Public Domain Images Online

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Posts Tagged ‘Beaufort Sea’

Last of the Polar Bears

Posted by Laurie Frost on July 8, 2009

Polar bears have featured in several of my earlier posts: FWS [Fish & Wildlife Service] Images of Alaska’s Polar Bears, Walruses and Seals; Where the Polar Bears Roam; and Polar Bears and Blue Angels, Submarines and Ships of the US Navy.

Here’s one more set, which are intriguing because they show the size of the bears in comparison to men. The bears are sedated so that they can be tagged by scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA.

First, a statement from NOAA about the public domain status and use of the images in its library:

Restrictions for Using NOAA Images

Most NOAA photos and slides are in the public domain and CANNOT be copyrighted.

Although at present, no fee is charged for using the photos credit MUST be given to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration/Department of Commerce unless otherwise instructed to give credit to the photographer or other source.

It’s worth repeating that last line. Remember, you are paying nothing, but you must give credit:

…no fee is charged for using the photos credit MUST be given to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration/Department of Commerce

The pictures, then more about NOAA in the Arctic. This one of the bears’ huge padded paws was taken by Captain Budd Christman, NOAA Corps, on Alaska’s Beaufort Sea in May 1982 [credit: NOAA/ US Dept. of Commerce].anim00412

Captain Christman also shot the next two pictures of bear and man. The man is Steve Amstrup of the US FWS. The caption provided for the second picture below notes that the bear’s neck circumference was 45 inches and his estimated weight, 1400 pounds. [credits: NOAA/ US Dept. of Commerce].anim0038

anim0036This last picture shows Cpt. Christman with a bear tagged for monitoring in the Outer Continental Shelf Environmental Assessment Program (OCSEAP) studies [credit: NOAA/ US Dept. of Commerce].anim0035

There are a number of really fine things about the NOAA site, and we will return to those in later posts, but just for now let me direct you to these pages:

The formats represented in this resource include print, CD-ROM, online full-text documents, digital videos, digital images, online cruise data and Web resources. This document provides full-text access, copyright permitting, to significant Polar documents in the NOAA Library collections. There are over one-hundred-and-fifty electronic references to unique historical documents that have been scanned and made available online via NOAALINC, as well as to scientific datasets available online via the National Oceanographic Data Center (NODC) Ocean Archive System.

Now, leaving NOAA and departing from our images in the public domain theme, here’s a resource specifically on polar bears:

You can’t think about the future of polar bears without considering climate change. Here are some sites about the disappearance of the sea ice on which the bears live. Again, we’ve departed from public domain resources:

Posted in Animals, Fish and Wildlife Service, NOAA, Places | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Where the Polar Bears Roam

Posted by Laurie Frost on June 23, 2009


It’s not yet noon and outside my window it’s closer to a 100 than to 90. What better time to stop over at the Fish and Wildlife Service [FWS] to have a look at their public domain pictures of polar bears? The FWS site features a digital library described as:

a searchable collection of selected images, historical artifacts, audio clips, publications, and video and that are in the public domain. You are free to use them as you wish – no permission is necessary. We do ask that you please give credit to the photographer or creator and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, in a format similar to the example below.

Credit: John Doe/USFWS

Items are added on a regular basis to the library, so if you don’t see something you are looking for today, it may have been added the next time you visit.

Most items in the National Digital Library are compressed RGB, JPEG, or PDF files. Most records have low resolution JPEGs that are suitable for web use. This is the display image at the top of the record. High-resolution images are linked below the display image…

Image categories include birds, wildlife, plants, invertebrates, fisheries, habitats, history, and more.

Susanne Miller photographed the polar bear family [above] and these two bears along the Beaufort Sea coast:


walkbeaufort sea

And where, you ask, is Beaufort Sea? It is way, way, up there. Perhaps this map of polar bear dens in the Arctic Wildlife Refuge will help:


More information about this map can be found here. And see that village at the top center of the map? That is Kaktovik. The Kaktovikmiut people despise the FWS radio-collaring of bears (and other animals) that provided the data for the map above. On the City of Kaktovik website a fascinating document, In This Place: A Guide to Those Who Would Work in the Country of the Kaktovikmiut, — and the website as well — declares in a most unusually blunt manner the perspective of the people whose homeland this is:

From the website:

The notion of wilderness came to the North Slope in the early 1950’s with its discovery by a small group of committed outdoor recreationists. With the publication of their view of our homelands in “The Last Great Wilderness” we disappeared, our homeland became something it had not been for thousands of years: devoid of people. Simultaneously, our homeland became the subject of great interest and concern to thousands, perhaps millions, of people who had never laid eyes on it and who in any case could not see that we continued to fully use and occupy the country.

And from In This Place, first on oil exploration, and then a comment on FWS biologists:

The thing that concerns us the most about this oil activity is that we are told the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the federal agency we find most possessive, most insensitive, most destructive and most obnoxious, will be the one agency assigned to protect the country from harm should oil developmentproceed here. That would clearly be tragic, for us, for our lands and waters, and for the other creatures who share our country. We have no confidence in these people to care, to understand, to respect, or to protect anything here. . . .

We have enough stories about this to fill many books, of the damages done by people who come here to study things, such as the fellow with Fish and Wildlife Service who killed more polar bears figuring out how to radio-collar them than have ever been killed by all the industrial activity in the entire arctic since the beginning of time. His excuse was he had to figure out about polar bears before they were all killed by the oil industry.

The Kaktovikmiut are native Inupiat. Eskimo is a term commonly — but not accurately –used to refer to these natives of Alaska’s Arctic Coast.  The North Slope region referred to above is an 89,000 sq mile borough [NSB] bordered on the north by the Beaufort Sea and Chukchi Sea, which also serves as western border, Canada to the east, and south to the Brooks [mountain] Range. Barrow and Prudhoe Bay are in the NSB, and Barrow is some 1300 miles south of the North Pole and 4,300 miles from Key West.

Yesterday’s high in Barrow was 35, with a low of 29.seaBeaufort Sea with Brooks Range in background

Posted in Animals, Fish and Wildlife Service, Places | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »