Initial Thoughts for the New Year- UPDATE January 1, 2015

Misty Morning in ElyMisty morning panorama in Ely - May 21, 2012

2015 is full speed ahead on the mission we share for bears and their environment.

1. Many Lily Fans are working to make the Northwoods Ecology Hall and the Hope Learning Center the best they can be by May 1. This includes having in-depth information on many wildlife species in the touch-screen kiosks.

2. Lily Fan volunteers are also putting their minds to touch-screen kiosks strictly about bears in the Bear Center itself. These will be just outside the Cub Room—visible to anyone entering the Bear Center.

3. The expansions mean more volunteers will be needed as Bear Educators. Judy Thon is planning a training session for early spring.

4. Scott Edgett has ideas for improving the Bear Enclosure—making it better for both bears and viewers.

5. Sue will be working with me to catalogue the videos in ways to make them useful for publications, exhibits, and future researchers. As that progresses, we’ll show flashback highlights as often as they are available.

6. Judy Thon will continue with the worldwide podcasts mentioned last night.

7. On January 11, Linda Gibson will begin broadcasting Den Cam video highlights of Juliet and her cubs from last winter—delayed exactly a year. We had a few challenges, video down times, sound outages and glitchy video feed. There will be some days we cannot share a video and other days where the quality may not be the best but we will do what we can.

8. We’ll watch Holly live via her Den Cam.

9. Specialists in home range and GPS data are ready to dig into our voluminous data set as a step toward publication.

10. An urgent need is a book about bears and our research with them—a book that will refute misconceptions and show what black bears are really like. We hope the work load allows time for writing it.

11. We are looking forward to the Black Bear Field Courses to be held each week in July and August. Each will start on a Sunday at 10 AM and go through Wednesday at 11 AM. The expanded length of each course is a result of a survey folks from the courses took over the last couple years. We are planning some fun additions including more time with bears. Each of the 8 courses is limited to 8 participants for a total of 64 slots. 39 slots are still open.

12. We are still working on pictures for the upper walls of the Ecology Hall. The picture with this update is an early morning shot of a varied patch of woods showing a bit of the habitat diversity that provides homes for so many wildlife species, including bears. The mist is from the Armstrong River that flows hidden across the middle of the picture.

Thank you for all you do.

Lynn Rogers, Biologist, Wildlife Research Institute and North American Bear Center