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Can Geo Talks: Fall 2008

“Meeting Nanuk”
In person with Ian Stirling

Photo: Ian Stirling

NANUK, THE INUIT WORD FOR POLAR BEAR, symbolizes the Arctic more than any other animal. “Like the surrounding landscape, the polar bear is impressive in its sheer size and rugged beauty,” explains Ian Stirling.

Although it walks around on land, the polar bear is primarily a marine mammal, spending the majority of the year on sea ice where its very survival depends. With the effect of climate warming, however, retreating northern ice cover can prove to be disastrous for the polar bear. Since Canada is home to approximately 60% of the world’s polar bear population, it is of particular concern for Canadians.

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Photo: Canadian Space Agency

Can Geo Talks: Spring 2008

“A Walk in Space”
with Canadian Astronaut Steve MacLean

Imagine flying from Vancouver to Halifax in less than 20 minutes — or witnessing 16 sunrises and sunsets in one 24-hour period. That’s what it’s like to hurtle through space at eight kilometres per second in a shuttle and circle the entire globe every 90 minutes.

Canadian Space Agency Astronaut Steve MacLean first travelled into space aboard space shuttle Columbia in October 1992. Fourteen years later, aboard space shuttle Atlantis, he became the second Canadian in history to perform a space walk.

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