The multi-year bear study involves both faculty and students and includes trapping, tracking, and in at least one case, the attachment of a video camera to a Maine black bear.
With permission from the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, the Unity College Bear Study team does hands-on research to provide information on a bear population in Central Maine. Students work with faculty mentor George Matula and alumna mentor Lisa Bates ’08, to tag, tattoo and radio collar bears to collect data and monitor activity.
While most students involved in the study are in the Wildlife Biology and Wildlife & Fisheries Management programs, students from other disciplines participate in aspects of the Bear Study as well, another example of the College’s approach to transdisciplinary problem solving. They help install tracking devices and work on GIS positioning, set up trail cameras, analyze data in the lab, and design educational and outreach materials.
Members of the Bear Study team have the opportunity to present the findings on their research through the bear study blog, publications, posters, popular literature, facebook, video, and other outlets. After the publication of its one-year study, the Unity College Bear Study has gained national attention. The second year report was released in October 2014.