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Field Study Courses

2021 Black Bear Field Study

with Lynn Rogers, PhD

Course description: TLynn Rogers PhDLynn Rogers PhDhe Black Bear Field Study courses emphasize daily up-close observation of wild bears to learn their vocalizations, body language, social organization, ecology, and how people can better coexist with bears. Courses are held at the Northwoods Research Center located west of Ely, Minnesota. Participants are housed on site for maximum participation and total immersion in bears. The small class size (8) maximizes individual opportunities to learn under the guidance of Lynn Rogers, Ph.D., as seen on the Animal Planet documentary "The Man Who Walks With Bears" and the BBC documentary 'Bearwalker of the Northwoods.' Daily discussions, presentations, and field trips serve to amplify the information learned directly from the bears.

Participants include anyone interested in bears. These workshops are life-changing for anyone who fears bears, unforgettable for people who appreciate bears, and essential for professionals who deal with bear issues. Click here for Participants' Comments.

Lorie Kennedy and Mike JohnsonResearch Assistants
Lorie Kennedy & Mike Johnson
Lynn Rogers, PhD began his bear research in 1967 and will lead most of the discussions and field excursions. Click here for his curriculum vitae.  Research assistants Lorie Kennedy and Mike Johnson conduct fieldwork for WRI and assist with Bear Courses. They know the bears well, and one or the other of them will be present to assist during each course.

Each course begins with lunch at noon on Monday and ends Thursday at 11 AM.

Course Fee:  $2500 ($2350 tax deductible). A non-refundable deposit of $1250 is due at registration with the balance of $1250 due 2 months prior to course date.  Fee includes course materials, certificate of completion, receipt for the tax-deductible portion of the fee, and lodging and meals at Northwoods Research Center. The Wildlife Research Institute is a nonprofit (501(c)(3)). The deductible $2350 is the portion beyond actual expenses and is considered a donation to further our research and education program. 

Cancellation Policy:  Deposits are returned (minus a $250 administration fee) only if the cancelled spots can be filled. If the cancelled spots cannot be filled, the deposits may be deferred and applied to any course in the following year.

Contact: Please email any questions to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Click here to view and download a Black Bear Field Study Course brochure.

Edited:  February 1, 2018

  • "When I got to the Wildlife Research Institute, my goal was met within 5 minutes. I feel much more confident as an advocate and informal educator for black bears now. I can't wait to do it again!"
    Rachel - Oregon 2020

  • "II minored in biology in college so I particularly enjoyed the educational talks by Dr. Rogers—learning something new; getting to hear some of his talks from all his years of research was enlightening."
    Andrea - Iowa 2020

  • "No where will you get a more wonderful experience. Seeing wild bears in their natural habitat, watching bears interact with each other and seeing mom with their cubs. This was my 6th Bear Study Course and I look forward to more courses."
    Diane - Kansas 2020

  • "The Black Bear field courses are the greatest experience you can have over the summer. You learn so much about the bears and Things nature in a great and beautiful place. It’s the most amazing thing you will ever do."
    Ernie - Maryland 2020

  • "Taking this course is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. To be so close to wild bears and witness their behavior for extended periods of time was truly special. The bear course was a wonderful experience and I will treasure those memories for ever."
    Chuck - Massachusetts 2020

  • "This course was beyond my wildest expectations. Our time spent observing bears is embedded within my mind forever. One participant has called this course addictive- I would agree. I want to return again and again."
    Kim - Illinois 2020

  • "I want to say to you all that you were "over the top" in your attention to our well-being. I hope to see you all next year for my FIFTH year. Your care for us, and the bears, is deeply appreciated.""
    Neala - Minnesota 2020


Accommodations include a room with 2 twin beds on the first floor and a room with 2 twin beds on the second floor. The third floor has 4 twin beds along with a futon couch which converts to a full bed. There are 3 bathrooms (2 with showers).


Flavorful meals featuring seasonal ingredients are served family-style. Every attempt is made to accommodate diet preferences and restrictions.


We provide all transportation during course activities. Course participants are responsible for their own transportation to and from the Northwoods Research Center.

Before Arriving

We will answer your questions, address your concerns, send directions and suggestions of what to bring, and help you hook up with other participants to share transportation from the airports.

Our Mailing Lists

Contact Information

Wildlife Research Institute
145 West Conan Street
Ely, Minnesota 55731 USA

Email Address
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