The Secret Lives of Bears With Wes Larson - Atlas Obscura Experiences
THE GASTRO OBSCURA BOOK An eye-opening journey through the history, culture, and places of the culinary world. Just released! The Gastro Obscura book is here! Order Now

The Secret Lives of Bears With Wes Larson

$80 per device Online Experience
3 sessions
See Dates
$80 per device
$80 per person
See Dates
What We’ll Do

In this three-part lecture series, learn about bear biology, ecology, and conservation, along with how to be more bear-aware.

Course Overview

For centuries, bears have been central to human cultures—from mythology, literature, and religion to constellations in the night sky. But few of us today truly know our curious, impressively sized, mammalian neighbors. Join wildlife biologist Wes Larson for an in-depth introduction to the three species of bears that live in North America: the brown bear, the black bear, and the polar bear. In this three-part online course, you’ll learn about bear ecology, biology, and conservation, as well as some tips for bear awareness and safety when spending time in bear country. Wes will share insights and anecdotes from his fieldwork, including stories and photos of the ursine friends he’s made along the way.

Syllabus at a Glance

There are three total sessions included in this purchase, each lasting for one hour on three consecutive Tuesdays beginning December 1. Sessions will take place live over Zoom, with dedicated Q&A segments for students to ask questions via video or chat. All enrolled students will receive recordings of each session in the days following each class and will be able to access them for up to one week using a temporary password.

Session 1 (Tuesday, December 1, 7–8 PM ET): Black bears + grizzly bears

Session 2 (Tuesday, December 8, 7–8 PM ET): Polar bears + sloth bears

Session 3 (Tuesday, December 15, 7–8 PM ET): Living with bears

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 20 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 a time that works for you for up to one week after they’ve aired.

To learn more about our current course offerings, please visit

Where We’ll Be

Once registered, you can access the Zoom room for this experience through your confirmation email or Eventbrite account.

About Your Instructor
Wes Larson
Wes Larson

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.

What Else You Should Know

Students will be encouraged to watch several short videos related to bear biology and ecology outside of class.

Dates and Availability

There are no upcoming experiences at the moment. Fill out the form below to be notified when we add new dates.

All fields required.
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.