"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. The animals are not coerced and are free to leave any time they wish. As a student of animal studies, this course opened my eyes to the achievability of multi-species communities as well as the challenges those models face. No questions were off limits and I felt very accepted. Most importantly, I got to meet bears."
Sarah - Illinois 2022
"BEST VACATION EVER - 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, led by Dr Lynn Rogers and his caring helpers. I miss the new friends we made – both humans and bears!
My interest goes back to Lynn putting a den camera in place for interested folks to follow the birth of a bear – lots of years ago. On a whim I showed my husband the mailing about the Field Course in Ely Minnesota and said I would really like to go. Signed up online that day, and the rest is history! We drove from East Tennessee which just added to the adventure. My husband and I are approaching 80 and do call this the best vacation we’ve ever had!!"
Sue & Stan - Tennessee 2022
"What a pleasure it was to return with my wife to the WRI field station for our second bear course. Dr. Rogers shared a wealth of information about the bears along with other colorful stories. And it was just amazing to sit on the bench and hang out with Ty the bear again. 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. We encountered Black Bears daily, not to mention many other species of wildlife from Eagles feeding their chicks to feisty American Red Squirrels who scolded 500lb Black Bears and stole their hazelnuts. Dr. Lynn Rogers was not only vastly knowledgeable but, was an extremely engaging and welcoming host to all the students. Such a pleasure! I rarely visit a place twice however, WRI is certainly an exception to this rule. I cannot wait to return and highly recommend this course to anyone with a passion for nature!"
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.
Without a doubt, one of the most beautiful sensations of inner fulfillment that I have ever felt has been after contemplating a relaxing summer evening sitting on a porch bench absorbed in seeing a huge bear in front of me "One Eye Jack" deeply in thought eating hazelnuts in front of me. It was a warm feeling of harmony with nature."
Iñigo/Charly/Navarra - North of Spain
"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. Presentations on everything from food preferences, denning, vocalizations, reproduction and hibernation are augmented with site visits to dens, searches for seasonal foods, scat & bear signs, and sightings of moms & cubs. A highlight was an Indigenous speaker who shared the importance of the bears to her tribe, and what we can learn from the bears. Just observing the bears at the diversionary feeding stations teaches us so much about the bears’ different personalities, preferences, expressions and even adaptations due to injury. Very highly recommend."
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. I never expected to have such close contact with wild bears, some of which exhibited such trust in strangers, testament to the knowledge and experience of Dr. Rogers and his helpers. His knowledge of the bear families, their ways and lives is second to none. They clearly are not the threat very commonly believed. A stay at the Research Centre is an experience not to be missed. Wildlife at its absolute best."
John - United Kingdom 2022
"Spending time with Dr. Rogers, his team and the beautiful bears is one of the most life-changing experiences you can have. To learn first-hand, both from Dr Roger’s knowledge and being at peace with the bears in their world, cannot be explained to anyone, you have to experience it for yourself. It was a magical time."
Pam - United Kingdom 2022
"This was the fifth time I’ve taken the bear course and I recommend it highly. There is so much to learn from Dr. Rogers and the bears. I’ve met great friends through the courses because it is an intense experience. One that you’ll remember forever."
Laurie - Connecticut 2022
"Returning to the WRI this year after a COVID-induced 2-year exile felt like going home. The warm companionship of like-minded people, many of whom, like me, had returned several times before, was a bonus. There is always something new to learn from the amazing “bear man” Dr Lynn Rogers, from each other and of course from the bears themselves.
Observing wild black bears as they go about their daily lives is a joy that never fades. There is nothing in the world more cute than a family of black bear cubs with their mamma and nothing more beautiful than the care and attention she gives to them. And there is nothing more sincere than the gentle eyes of a big male bear whose only real concern is eating enough peanuts and hazelnuts to fill his belly. That is why I think of bear study courses as spiritual renewal as well as educational and fun. It’s experiencing nature at its best and learning so much from it.
The WRI is in an ideal location for this and is a truly lovely place to stay. I should mention too the great food."
Margaret - Auckland New Zealand 2022