Secret Life of Bears Image 1
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Secret Life of Bears (Image 1)

June 30, 2010
Secret Life of Bears (Image 1) A blonde grizzly bear takes a break from fishing at the falls in McNeil River Game Sanctuary, Alaska. The sanctuary protects about 200 square miles of wildlife habitat and is located approximately 250 air miles (400 kilometers) southwest of Anchorage and 100 air miles (160 kilometers) west of Homer. This image was taken using a remote satellite-controlled video camera. The satellite camera is controlled from the laboratory of Lawrence Griffing at Texas A&M University by undergraduate researchers. The photos and data collected are shared with the public on the "Secret Lives of the Brown Bears of McNeil River" Web site, and also with the Pratt Museum in Homer, Alaska, where interpreters help demonstrate how the scientific research is conducted. The images and video are used for scientific research and to aid in the public understanding of the process of science. The project invites students and the public to help with the research on bears by sitting at the same "bench," helping with researcher's questions, and asking their own. The live Web feed and its archive can be used as a source of unmined data to ask new questions about bears and to scientifically establish the answers to old questions using remote digital imaging. Griffing and his team have made several discoveries with the camera--including female mate choice in grizzlies--that will be published in the future. Currently, Griffing and his team are making 3D models for modeling bear behavior from measurements they have taken using the calibrated cameras. To view bear videos or for further information, visit the "Secret Lives of the Brown Bears of McNeil River" Web site. [Portions of this project were supported by the National Science Foundation, ESI 00-83336.] (Date of Image: 2002-2006) [One of six related images. See Next Image.]

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