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Nunavut-born Photog Has a Polar Obsession

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It may be upwards of 70 degrees in Tampa, but that won’t stop the polar bears from arriving there on Tuesday night—at least photos of them.

Nunavut-born Paul Nicklen, a contributing photographer for National Geographic, will lecture on and share images of polar bears and all things Arctic in Tampa on Jan. 25 as part of what he calls his polar obsession, the Tampa Tribunereports.

An award-winning photographer, Nicklen has promised to “share some near-death experiences, spectacular photographs of polar bears and his personal view on the environmental threats to the Arctic,” wrote Walt Belcher in the Tribune.

"The ice is melting at a rapid rate, and if we lose the Arctic, we'll lose the polar bears," Nicklen told the Tribune.

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Although he is not Inuit himself, Nicklen credits the culture in the Inuit settlement he grew up in with giving him his outlook on life.

“The Inuit taught me to survive in the Arctic, read the weather, and, more than anything else, appreciate patience,” the biologist-turned-photographer said on his website’s biography page, adding, “without television, radio and computer games, my friends and I would spend all of our waking hours in the hills watching wildlife, weather, and the light play shadow games across the landscape. At that young age, the seed to become a nature photographer was deeply planted.”

His work has taken him to the complete opposite corner of the earth—Antarctica—where, among other adventures, he made an unexpected friend—or did she just feel sorry for him?