How do we know that polar bear populations are declining? Obviously, because someone went and counted the polar bears. And if you’re willing to (temporarily) move to the Svalbard Islands, located between Norway and the North Pole, that someone could be you.
The Svalbard Islands have more polar bears than people — 3,000 bears to 2,400 humans — so it may be that the governor is advertising for a polar bear spotter not out of scientific interest, but out of concern. (Actually, according to Google Translate the job announcement says it’s “in connection with the documentation of hunting cabins,” but it also says “we need polar bears for a three-week period” so perhaps the translation is not an expert one.) Whether you’re counting the bears or just keeping an eye on them, though, you’ll need good eyesight, experience working outdoors, the ability to shoot a gun, and a loud voice for scaring bears so you don’t have to shoot a gun. You also need “satisfactory conduct,” though I’m not sure how often that overlaps with outdoorsiness, loud voices, and firearm expertise.
Is this the job for you? Well, it’s only three weeks long, but it starts on July 8, which means you’d be in the Arctic Circle at the best possible time to be in the Arctic Circle. It pays the equivalent of about $60,000 per year, so … like $3,500 for three weeks? That’s not bad for a summer gig. And sure, there’s a small risk of being eaten by a polar bear, but no job is perfect. Sign me up.
Help Wanted: Polar Bear Spotter on a Norwegian Island, Time.