Snow Begins, Bear Educators Needed - UPDATE February 20, 2019

Deer with snowDeer with snowThe day began with a snow-covered deer that was about to see more inches fall through the day and into the night.

I’m imagining the gray fox curled up with his tail around him to breathe into and keep his short-furred muzzle warm. He didn’t show this evening. A couple nights ago, a neighbor said their foxes were barking and acting wary when a bobcat came to their yard.

A bright message came from Director of Education Judy Thon looking for Bear Educator Volunteers. I very much appreciate all these volunteers. They and the interns make visitors happy, which makes people I meet on the street in Ely shake my hand and tell me what a good time they had at the Bear Center. Educators become knowledgeable about bears and the Bear Center and have many opportunities to share that knowledge with visitors one on one or with a microphone. Here is Judy’s message:


Bear Educator Volunteer opportunities

Are you looking for a rewarding and educational experience? Want to meet like minded people who enjoy the outdoors, wildlife and especially bears? The North American Bear Center has just that. They have a Bear Educator Volunteer position where you work closely with the staff and interns to care for our four Ambassador bears Ted, Lucky, Holly and Tasha. You will prepare meals, enrichment activities, give tours and careIntern behind the scenes for our Ecology Hall critters. More importantly you will help educate our visitors about the true nature of black bears. The North American Bear Center is located in Ely MN. It’s just a short drive to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness where lakes and outdoor activities abound. Take a vacation and volunteer at the bear center.

Here is what some of our Bear Educators had to say about their experience at the bear center.

“I have always loved wildlife, but have become passionate about bears since attending several Bear Study courses. This year I also started volunteering at the Bear Center, and feel extremely privileged to be able to spend time caring for the ambassador bears and learning from such committed and knowledgeable staff and volunteers. Sharing Dr. Rogers research and educating people about coexisting with wildlife, and bears in particular, is both valuable and 20190220 Intern feeding bearrewarding and it is a great way to make new friends with like-minded people. I hope to be able to play my small part for many years to come.” Catherine from UK.

“Last summer I volunteered as a bear educator at the North American Bear Center and I am looking forward to coming back to volunteer next summer and even go on a bear study course! I learned so much about black bears, their behaviours and how important it is for them to coexist with humans. The staff and the college interns were great and are very dedicated to the mission at the North American Bear Center. Through volunteering, I was able to make several friends with people who care about wildlife and especially, the four ambassador bears Ted, Tasha, Holly and Lucky. I live in Holton, Kansas and I'm continuing to volunteer for the NABC and support their mission by educating others about black bears in and around my community.” Sherri from KS.

Interns clean pen“I was a volunteer at the NABC for three weeks in October, 2018. My title was “bear educator” but I am the one who was educated. The NABC is a fascinating discovery adventure into the world of black bears. Thanks to the research of Dr. Lynn Rogers, and others, we can learn what a beautiful creation black bears truly are. All of my fears and misconceptions regarding black bears have been swept away by learning the truth and I look forward to learning more and spending time next year with Ted, Lucky, Holly, and Tasha, after they wake up from their winter nap!” Thank you for my October adventure! Bev from MI.

To join our Bear Educator volunteer team, complete a Volunteer application at:

We will be in contact with you.

If you would like more information contact Judy Thon at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

With thoughts of bear educators, I say thank you for all you do.

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