DIRECTOR OF MARKETING AND COMMUNICATIONS TRAVELS TO SEE WILD POLAR BEARS AS PART OF PBI CONFERENCE

Memphis, Tenn. – Jennifer Jaudon, the Director of Marketing and Communications with the Memphis Zoo, will travel to the tundra near Churchill, Manitoba, Canada, October 3-9 for a week-long Communicators Leadership Camp sponsored by Polar Bears International (PBI), a conservation group. The Memphis Zoo, which is part of PBI’s network of Arctic Ambassador Center Zoos, selected Jaudon based on her continued accomplishments in national and local public relations, past outreach and community involvement. She will join 18 other public relations professionals and educators from the U.S. and Canada.  

“Zoo communicators have the ability to reach a wide audience with a conservation message,” said Robert Buchanan, PBI president. “They spend a week on the tundra during the fall polar bear migration on the shores of Hudson Bay. They stay at the Tundra Buggy® Lodge—with polar bears just outside—to learn about polar bears, climate change, and how each of us can help. From this remote location, they stay connected to the rest of the world through their blog at polarbearsinternational.org. Before returning home, each Ambassador creates an individual action plan to help reduce CO2 in their community.”  

Churchill’s polar bears, part of the Western Hudson Bay population, draw visitors from around the world during their fall migration. Every summer, these bears are driven ashore when the ice on the bay melts, taking away their seal-hunting grounds. They spend the next few months resting and fasting. As cold weather returns, they begin to gather on the shore near Churchill to wait for the ice to form.  

Having the chance to see polar bears in their natural habitat –and to learn first-hand about arctic climate-warming—is a transformative experience for Leadership Camp students. The goal of the camp is to inspire, inform, and empower zoo professionals to advocate for environmental stewardship in their home communities.  

Jaudon says she’s excited by the opportunity. “I am honored to serve as the local Arctic Ambassador for Polar Bears International. It truly is an opportunity of a lifetime to experience polar bears in their natural habitat and learn first-hand about the dire impact of climate change on the great white bear and the Arctic. Informing our community of the Memphis Zoo’s preservation of wildlife through education, conservation and research is my passion, and I look more forward to returning home and empowering future generations of environmental stewards as a positive force for change for the reduction of carbon footprint and polar bear conservation.”  

The Memphis Zoo was invited to send a representative to the camp because of its role as a PBI Arctic Ambassador Center Zoo. These centers focus on animal well-being and enrichment, take a leadership role in stewardship and carbon reduction efforts in their communities, and participate in PBI polar bear research efforts. Many also help support polar bear conservation through the PBI Polar Bear Sustainability Alliance.  

 “Outreach by institutions such as the Memphis Zoo can make an enormous difference in motivating the public,” Buchanan said. “If we are serious about conserving polar bears and their ecosystem we need to act quickly—and our Arctic Ambassador Center Zoos and Leadership Camps play an important role in inspiring change.”   

Follow Jaudon on her blog at www.memphiszoo.org/keepersblog and all the public relations and marketing staff and zoo-based educators during PBI’s 2010 pilot project Communicators Leadership Camp at www.polarbearsinternational.org/programs/blogs.

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