As a recent college graduate pursuing a career in climatology, I was looking for some real-world experience in the field. Our usual daily routine was: field work in the morning, lab work in the afternoon. Towards the end of our trip, we had one full day of field world. Since we were working in the beautiful boreal forest, no one was complaining! We drove about an hour or so out to one of the research sites in the forest. We completed our work at the first site as it started to rain. We decided to walk to the next site since it was nearby and the rain had turned to mist. We were walking down the narrow dirt road that led us out to the forest, admiring a beautiful rainbow overhead. We turned a corner and came across a POLAR BEAR. Since Churchill is considered the polar bear capital of the world, our group was required to have a trained armed staff member with us at all times when outside the research center. The bear didn't seem to see us and was just moseying towards us nonchalantly. As our guide raised his shotgun to fire a warning shot (just a noise deterrent, not a bullet), the sound of the gun being cocked scared the bear. It turned and ran off into the forest. It was an incredible encounter and one that I will NEVER forget. To be able to see a polar bear in the wild.... It was an incredible reminder of what amazing life is at stake if we do not act on climate change NOW.