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Welcome! Be sure to visit the NABC website as well.

Comments from Recent Participants

"Returning to the WRI this year after a COVID-induced 2-year exile felt like going home. The warm companionship of like-minded people, many of whom, like me, had returned several times before, was a bonus. There is always something new to learn from the amazing “bear man” Dr Lynn Rogers, from each other and of course from the bears themselves.
Observing wild black bears as they go about their daily lives is a joy that never fades. There is nothing in the world more cute than a family of black bear cubs with their mamma and nothing more beautiful than the care and attention she gives to them. And there is nothing more sincere than the gentle eyes of a big male bear whose only real concern is eating enough peanuts and hazelnuts to fill his belly. That is why I think of bear study courses as spiritual renewal as well as educational and fun. It’s experiencing nature at its best and learning so much from it.
The WRI is in an ideal location for this and is a truly lovely place to stay. I should mention too the great food."
Margaret - Auckland New Zealand 2022

"We came from Australia to attend the black bear course. We were very welcomed by all of the volunteers and researchers and truly felt part of the family. We appreciated their amazing knowledge and love to protect black bears. The cabin accommodation and food was amazing. For us, this course abolished all the myths surrounding black bears and we learnt a lot about them. We would highly recommend this fantastic course to everyone. We hope to come back again to experience black bears in their natural habitat soon."
Ken & Charlie - Australia 2022

"After 11 years of observation of generations of Eastern Black Bear (EBB) growing up and interacting at my home in the Georgia Mountains, I thought I knew a little about bear. It wasn’t until I visited Dr Rogers at the Research Center and listened to his lectures on EBB and their social interactions, personalities, communications, foraging habits and hibernation that I realized how little I knew and how wrong I was about so many of my beliefs. I wish I had attended this ‘Bear Camp for Adults’ long ago so my misguided fears of these gentle giants had taken a different direction and I had learned to communicate with these wonderful wild creatures on their level, establish their trust and allow them to communicate with me. Truly an epiphany."
Carroll - Georgia 2022

"As human encroachment on the natural world increases, it is more important than ever that humans become habituated to the presence of our wild neighbours. This is the perfect way to learn how to live safely alongside bears and other creatures."
Catherine - United Kingdom 2022

"From Fear to Wonder
A 2010 visit to the NABC transformed my black bear fears to wonder. In 2019 I heard about the classes and signed up. It took me 4 years, two broken legs and the pandemic, but I made it in 2022. I loved it all: the like-minded new friends, the Doc Rogers stories of daring-do, the great food, the lovely sunsets, and sunrises, and all the bears. What surprised me the most? The wide variety of bear personalities, each a precious individual life. I am still learning from my memories of the class and ongoing interactions with new friends.
19th century naturalist John Muir, a champion of bears, said simply: “God's charity is broad enough for bears.” It simply must be true."
Beth - Minnesota 2022

"Loving animals brings peace and happiness.
When you meet Dr. Lynn Rogers you will understand. He is a man who has given his life to the study and research of the North American Black Bear, for the education and enlightenment of human beings. He is the "Jane Goodall of the Black Bears".
His calming voice and gentle manner have given the bears reason to trust him and get close for opportunities to be scientifically observed.
There is nothing that can compare to walking with and being accepted by wild black bears. When a mammal, as large and magnificent as a bear, is near to you, it is the event of a lifetime. Words cannot express the wealth of positive feelings you will have when the bears trust you. People can learn a lesson from them when it comes to bear manners.
They respect each other and know how to act in the presence of others. This is something that humans can learn to do for each other.
If you make your way to the Wildlife Research Institute, in Ely, Minnesota, for the North American Black Bear Field Study Course, you will have an unbelievable, but true, experience and adventure. You will gain a respect for Dr. Rogers and the bears.
The staff will support you and your needs at the cabin in the woods because of their love and dedication to the whole idea of coexistence with the bears.
Loving these animals will bring you a new insight into peace and happiness."
Katherine - New Jersey 2022

"The field study course was amazing, and I can’t wait to come back. I learned what smart and gentle creatures the black bears are and learned all about their lives and habitat from the kindest and most charming expert, Dr Lynn Rogers himself. I was able to unplug from work and stress and reconnect with nature. It reset my stress level for weeks, and I gave up a lot of behaviors like stress-snacking and binging on YouTube. Everyone should experience this at least once in their lifetime."
Kyra from CA

"I have gone to 5 field study courses, and I always feel like I am going home! Home to bear friends and to the bears that I love to observe! I learn new things about bears, every time I go. It is soul rejuvenating to be at a field study course and I have gained many lifelong friends, who share the same passion! Where else can you go and be able to talk nonstop about bears! I highly recommend attending a field study course, it will change you!"
Pamela - Canada 2022

"The Black Bear Field Course is a joy on so many levels. This is my third course, and the second with my daughter & granddaughter. Next time I’m bringing my grandson, too! The food is great, the accommodations are just fine, but what you will learn – no matter how many times you visit – about bear, our climate, other participants’ views – since many from outside the US – is truly priceless. Then there is Dr. Rogers and the staff (all volunteers which tells you a lot!). Dr. Rogers is a ‘hoot’ with a passion for educating people around the world about bear – and other wildlife – that is almost hard to fathom. Go, listen, learn and go home and convince your friends to go, too.”

Sherry - North Carolina 2022

"Thinking about taking the field course? You won’t regret it. You will learn that black bears are remarkably different than most people think they are. Dr. Lynn Rogers learned how to gain the trust of his wild research bears, much like Jane Goodall did with wild chimpanzees, and was able to walk with those bears in the wild to study their biology, behavior, diet, denning, and more. During the course, he will talk on those topics and answer questions. You will be able to spend time with bears in a safe environment and experience for yourself what took Dr. Roger’s years to learn. I have taken the course by myself, with my wife, and this year with my son. We all had amazing experiences."
Alex - Massachusetts 2022