IBA’s Grants Programs provide funds for research and conservation projects around the world, travel funds for experiential exchange programs between projects, and grants to help students and others attend IBA conferences.
IBA’s Research and Conservation Grants program was started in 1992, made possible through a generous gift from the John Sheldon Bevins Memorial Foundation. Bear researcher John Bevins, along with a fellow researcher and pilot, disappeared during a polar bear monitoring flight over Alaska’s Arctic Ocean on October 11, 1990. The foundation was established by John’s widow, Dr. Julia Bevins, to memorialize John’s dedication to bears and improved bear management. IBA was named as an annual recipient of the Foundation’s charitable donations. Since then, in 2004, IBA launched the Bear Conservation Fund, with a vision of increasing, by an order of magnitude, IBA’s ability to support research, conservation, and exchange among practitioners in the field through grants. The Bear Conservation Fund currently receives over $100,000 in donations each year to support IBA’s four Grants Programs.
The Grants Program Today
The overall grants program has grown significantly both in the amount and number of grants awarded. In addition, the program’s scope has broadened, and three different categories have since been established: