Music That Makes a Difference 2018

Music That Makes a Difference 2018

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Jack Johnson

Jack Johnson

CNN Music & Art

Eddie Van Halen donates guitars to public schools

Eddie Van Halen

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Polar bear wears new collar for science

Tatqiq 1Atlanta (CNN) What should you get a 14-year-old girl for Valentine’s Day?

Accessories are a pretty good idea.

And while this necklace isn’t covered in gems, the collar given to this polar bear at the San Diego Zoo, may be the greatest gift for the future of her species.

“What we are doing is calibrating accelerometer data to actually be able to identify discreet behaviors for polar bears in the wild. How often bears are spending resting, how often bears are spending walking, how often they’re swimming,” Anthony Pagano, Research Wildlife Biologist for the United States Geological Survey, said.

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The reason Tatqiq, a 520-pound splash machine, is sporting the necklace is because scientists want to know all about her energy needs.

Charting her behavior will help them understand how, and if, polar bears can adapt to climate change and the loss of sea ice in the Arctic.

Inside the collar is an accelerometer. It tracks her movement — up and down, side to side and back to front — 16 times per second.

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“It’s a similar type of technology that athletes are using, for quantifying how far they’re walking, how many steps they’re taking and how many calories they’re burning… We’re just applying it, in this case, to polar bears,” Pagano said.

Tatqiq 4Getting this kind of detailed data in the wild is next to impossible. And with the Alaskan polar bear population down 40% in the last 15 years, this project is not only important — it is urgent.

The collar is held together with zip-ties so Tatqiq could easily get it off, if she wanted to — but this proud polar bear chooses to wear it well.

Susan Purtell, Senior Animal Keeper for the San Diego Zoo, said, “Tatqiq is wearing this collar, and she is just a rock star pro at wearing this collar. She teaches us things every single day.”

Written and produced by: Ben Bamsey for “CNN Newsroom.”

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