"I thoroughly enjoyed the course—even without the bears being collared we still got incredibly close to them when they were in neighbouring plots of land. And when the bears came to the research cabin we couldn't have gotten closer or better observations. It was especially great to get to see the bears at the research cabin because there were so many behaviours to observe—and it was fantastic to have Lynn, Sue and Mike there to explain them.

"The bear sign talk out in the field with Sue was really interesting, I only wish we had bears in the UK so I could practice what we learnt. Visiting the dens was great fun too, especially the ones where we could climb inside and get a feel for the size of the dens and different areas they build them in.

"The cabin was a lovely place to stay, basic but that allowed you to 'escape' the normal stresses of busy life and really enjoy the environment and scenery of the area. Mike was our cook and 'housekeeper' and he did an amazing job. The food was always delicious and he made meal times a fun and relaxed event where we all got to share our ideas and experiences. It was fantastic to just get to sit and chat with Lynn and Sue and hear some of their many stories from over the years. It was so clear how dedicated and knowledgeable they are.

"The course was an amazing experience, one I will always remember and something I feel privileged to have been part of.

"I hope to one day be back"
Clare W – UK 2014

"The Bear Study Course was excellent and like everyone else, I would have enjoyed a few more days with Sue and Lynn. When I took the course I was already very familiar with their work and the nature of bears, but being able to see the bears in their environment, see and touch the bear sign, and see and explore their dens bought my understanding to a whole new level. The course should be mandatory for all wildlife professionals.

"I would love to take the course again to learn even more, but it's more important for classes to be open to individuals who haven't had a chance to attend yet.

"I admire your dedication, integrity, ethics, skills and perseverance. You have blazed a trail to a better way of doing research and now it's important that others learn to "read" your sign. Thanks for all you do. You've helped bears and people in ways you never imagined."
Dianne W. – Minnesota 2013

"The Black Bear Field Study course was wonderful!! The knowledge and caring both Dr. Lynn Rogers and Sue Mansfield demonstrated goes beyond anything I anticipated. As someone who watches black bears in her own backyard in CT, I have been fascinated for sometime and eager to learn more about these animals. I was not disappointed!!"
Jennie R. – Connecticut 2013

"Three years ago as I was preparing to go to work, I watched a segment on a national news morning show of a live birth of a cub bear in a den in Northern Minnesota. It gave a web site of the Wildlife Research Institute (WRI) that I could go to and learn more about black bears, which I did. Reading daily updates and viewing the den cameras the WRI web site provided was to become a ritual of mine every day thereafter. In addition, I shared these telecasts with my high school students, as I am a marketing teacher at Rogers High School in Rogers, Arkansas.

"I also read with interest about the Bear Courses offered by the WRI and signed up to attend. After having been put on a waitlist for a year, I was notified in the spring of 2013 that I would have the opportunity to attend a Bear Course later that summer. I was ecstatic! I never dreamed of the experience I would have as a result of attending a Black Bear Field Course.

"During my black bear field course that summer, I took several pictures of black bears and cubs in the wild doing things that normally a person would never see. I saw a mother bear playing with her cubs and eating various plants and berries while strolling through the woods and I noted particular habits of each bear. Most importantly, I took several pictures of these bears and cubs. Upon returning to Arkansas, I prepared a photo slide presentation, which I have shown to my high school students highlighting my experience in the black bear field course. My students were very much engaged with my bear presentation, stopping me several times during my talk to ask questions about the bears and their behavior. I have even had students change their career choice after hearing my black bear field course experience."
Tom W. – Arkansas 2013

"We attended the Black Bear Field Study Course at the Wildlife Research Institute in July 2012. We stayed at the WRI lodge, dined on fabulous, home-cooked meals, viewed bears of all sizes at the feeding stations, went bush-whacking in the forest to locate radio-collared bears and their cubs, took over 1,000 pictures, and learned about our beautiful black bears. There are many myths about black bears, so it was eye-opening to learn about these timid animals from two dedicated experts. Out in the forest, we’d sit quietly watching Dr. Lynn Rogers or biologist Sue Mansfield check the bears’ heart rates and change batteries in their GPS collars. To meet Lily, June, Jewel and her cubs Fern and Herbie was truly heartwarming. It was an incredible trip, one we will always remember and cherish. We met life-long friends from around the world because of this amazing adventure. Our hope is to attend another course, and in the future volunteer in any way we can to support the WRI and the North American Bear Center in their educational quest."
Betty and Dennis M. – Minnesota 2012

"We took our Black Bear Field Study course in July of 2012 and we both consider this course to have been an experience of a lifetime. We were so impressed with the incredible wealth of information and experience that Dr. Rogers and Ms. Mansfield had regarding the North American Black Bear. From the very beginning, to the very end of the course, they shared with us the knowledge they had gathered from research made over several decades.
They were, and are, both professional instructors and wildlife researchers who are truly passionate about bears. We and our fellow participants embraced their passion and are grateful to them for enriching our lives with an expanded understanding, respect and enhanced appreciation of the black bear—a beautiful and gentle creature of the forest."
Bob W. and Mary B. – California 2012

"The Black Bear Field Study Course enabled me to dispel the myth that black bears are ferocious predators and need to be feared while hiking in the forest. I hike frequently and now look forward to the experience of seeing black bears. When I see a bear I pause and admire these shy but intelligent creatures. I often wish I could talk to them and approach them like Sue and Lynn. Participating in the Bear Study Course has greatly enhanced my frequent outings into the wilderness."
Mark A. – Washington 2012

Beyond comparison
An opportunity to Listen and learn
Acquired knowledge of bears and how they live in the north MN woods
Gained an understanding of how to Co-exist with black bears
Kept busy keeping up with Dr. Rogers and Sue Mansfield

Exposed to the Beauty of the area of Ely
Established rapport with fellow course participants
Was in Awe of the unique chance to observe bears
Learned to Respect bears and how they live their lives
Will  Savor the memories of the Field Study forever!
Cathy H. – Texas 2013

"At one moment you are eating a delicious meal and asking questions about bear behavior. And in another you find yourself in the forest with crackling sticks underfoot, hand guarding your face against the inevitable willow branch snapping back at you from the person ahead. You must step quickly to trail the Pipers carrying the Ziplock cache of pecans, listening through a headset and occasionally raising an antenna in the air. Suddenly your group has slowed and is gathered in one spot. Everything is very quiet. A lovely and clear bell rings out into the woods, “It’s me, bear. Come June. It’s me.”

"All eyes scan the landscape in the dim light searching for that dark shadow. Suddenly, there is June in the distance circling back around to sniff downwind of the group to ensure her safety. It is truly magical!"
Laura C. – Colorado 2013

"I had the awesome experience of attending the Bear Study Course several years ago and it was one of the most rewarding and learning study courses I have ever attended. The knowledge and hands on experience of Lynn and Sue was just mind-boggling. I learned so much and experienced a newfound love of the bears and just what wonderful creatures they truly are. They have a place in this universe that people need to know about, education, education is the only way to obtain this knowledge, which Lynn and Sue are more than willing to share. Thank you triple fold for all you are doing."
Kaye L. – North Carolina 2012