Crawl out of your winter dens for a dynamic introduction to the eight species of bear found around the world. Led by renowned bear biologist Wes Larson, we’ll learn the basics of bear identification and behavior, explore how bears have lumbered their way into folklore across cultures, and address current bear conservation issues—all interspersed with fun facts and stories from the field. Each class will include a presentation (complete, of course with unbearably cute photos and videos from Wes’s time spent with real, live bear buddies), time for questions, and a fun take-home quiz students can use to test their exbeartise, or that of their friends and family.
This course is intended to educate and inspire all kids who are interested in wildlife; no background in bears nor biology is required. Students will come away from this course with lots of new bear knowledge, a greater appreciation for some of the most misunderstood mammals on the planet, and the opportunity to engage directly with a wildlife biologist who’s studied several species and can speak to what it’s like to work in the field.
Syllabus at a Glance
There are four total sessions included in this purchase, each lasting for 1 hour on 4 consecutive Thursdays beginning March 25.
Session 1 (Thursday, 3/25, 7–8 PM ET): North American bears: Indigenous folklore and current conservation
Session 2 (Thursday, 4/1, 7–8 PM ET): Bears of the world: Ecology, culture, and tiger dynamics
Session 3 (Thursday, 4/8, 7–8 PM ET): Living with bears: Bear safety, stories, and ID
Session 4 (Thursday, 4/15, 7–8 PM ET): Beyond bears: working with wildlife & charismatic animals
Each week, students will be given an optional take-home quiz to test their bear knowledge and share with friends and family.
Atlas Obscura Online Courses
Our online courses offer opportunities for participants to emerge with new skills, knowledge, connections, and perspectives through multi-session classes designed and taught by expert instructors. Courses can take one of two forms: Seminars are intimate, interactive classes—capped at nine to 25 students—exploring topics and crafts through discussion, workshops, assignments, and in-class activities. We also offer lecture series that can be attended live, or viewed via a recording that will be shared within 72 hours after each session airs. Class recordings for lecture series will be available with a temporary password for up to two weeks following the final session of the course.
To learn more about our current course offerings, please visit www.atlasobscura.com/online-courses.
For answers to commonly asked questions, check out our FAQ page here.
Once registered, you’ll receive a confirmation email from Eventbrite that will provide access to each class meeting. Please save the confirmation email as you’ll use it to access your course via Zoom on each scheduled date and time.
Wes Larson is a wildlife biologist who specializes in bears and has been working with polar, black, and grizzly bears since 2011. His research and outreach projects have taken him all over the world to work with endangered species, and his work has been featured in scientific publications as well as media such as National Geographic, CNN, and Al Jazeera. You can follow him on Instagram (@grizkid), where he shares natural history and conservation messages.
This lecture series is designed so students can participate live or watch a recording after each session airs. Sessions will take place live over Zoom, with dedicated Q&A segments for students to ask questions via video or chat. Within 72 hours after each session airs, we will email all enrolled students a recording of the session, which they can watch using a temporary password for up to two weeks after the course concludes.
In most cases, instructors will use Google Classroom to communicate with students outside of class. While students aren’t required to use Google Classroom, instructors will be using this platform to post resources, discussion questions, and assignments, when applicable.
This course is designed for all kids between the ages of 5 and 16.