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Comments From Former Students

"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. It was also great to be able to spend time with Dr Rogers and Mike who are both extremely knowledgeable. The bear course was a wonderful experience and I will treasure those memories for ever."
Chuck - Massachusetts 2020

I was blessed to have been a part of Bear Study during the summer of COVID. I nervously awaited if our course would proceed or be cancelled. I was thrilled that on 6/3/20-which happened to be my 55th birthday I found out that our bear study course was on. The overall number of participants would be low and some changes would be needed to follow all the guidelines-but I didn't care I was going to get the chance to learn from Dr. Rogers and see bears in the wild.
This course was beyond my wildest expectations. I learned more about bears in my short time due to the generosity of Mike Johnson and Dr. Lynn Rogers. They graciously answered every question I had-sometimes I had to apologize for all the information I wanted to take in. Everyone was kind and patient and had great information to offer. By having a smaller group-we got to really be more hands on. I didn't realize all the work that goes into making sure the bears in the Ely area are safe and looked after.
Our hike to look for signs of bears yielded valuable information about the status of the bears food during a summer of drought. Dr. Rogers and Mike stated that this was maybe why we had seen more bears at the research center this early in the season.
Our time spent observing bears is embedded within my mind forever. To see these large yet gentle creatures, walk so quietly through the forest and climb a tree to seek some rest time and check us out sometimes from afar and sometimes from close up is an experience that everyone should seek.
I am even more closely linked to the Ely bears than I was before-is that possible? I am watching all the live cams from the North American Bear Center, reading Dr. Rogers blog and sharing my knowledge with my students.
One participant has called this course addictive- I would agree. I want to return again and again.
Kim - Illinois 2020

"I've been thinking (and worrying of course) about our bear friends, but I wanted to share some words with you all and with JM and others who contributed to our great experience with the bears this year. I, along with others, I'm sure, worried a lot about exposure to covid in these trying times. I want to say to you all that you were "over the top" in your attention to our well-being. It was clear that you all understood the steps that had to be taken to protect everyone (including yourselves!). I so appreciated it, and it made the days even more delightful because I never worried. 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

“2020 was our fourth bear course, and it was unlike any we’d ever done before. Because of COVID-19, attendance was down so we did not get to meet as many people as we usually do. But that was more than compensated for by the huge volume of bears. And this year we got to see Shadow, the local matriarch, as well as her great-great-great-great-grand cubs, all in the same four days. It never ceases to amaze me how much is known about the bears around Ely, and how willing they are to share our company. There’s no experience like this anywhere else in the world.”
Matthew - Maryland 2020

"I have been an independent Black bear researcher for the last twenty years using the trust-based method that Lynn developed to study a few wild bears in an area that remains hostile to these animals.
Nothing prepared me for the experience of being totally immersed in bears in such a bear friendly environment.
The course exceeded my wildest expectations. To be surrounded by so many peace-loving wild bears was an experience I shall never forget.
I had so many questions answered by Lynn whose extensive knowledge of Black bears is only exceeded by his deep humility and his love for the bears themselves.
To say that this course changed my life is an understatement.
I am grateful to every human being that made this experience possible."
Sara - New Mexico 2019

"After following Dr. Rogers work for years, I attended a field study course for the first time, and I was not disappointed. The course is an amazing experience and a wonderful opportunity to immerse yourself in all things bear and to learn from one of the most knowledgeable bear biologists in the field. Lynn patiently answered each one of my questions and shared his vast knowledge of bear biology, behavior and ecosystems. The research he shared with us will help me teach how to improve coexistence between bears and people.
I would like to thank Mike and JM, Judy and everyone at the North American Bear Center for being so accommodating. It was truly a unique experience."
Sue - Colorado 2019

"Words don’t seem adequate enough to capture all the amazing things that we learned and witnessed. Dr. Rogers and Lori taught us to read bear behavior and how humans can behave respectfully with bears. Our reward was being able to get close to bears and witness first-hand how gentle they are. This is a one of a kind bear experience, that you cannot experience anywhere else in the world. With this being said, my friend and I have been to six (6) Black Bear Study courses, in Ely, MN over the years. Thank you, Dr. Lynn Rogers and all of your staff members, volunteers and feeding station participants, for being there and for all you do to spread the good word about Black Bears. Thank you all so very much."
Terri - Virginia 2019

"I just completed my fifth black bear field study course and am still in awe each time I attend. I continue to learn more every time about bear behavior as Dr. Lynn Rogers and Lorie explain how misunderstood these animals are. It is wonderful to observe mother and cub interactions, hike to bear dens and look for "bear sign" in the woods, and be able to enjoy staying in the comfortable cabin. The shared knowledge and caring by Dr. Lynn Rogers, Assistant Lorie, and cook JM were much appreciated. The many fond memories and pictures taken of my experience will keep me coming back year after year."
Carol - Florida 2019

"The bear field course with Dr. Rogers has been on my bucket list for years and I finally was able to attend this year. What a life-changing experience! Visiting the beautiful state of Minnesota was a treat in and of itself but spending quality time with the Bear Man and learning first-hand about bears was incredible and something I will never forget. The course was perfectly scheduled, allowing for a relaxing, yet full experience. It was a pleasure to meet others who also wanted to learn about bears and Dr. Rogers’ kindness and patience provided a wonderful learning environment.
After nine years of reading about Shadow’s clan and seeing them on YouTube, my heart nearly exploded when I finally got to meet them. I cannot wait for the day when I return, but until then, my heart is full.
I highly recommend the course for anyone interested and look forward to returning myself!
Many thanks to all the wonderful people who work to spread the truth about black bears and who provide a wonderful way to learn from them."
Emily - Oregon 2019

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