December 15, 2012 - May 12, 2013

How will you survive?


This exhibit examines how animals stay warm when it gets very, very cold. Research into hibernation and other winter survival strategies helps us improve medical treatments.

  • What does hibernation mean?
  • Who can survive the coldest temperatures?
  • How can water stay liquid below freezing?
  • Did dinosaurs hibernate? Do Interior Alaska bats?

"There's a huge creativity component in science. To do something new, you have to be innovative." 
Brian Barnes


We study black bears. We had a suspicion metabolism was decreased in hibernating bears, but it's much more than we thought. 
Oivind Toien


Hibernation and the Science of Cold was created in partnership with Guest Curator Brian Barnes and the researchers at the Institute of Arctic Biology at UAF.

All photos: Oivind Toien, IAB



Cope * Hibernate * Freeze * Leave

Find out what these choices mean.
Learn the advantages.
Discover the consequences.


Nobody knows exactly why ground squirrels have to arouse during torpor. That is the big question in the hibernation community.
Franziska Kohl


Seek the Survivors

Even though they must tolerate low temperatures in the extreme, the creatures of the far north are all around you in the wintertime.


Watch the trailer.