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Field Study Courses

2023 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 at Noon on Monday and ends on Thursday around Noon.

Course Fee:  $2,500 per participant is a donation ($2,350 is tax deductible). A non-refundable deposit of $1,250 is due at registration with the balance of $1,250 due 2 months prior to the course date. Fee includes family-style meals, group housing, course materials, certificate of completion, receipt for your tax-deductible donation to the Wildlife Research Institute (501(c)(3). Your donation for the course will be used to further our research and educational programs.

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

  • "Not only is this a tremendously educational experience, it is perhaps the only place in the world that allows amateurs to get up close with wild bears in an ethical manner."
    Sarah - Illinois 2022

  • "It has only been 4 weeks since we arrived back in Tennessee from our best vacation ever! And I show photos almost daily of our bear friends we made at the Black Bear Field Course."
    Sue & Stan - Tennessee 2022

  • "Bears are such gentle, sentient creatures. Hopefully more and more people will come to this realization. We are already looking forward to another visit next year."
    James - Georgia 2022

  • "The trip to the Wildlife Research Institute (WRI) was, by far, one of the most rewarding experiences of my life! I learned so much about the American Black Bear, their conservation, behavior, ecology, diversionary feeding and more."
    Gwendolyn - Ohio 2022

  • "I can honestly share many pleasant sensations that I have been able to enjoy participating in one of these Bear field courses run by PHD Rogers and his team. It was a warm feeling of harmony with nature."
    Iñigo/Charly/Navarra - North of Spain 2022

  • "Taking a Bear Study Course at the WRI is an immersive experience that gives you time and opportunity to not only closely observe black bears and their environment, but to learn from and ask questions of expert bear biologist Dr. Lynn Rogers."
    Barb - Ontario, Canada 2022

  • "I became aware of Dr. Rogers and his work with black bears after watching a television programme here in England. Not having bears here, it became an experience of a lifetime."
    John - United Kingdom 2022


Private accommodations can be found in the area at at the participants own expense. Semi-private accommodations are available onsite at no cost during courses only, and only to course participants. Accommodations during the courses 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 5 twin beds along with a futon couch which converts to a full bed. There are 3 bathrooms (2 with showers).


Meals are provided throughout the course. Other options are available in the area at Flavorful meals featuring seasonal ingredients are served family-style. Every attempt is made to accommodate diet preferences and restrictions.


We provide transportation for 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 connect with other participants to share transportation from the airports.