Adventure

Polar Bear Scientist Suspended

Author of 2006 report put on leave

The biologist responsible for a 2006 report that galvanized environmental concern for polar bears has been suspended from his position at the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation, and Enforcement amid rumors of scientific misconduct. In 2006, Charles Monnett co-authored a report with Jeffery Gleason that documented four dead polar bears near the Arctic Circle and speculated that climate change might increase polar bear mortality. He was suspended July 18. The service, until recently known as the Minerals Management Service, says an investigation in Monnett's work is ongoing and has not released information about the nature of the suspension. In the transcript of an interview conducted with Monnett, the agency's inspector general asked specific questions about a calculation Monnett made concerning polar bear mortality. In that interview, excerpted in yesterday's New York Times, Monnett is quoted saying that his bosses at the service "don’t want any impediment to, you know, what they view as their mission, which is to, you know, drill wells up there." In 2008, the then-Minerals Management Service was involved in a widespread scandal involving bribes, sexual favors, and drug and alchol abuse.

Read more at The New York Times

Our mission to inspire readers to get outside has never been more critical. In recent years, Outside Online has reported on groundbreaking research linking time in nature to improved mental and physical health, and we’ve kept you informed about the unprecedented threats to America’s public lands. Our rigorous coverage helps spark important debates about wellness and travel and adventure, and it provides readers an accessible gateway to new outdoor passions. Time outside is essential—and we can help you make the most of it. Making a financial contribution to Outside Online only takes a few minutes and will ensure we can continue supplying the trailblazing, informative journalism that readers like you depend on. We hope you’ll support us. Thank you.
Contribute to Outside
Filed To: News
More Adventure