The Last Polar Bear: Facing the Truth of a Warming World

The polar bear — a charismatic icon in the struggle against climate change — faces a precarious future along with other ice-dependent species as its Arctic habitat rapidly continues to melt away. With camera in hand, wildlife photographer Steven Kazlowski has dedicated over eight years of work to bring to life the immediate reality of this most pressing environmental crisis — the devastation of the Arctic ecosystem through global warming.

Organized by the Burke Museum and Braided River, a conservation imprint of The Mountaineers Books, The Last Polar Bear: Facing the Truth of a Warming World presents over 40 large-format color photographs by Kazlowski and documents the polar bear in its Arctic coastal habitat from Hershel Island in Canada to Point Hope, Alaska. Accompanying panels and labels illuminate the drama at the heart of the global warming debate. A new companion book of the same title was published by Braided River. Kazlowski's work has also been featured in Audubon, Backpacking, Canadian National Geographic, National Wildlife, and Time magazines. The visitor experience is enhanced by an audio/visual component — produced by independent filmmaker Arthur C. Smith, III — that features an intimate view of polar bears off Barter Island, located on the Arctic coast.

Major support for the exhibition has been provided by Tom and Sonya Campion, the Hugh and Jane Ferguson Foundation, and the Peach Foundation. Additional support has been provided by The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation, The Boeing Company, Kongsgaard Goldman Foundation, The Moutaineers Foundation (Carl Skoog Memorial Fund), and The Norcliffe Foundation.

Bring your class for a hands-on Discovery tour to accompany the exhibits The Last Polar Bear and Arctic Wings. Contact Burke Education for more information. Call 206-543-5591 or e-mail

Polar bear family group watching for approaching bears (Arctic National Wildlife Refuge)
Photograph by Steven Kazlowski