August 3-7, 2021
At PA URSIDS, the black bear serves as a springboard to learn about biology, ecology, habitat and bear management. After field school, armed with knowledge, leadership skills, and the support of Academy staff, students return to their communities to serve as Conservation Ambassadors.
Below are a few highlights of the PA Ursids Field School.
Students learn how to identify plants that are important to bear as well as how to preserve these plants and create a collection.
Students learn about bear field capture tools and techniques and how these techniques are used to understand population size.
If a bear is captured, led by PA Game Commission staff, students have the opportunity to help gather biological data about the bear and learn about the importance of this data for understanding bear biology.
Students learn the role of hunting in wildlife management and spend time at the range learning about firearms safety and engaging in target shooting.
All week long, students engage with professionals in the conservation field including individuals from the PA Game Commission, PA DCNR, and more! Dr. Gary Alt, now retired, spent 22 years running the PGC’s black bear program and also serves as an instructor.
Students also prepare to become Conservation Ambassadors in their home communities through leadership skill development by engaging in mock town hall meetings, group presentations and team building exercises.