Dr. Steven C. Amstrup

Dr. Steven C. Amstrup is chief scientist for Polar Bears International. He also is an adjunct professor at the University of Wyoming in Laramie. Before joining PBI, Amstrup was a research wildlife biologist with the United States Geological Survey at the Alaska Science Center, Anchorage AK., where he led polar bear research in Alaska for 30 years. He earned a B.S. in Forestry from the University of Washington (1972), a M.S. in Wildlife Management from the University of Idaho (1975), and a Ph.D. in Wildlife Management from the University of Alaska Fairbanks (1995). 

Amstrup led research on all aspects of polar bear ecology in the Beaufort Sea between 1980 and 2010. He is a past chairman of the IUCN Polar Bear Specialist Group and has been an active member of the group for over 32 years. His interests include distribution and movement patterns as well as population dynamics of wildlife, and how information on those topics can be used to assure wise stewardship. He is particularly interested in how science can help to reconcile the ever-enlarging human footprint on our environment with the needs of other species for that same environment. Prior work experiences include studies of black bears in central Idaho, and pronghorns and grouse in Wyoming. 

On their honeymoon in New Zealand, Amstrup and his wife Virginia helped in a tagging study of little blue penguins. That experience gave Steve the honor of being one of the very few people ever to have been bitten by both polar bears, which occur only in the northern hemisphere, and penguins, which occur only in the southern hemisphere. 

Amstrup has authored or coauthored over 100 peer-reviewed articles on movements, distribution and population dynamics of large mammals, and is the senior editor of a recent text on population estimation methods. In 2007, Amstrup led a USGS research team in production of 9 reports that were instrumental in convincing the U.S. Secretary of Interior polar bears should be declared threatened under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. Most recently Dr. Amstrup led an effort showing polar bears are not unavoidably doomed.  In the December 2010 issue of Nature, he and his coauthors showed that preserving polar bears is all about controlling man-caused temperature rise. In 2012, Amstrup was selected as recipient of the Indianapolis Prize and a Bambi Award for his efforts in animal conservation.  

Scientific Papers by Dr. Steven C. Amstrup

TitleFile SizeDownload
Allocating Harvests among Polar Bear Stocks in the Beaufort Sea1.06 MBDownload
Comparing Movement Patterns of Satellite-Tagged Male and Female Polar Bears721.19 KBDownload
Detecting Denning Polar Bears with Forward Looking Infrared (FLIR) Imagery557.12 KBDownload
Dietary Biomagnification of Organochlorine Contaminants in Alaskan Polar Bears604.28 KBDownload
Effects of Earlier Sea Ice Breakup on Survival and Population Size of Polar Bears in Western Hudson Bay333.42 KBDownload
Estimating Potential Effects of Hypothetical Oil Spills on Polar Bears1.24 MBDownload
Estimation of Population Size Using Open Capture-Recapture Models1.66 MBDownload
Habitat Characteristics of Polar Bear Terrestrial Maternal Den Sites in Northern Alaska198.51 KBDownload
Human Disturbances of Denning Polar Bears in Alaska 726.22 KBDownload
Improving Size Estimates of Open Animal Populations by Incorporating Information on Age134.69 KBDownload
Interspecific & Intraspecfic Mitrochondrial DNA Variation in North American Bears1006.17 KBDownload
Introduction to the Polar Bear, Ursus maritimus: Biology, Management & Conservation1.03 MBDownload
Leeward and Eastward Shift of Alaskan Polar Bear Denning Associated with Recent Sea Ice Changes844.58 KBDownload
Microsatellite DNA & Mitrochondrial DNA Variation of Polar Bears from the Beaufort & Chukchi Seas, Alaska410.79 KBDownload
Movements and Distribution of Polar Bears in the Beaufort Sea332.51 KBDownload
Past and Present Status of Polar Bears in Alaska788.51 KBDownload
Polar Bear Maternal Den Habitat in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska691.39 KBDownload
Polar Bear Maternity Denning in the Beaufort Sea792.92 KBDownload
Polar Bear Population Status in the Southern Beaufort Sea610.44 KBDownload
Polar Bears in the Beaufort Sea: A 30-Year Mark-Recapture History1.62 MBDownload
Polar Bears in the Southern Beaufort Sea I: Survival and Breeding in Relation to Sea Ice Conditions 2001-2006771.87 KBDownload
Polar Bears in the Southern Beaufort Sea II: Demography and Population Growth in Relation to Sea Ice Conditions950.58 KBDownload
Polar Bears in the Southern Beaufort Sea III: Stature, Mass and Cub Recruitment in Relationship to Time and Sea Ice Extent Between 1982 and 2006371.3 KBDownload
Post-Den Emergence Behavior of Polar Bears in Northern Alaska737.99 KBDownload
Predicting Movements of Female Polar Bears Between Summer Sea Ice Foraging Habitats & Terrestrial Denning Habitats of Alaska in the 21st Century: Proposed Methodology & Pilot Assessment1.62 MBDownload
Recent Cannibalism Photos353.3 KBDownload
Recent Observations of Intraspecifc Predation and Cannibalism in the Southern Beaufort Sea279.95 KBDownload
Remote Identification of Polar Bear Maternal Den Habitat in Northern Alaska293.71 KBDownload
Smithsonian Interview: Steve Amstrup, Wildlife Biologist595.65 KBDownload
Survival Rates of Radio-Collared Female Polar Bears and Their Dependent Young193.12 KBDownload
Tag Loss Can Bias Jolly-Seber Capture-Recapture Estimates138.06 KBDownload
Using Discrete Choice Modeling to Generate Resource Selection Functions for Female Polar Bears in the Beaufort Sea442.52 KBDownload
Using Satellite Radio Telemetry Data to Delineate and Manage Wildlife Populations527.45 KBDownload
Variation in Winter Diet of Southern Beaufort Sea Polar Bears Inferred from Stable Isotope Analysis498.58 KBDownload