Dan Clements ’71, P'07 couldn't believe what he was seeing. For the past week, he and five others had been trekking through British Columbia’s Great Bear Rainforest, returning to a sailboat anchored off the coast of Gribbell Island to sleep before resuming their search for one of the world’s most elusive species. It was September 2017. The mud was thick and the wind unrelenting. And now the spirit bear—a unique species of black bear that, due to a genetic mutation, has white fur—was standing in a stream just feet from Dan.

Dan Clements ’71, P'07 couldn't believe what he was seeing. For the past week, he and five others had been trekking through British Columbia’s Great Bear Rainforest, returning to a sailboat anchored off the coast of Gribbell Island to sleep before resuming their search for one of the world’s most elusive species. It was September 2017. The mud was thick and the wind unrelenting. And now the spirit bear—a unique species of black bear that, due to a genetic mutation, has white fur—was standing in a stream just feet from Dan.

It was a spectacular moment in a place where “myth and reality merge,” says Dan, a photographer who’s visited some of the world’s most remote and breathtaking locations. He’s photographed tigers in India and had close encounters with polar bears in the Arctic. This summer, he will be photographing jaguars in Brazil. But the spirit bear sighting was particularly special to Dan. It validated his decision to make adventure photography a career relatively late in life.