Non-scientists welcome at major conference on bear science in Anchorage next week

An international conference of bear experts convenes in Anchorage next week, with more than  400 wildlife biologists, ecologists and other scientists expected to attend.

Organizers of the 24th international Conference on Bear Research and Management are hoping that non-scientists will take part as well.

In addition to several days' worth of scientific presentations and poster sessions describing research on the world's eight bear species, conference events include several public events that aim to spread bear knowledge.

Among the non-technical public events are a storytelling night at Anchorage's Bear Tooth Theater, a bear-themed art display, a how-to demonstration of bear-repellent spray, presentations on bear safety and lectures about such subjects as climate impacts to polar bears and ongoing panda-protection efforts.

The annual conference, to last about a week, was last held in Alaska in 1995. Most of the events, including the free public lectures, will be held at the Dena'ina Center.

Yereth Rosen

Yereth Rosen was a reporter for Alaska Dispatch News.