Presentations and Training
The Get Bear Smart Society provides BearSmart presentations and training to businesses, special interest groups or conferences. Choose the topic, length of presentation and format (PowerPoint, lecture, video, mixed media) that best suits your group. Presentations are both entertaining and interactive, with ample opportunity for questions.
Bears: Myth and Reality
Stories about bears are often passed along from one person to another without being substantiated, and soon they become accepted wisdom. It's time to dispel the folklore. Learn more about the true nature of bears and bear behaviour. (Length: 1 to 2 hours)
Bear Encounter Preparedness
Understand the true nature of British Columbia's bear, both black and grizzly, that takes you beyond the fear and misunderstanding. This course provides an entirely new view into the bear's world. Before you set out into the wilderness, take the time to familiarize yourself with bear behaviour so you will know how to react when you come face-to-face with a bear. Make your meeting a safe and enjoyable experience! (Length: 2 hours to a half-day)
Living with Bears in your Backyard: A Resident's Guide to Coexistence
Find out how you can live in harmony with bears in your backyard. This workshop focuses on minimizing backyard attractants, how to behave when you encounter an "urban" bear, and methods for deterring bears from your property. Come and be part of the BearSmart solution! (Length: 1 to 2 hours)
Interpretive Walk in Bear Habitat (Whistler, BC only)
This one to two hour walk through bear habitat introduces participants to the bear's backyard. We explore well-worn bear paths, sunken foot prints, scratches on trees, day beds, feeding sign and scats. If you're lucky we'll even meet one of Whistler's ursine residents. Participants will learn what to do in a bear encounter and discover the secret places they can view bears in the wild. (Length: 1 to 2 hours)
Working in Bear Country
A comprehensive bear safety course that is specifically designed to minimize risk when working in bear country. The course focuses on bear behaviour and reducing human injury and property damage from bears. This course will enable participants to assess risks and take the appropriate action when they meet a bear. We will also review field safety, camp safety, bear detection systems, bear deterrents and bear response planning. (Length: half to full day)
NOTE: The Canadian Criminal Code (Section 217.1) states that "Every one who undertakes, or has the authority, to direct how another person does work or performs a task is under a legal duty to take reasonable steps to prevent bodily harm to that person, or any other person, arising from that work or task." For this reason, proper training is recommended for all those working in bear country. For more information click here.
Understanding and Managing Black Bear Behaviour
This full-day or half-day introductory workshop is geared to professionals who are involved in attending bear complaints and/or choosing non-lethal management options. We use actual video segments to familiarize officers with the types of bear behaviours they may encounter on the job and show non-lethal tactics in action. The information gained from this session may be useful to assess situations that will lead to a better understanding of a bear's behaviour and result in decisions by officers that will ensure public safety, officer safety and bear safety. This is a good opportunity for an open discussion of common conflict scenarios or individual situations officers have actually dealt with in the past. (Length: half or full day)
Pick your own topic
We can customize a presentation to suit your needs. We can do formal presentations with a seated audience, fireside chats or simply mingle with your guests at an informal get together. These presentations are a must for anyone interested in bears and the challenges they face. Join us and be part of the BearSmart solution!
About the presenters:
Sylvia Dolson, HBA
Sylvia is Whistler's very own "Bear Lady" and her passion for bears is equaled only by her quest to teach people about the true nature of these wonderful bruins. Her ultimate goal is for people and bears to live in harmony. As a naturalist, wildlife photographer and freelance writer, Sylvia's presentations inspire and inform. She has had numerous experiences with wild black bears, grizzly bears and polar bears during her many bear adventures.
Sylvia is the Executive Director of the Get Bear Smart Society. She currently co-chairs the Bear Working Group in Whistler, B.C. and was the key catalyst and contributor for Whistler's Black Bear Management Plan. Sylvia is a leading expert on living with bears in residential communities. As a bear advocate, she has been instrumental in bringing forward more progressive, bear friendly management policies in B.C. For more information on Sylvia, click here.
A B.C. conservation officer for 12 years, Dan gained considerable experience in managing human-bear conflicts. Dan was a member of Whistler's Black Bear Task Team and in 1999 implemented Canada's first non-lethal bear management program in Whistler.
He is also the chief training instructor for the Get Bear Smart Society's Non-lethal Bear Management Program, providing both classroom and field training to law enforcement officers in Canada and the U.S.
Dan has worked with bears in a wide range of environments - from the urban areas of North and West Vancouver to the coastal and rural areas of southwest B.C. He has extensive experience dealing with a wide variety of conflict situations (farming/ranching, urban areas, remote camps) involving both blacks and grizzlies.
His knowledge in all aspects of human-bear conflicts further includes bear safety, and trapping, tranquilizing and relocating bears. Dan is also a qualified firearms instructor and has considerable experience conducting training courses and public speaking. For more information on Dan, click here.
Contact us today for a quote or to book your presentation or training session!