"I first became aware of the bears in this study with the advent of the Lily den cam just before Hope was born. A friend of mine in North Carolina and I began to be loyal web-watchers. We followed every move. I was hooked. As soon as I was available I registered for the Bear Study Course to find that I was hopelessly backlogged! In early 2013 I received an e-mail about an opening and I immediately called my cohort and said, "we're going to bear camp, let's pick a date". And so it became a reality.
"I grew up in the Pacific Northwest, where my Grandmother lived on property by a lake. She had a bearskin rug in her cabin. She had shot that bear. That was my early view of bears and danger. It was a reality of the times.
"My trip to Ely was a total contradiction of my upbringing, but a fulfillment of my experience with the webcams."
Susan D. – Pennsylvania 2013
"It is difficult to put into words how much I benefited from attending the Black Bear Field course. The course is a wonderful opportunity to learn from two brilliant and passionate biologists. The love that Sue and Lynn have for the bears is evident in every aspect of the course. I feel privileged to have been able to attend the course.
"There is nothing that compares to walking in the woods and having a cub come into a clearing, followed by two other cubs and momma bear. The bears were very comfortable being around us. I was in awe of being around the bears!
"The course is balanced with excellent didactic lectures and field excursions to see the bears and their habitat. My only 'complaint' is the course is too short. Time went by way too fast. Perhaps you could offer an Advanced Field Study course for those of us who long to return for another visit."
Ellen C – Maine 2012
"I attended the Bear Study Course (Bear Camp to me) in August of 2012. It was an incredible few days of emersion in the study of black bears. I learned so much. I love to photograph black bears in the wild. Learning so much from the wonderful bear.org website and the field study course has improved my bear photography immensely. The more you know about the behavior of your subject the better you can portray it. Thank you so much Lynn, Sue, Sharon, and all of the workers at the bear center. If only there was a group like yours to explain human behavior maybe our world would not be in such turmoil. Thank you for all you do for the animals and for human understanding of them."
Jackie O – North Carolina 2012
"Before seeing the birth of Hope on the den cam, I was terrified of bears—I had seen too many “bear scare” stories in media. After reading the wealth of information about black bears on the bear.org site I wanted so much to be a bear study participant. It was a truly life-changing event for me to be able to learn directly from the researchers and track amazing bears in their own habitats. This was a priceless opportunity I will remember forever. The only negative part was having to leave the research area at the end of the session. A part of me will always be there, wanting more and more knowledge about the bears. Black bears everywhere will be safer in their environments if more people can have accurate information about them."
Jasmine D – Michigan 2012
Wildlife Research Institute
145 West Conan Street
Ely, Minnesota 55731 USA