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An Interview with Krista Wright, Part One

/ Post by Erica Wills of Polar Bears International

Katie and I first met Krista Wright during our first trip to Churchill for PBI’s second Teen Leadership Camp in 2008. Krista ended up being one of my two group leaders, and so I had the chance to get to know this wonderful woman even better. Now, nearly five years later, Krista has continued to dedicate her life to the preservation of the Arctic and its incredible inhabitants. During our trip to Churchill with explore.org, Katie and I sat down with our friend to talk in-depth about PBI, what she does, and why it matters that people care. We talked for so long, I’m splitting her interview into two parts!

Q: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

A: My name is Krista Wright and I work for Polar Bears International, where I am the Vice President and COO. What I do at work is manage projects and keep all of the balls that are in the air from hitting the ground, with the endpoint of saving the polar bears

Q: What is Polar Bears International?

A: We are a registered non-profit organization in the United States and Canada, but we like to think of ourselves having an international focus. We outreach to people all over the world. 

Q: What are the organizations/partnerships PBI has?

A: We have professional relationships with AZA (Association of Zoos and Aquariums), the Canadian association (Canadian Association of Zoos and Aquariums), and also the European association. We work with zoo docents, zoo keepers, and with all of their professional organizations. We also partner with other NGOs that are conservation based organizations, such as the Center for Biological Diversity, National Wildlife Federation, and World Wildlife Fund. We work with government agencies such as Parks Canada, Manitoba Conservation and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on a handful of research projects. We also have education partners, including Discovery Education Network, explore.org, and Jane Goodall’s Roots and Shoots. In the end, we are trying to work with like-minded organizations to reach as many people as we possibly can. 

Q: What is PBI doing to create that action that is needed for bears?

A: Through all of our partnerships with other organizations, zoos and aquariums, and our educational partners like Discovery Education Network or explore.org, we are trying to reach and motivate people. First, we talk about the subject and get people interested in polar bears and the challenges that they are facing, but that leads to the more important task of trying to reduce carbon dioxide emissions through community based programs, such as no idling zones. Educating people about the choices they make as far as the food that they buy and eat, getting schools and communities to set up programs not only for recycling but to be really conscientious of the things that we buy. Do we really need those items? Are they items that we can reuse? Can you buy used items? There is a long list of things that we can do as a global society to reduce our carbon emissions.

Look for part two of our interview with Krista Wright to next month, with more on the work that PBI does in Churchill to spread awareness and inspiration about the polar bears!