oriented travel experiences in bear habitat. University credit options are available at no extra cost.

100% of the proceeds from our field courses fund our bear conservation programs.

>>July 31-August 4, 2018: Berries, Belugas, and Bears–Summer Trip to the Arctic
>>October 30-Nov 3, 2018: Intro to Polar Bear Ecology
>>November 6-10, 2018: Sharing Habitat with Polar Bears

Click here to learn more

Our summer trip, Berries Belugas and Bears, runs July 31-August 4, 2018, timed for when the beluga whales have their calves in the Churchill River. Take a small boat tour to watch beluga whales, visit historic Fort Prince of Wales, look for polar bears and other arctic wildlife, explore summer tundra covered with berries and wildflowers, and comb the beaches of Hudson Bay, to examine fossils and intertidal life. Learn about the ecology, history and cultures of Hudson Bay with the Great Bear Foundation.

Intro to Polar Bear Ecology, October 30-November 4, 2018, offers a broad overview of the polar bear and its ecology, with a focus on the unique Western Hudson Bay population. Witness the fall polar bear migration to Cape Churchill by day, observing wildlife, exploring the bear’s terrestrial habitat, and visiting cultural sites. In the evenings, we’ll offer educational programs and slideshows, and learn about indigenous culture and history firsthand from guest speakers within the community, and with some luck, watch the northern lights.

Sharing Habitat with Polar Bears, November 6-10, 2018, explores the world of the polar bear through the lens of how humans and bears share habitat. We’ll spend our days exploring the bear’s terrestrial habitat, observing wildlife, and visiting cultural sites, and in the evenings we’ll have programs from Great Bear Foundation instructors and guest speakers, learning about polar bear and human management, indigenous culture, and what we need to do to continue sharing the earth with polar bears.

Register for our Arctic Ecology Field Courses

June 5th, 2017

Polar Bear in Fireweed

Polar Bear on our summer Berries, Belugas and Bears field course


Travel with us to Churchill, Manitoba this summer for our Berries, Belugas and Bears arctic ecology field course, August 13-21!

Members save 10% through June 15, 2017!

The Great Bear Foundation offers unique, small-group, low-impact wildlife-viewing experiences in Churchill, Manitoba on Canada’s Hudson Bay. When you travel with us, you’ll spend your days in the field, watching wildlife like polar bears, arctic and red fox, arctic terns, gyrfalcon and other birdlife, arctic and snowshoe hare, and you’ll explore the tundra, taiga, and beaches surrounding Hudson bay.

Our field courses emphasize learning and conservation, and you’ll learn how to interpret animal behavior to encourage high quality wildlife-viewing and photography experiences with as little impact on the animals and their habitat as possible.

Our Berries, Belugas and Bears summer trip to the Arctic is a family-friendly, small group experience. The trip includes roundtrip economy class train travel to Churchill (from Winnipeg, Canora, or elsewhere on the Winnipeg-Churchill line), accommodations and meals in Churchill, a boat-based whale watching tour, and course tuition. Participants are eligible for Continuing Education Units (CEUs) from Salish Kootenai College.

Highlights include daily wildlife-viewing, field trips to cultural sites and unique geological features like a palsa field, evening programs on wildlife, photography, local cultures, climate change and conservation, and possibly northern lights!

All proceeds directly benefit bear conservation.

Click here to learn more and register!

Join a 24 Hour Giving Event May 4th and 5th

May 2nd, 2017

Mikfik Creek Brown Bear

Give Local to support bear conservation

For 24 hours this week, from 6PM Mountain Time on May 4th to 6PM Mountain Time on May 5th, you can support bear conservation on Give Local Day! For 24 hours only, no matter where you live, your donation can go further by giving through the Give Local platform!

As a grassroots, community-based organization, we depend on your support to make our programs possible. This 24 hour giving event harnesses the generosity of our donors and our community into one powerful event. Donations made during this period are eligible for stretch funds from the Give Local stretch pool, for 24 hours only. Just click the DONATE NOW button between 6PM May 4th and 6PM May 5th to make your contribution!

Visit our Projects page to see where your contribution goes. For other ways to support our bear conservation and education work, shop our merchandise. Or, even better, register for a field course in polar bear country to support bear conservation with a once-in-a-lifetime adventure among the polar bears!

Thank you for supporting bear conservation!

Jonkel Film Premieres April 20th in Missoula

March 23rd, 2017

Walking Bear Comes Home: The life and work of Chuck Jonkel

Walking Bear Comes Home: The life and work of Chuck Jonkel premieres April 20th at the Roxy Theater in Missoula.


Walking Bear Comes Home: The life and work of Chuck Jonkel
A production of the Great Bear Foundation and Caribou Crossing Media

Join us for the world premiere screening of Walking Bear Comes Home: The life and work of Chuck Jonkel at the 40th International Wildlife Film Festival, Thursday, April 20th, 2017 at 5:00 PM at the Roxy Theater in Missoula.

Come early to honor Chuck at 4:00 with a reception, poetry reading by Vic Charlo, and unveiling of a permanent memorial inside the theater. After the film, we’ll celebrate the release of Great Bear Cider, a hard cider made with fruit gleaned from our Bears & Apples Program, at Western Cider, 501 N California St. from 7:00-9:00 PM. Western Cider generously donates 10% of the proceeds to the Great Bear Foundation.

After conducting the first capture-and-handling studies on black bears in Montana, Chuck Jonkel explored the Canadian Arctic pioneering the field of polar bear biology. Walking Bear Comes Home examines Jonkel’s contributions to wildlife biology, conservation, and community through interviews and archival footage.

Walking Bear Comes Home: The life and work of Chuck Jonkel was sponsored by Humanities Montana, Cinnabar Foundation, Salish Kootenai College Media, KSKC Public-TV, Caribou Crossing, and private donations.

DVDs will be available at the screening, or pre-order here.

PRE-ORDER – DVD releases April 20, 2017
Price: $20.00 plus shipping
Shipping will be calculated at checkout. For international orders, please contact us.

Polar Bear Field Courses Offer Experiential Learning

August 10th, 2016

Polar Bear in Fireweed

A plump summer polar bear in the fireweed


The Great Bear Foundation offers high-quality, low-impact experiential learning opportunities in polar bear habitat. Our summer field course, Berries, Belugas and Bears just wrapped up in Churchill, Manitoba. Our group spanned multiple generations and enjoyed exploring the tundra, picking berries, learning about wildflowers, beachcombing, and watching belugas with their calves in the Churchill River. A plump polar bear tiptoed through the fireweed, and the night owls in the group were rewarded with a spectacular northern lights show, thanks to clear weather and solar activity.

Limited space is available for our fall polar bear trips in October and November. These trips coincide with peak polar bear season in Churchill, as the bears migrate to Cape Churchill, waiting for the first sea ice to form, to break their summer fast. When the ice forms, the bears can return to the ice to hunt their staple food, the ringed seal. Our October course offers an overview of arctic ecology with a focus on polar bears, while our November course sheds light on how humans and polar bears share habitat.

All field courses primarily focus on observing polar bears in their natural habitat, while minimizing our impacts on the bears and their habitat. Evening lectures, slideshows, and guest speakers complement our field observations.

Field courses are open to adults and children of all backgrounds, and proceeds directly fund our bear conservation initiatives. Click here to sign up today!

Charles Jonkel Memorial Celebration July 16

June 10th, 2016

Memorial celebration for Charles Jonkel Saturday, July 16, 2016 from 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM at Missoula’s Bonner Park. Please join us in celebrating the life and work of the Great Bear Foundation’s cofounder and long-serving President.
Final Memorial Flyer

Click here to download the PDF flyer.

See our Archives for all past news.

  • Great Bear Foundation
    is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization in Missoula, Montana, dedicated to the conservation of the eight species of bears and their habitat around the world.
    img img img
  • Make a tax-deductible donation to Great Bear img
    img
    img

    Shop and help support Great Bear image

Visit our Shop for great deals on artwork, outdoor gear, T-shirts and more! And help Great Bear at the same time!