Field Study Courses
Black Bear Field Study
with Lynn Rogers, PhD
Course description: The Black Bear Field Study courses emphasize daily up-close observation of wild bears to learn their vocalizations, body language, social organization, ecology, and how people can better coexist with bears. Courses are held at the Northwoods Research Center located west of Ely, Minnesota. Participants are housed on site for maximum participation and total immersion in bears. The small class size (8) maximizes individual opportunities to learn under the guidance of Lynn Rogers, Ph.D., as seen on the Animal Planet documentary "The Man Who Walks With Bears" and the BBC documentary 'Bearwalker of the Northwoods.' Daily discussions, presentations, and field trips serve to amplify the information learned directly from the bears.
Participants include anyone interested in bears. These workshops are life-changing for anyone who fears bears, unforgettable for people who appreciate bears, and essential for professionals who deal with bear issues. Click here for Participants' Comments.
here for his curriculum vitae. Research assistants Lorie Kennedy and Mike Johnson conduct fieldwork for WRI and assist with Bear Courses. They know the bears well, and one or the other of them will be present to assist during each course. Course participants are welcome to help them with their daily bear activities and wild foods analysis via scat.Lynn Rogers, PhD began his bear research in 1967 and will lead most of the discussions and field excursions. Click
Each course begins at Noon on Monday and ends on Thursday around Noon.
Course Fee: $2,800 per participant is a donation ($2,596 is tax deductible). A deposit of $1,400 is due at registration with the balance of $1,400 due 2 months prior to the course date. Fee includes family-style meals, group housing, course materials, certificate of completion, receipt for your tax-deductible donation to the Wildlife Research Institute (501(c)(3). Your donation for the course will be used to further our research and educational programs.
Cancellation Policy: Deposits can be returned (minus a $250 administration fee) or they may be deferred and applied to any course in the following year. Deposits can also be transferred to a donation to further our research and educational programs.
Contact: Please email any questions to
"I hope more people can experience this transformative course... it is perhaps the only one that really fosters an immediate love and empathy between humans and bears..."
Paulina - Brazil 2023
"The black bear field course was better than I imagined. Everyone was welcoming and went above & beyond to give us the very best experience"
Betty Jo - North Hampshire 2023
"Attending the black bear field study classes at the Wildlife Research Institute is life changing. Surreal. Mesmerizing."
Carol - Florida 2023
"Last year I enjoyed my first Bear field study course. The experience was unbeatable, or so I thought until I did it again this year."
Iñigo - Spain 2023
"Being among wild bears in their natural environment, watching and studying their behavior is an educational experience not to be missed."
Marianna - Georgia 2023
"The field courses have changed my life. It will change yours too on how you see bears. This course helps you to learn the truth about black bears."
Kristina - Michigan 2023
"Each day of the course was a new learning experience. There seemed no end to the wildlife knowledge shared by Dr. Rogers and the staff."
Howard - Ohio 2023
Private accommodations can be found in the area at www.ely.org at the participants own expense. Semi-private accommodations are available onsite at no cost during courses only, and only to course participants. Accommodations during the courses include a room with 2 twin beds on the first floor and a room with 2 twin beds on the second floor. The third floor has 5 twin beds along with a futon couch which converts to a full bed. There are 3 bathrooms (2 with showers).
Meals are provided throughout the course. Other options are available in the area at www.ely.org Flavorful meals featuring seasonal ingredients are served family-style. Every attempt is made to accommodate diet preferences and restrictions.
We provide transportation for course activities. Course participants are responsible for their own transportation to and from the Northwoods Research Center.
We will answer your questions, address your concerns, send directions and suggestions of what to bring, and help you connect with other participants to share transportation from the airports.