Defenders Magazine

Summer 2016

Volume 90, Issue 3


Polar Bears, © Debbie Tubridy

Debbie Tubridy can’t get enough of bears. Every year she travels to see and photograph Alaska brown bears. But this time she traveled to see polar bears in Kaktovik, a remote Inupiat village on the northern edge of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Here, local guides take photographers out in small boats, putting them at eye level with adult bears and their cubs waiting at the water’s edge for ice to form and seal hunting to begin. “I was so impressed with how sweet the moms were with the cubs,” says Tubridy. “The moms were rolling around and playing with the cubs, having the best time.” She loves this particular picture because it looks like the cub is smiling at mom. Seeing the polar bears waiting for the ice gave her a real understanding of what they are up against because of climate change. Tubridy loves to share her photographs and says, “Many people will never go to places like Kaktovik, but I can help educate them through my images and experiences. If my images can evoke an emotion and motivate someone to do something, that’s great.”


Dragonfly, © Stephen VanHorn/Adobe
ECO-MINDED GARDENERS KNOW to cultivate plants native to their area or flowers that attract pollinators. But backyard ponds for dragonflies and damselflies can further contribute to healthy local ecosystems—and it can be a lot of fun.
Manta Ray, © Jones/Shimlock-Secret Sea Visions
When a manta ray weighs as much as a Toyota Prius and has a 23-foot-wide wingspan—twice the size of the largest bird—calling it “giant” is an understatement.