Susan Barnes

Q: How long have you been volunteering at NABC?

A: 4 years

Q: What motivated you to volunteer at NABC?

A: I did not know about Dr. Rogers’ work at the WRI until I watched the wonderful TV programme called ‘The Bear Family and Me’ by Gordon Buchanan, a BBC Wildlife Cameraman. Seeing the pioneering work of Dr. Rogers and his team was really something – watching how bears like Lily and Hope live in their natural habitat, and following Hope’s journey, was truly fascinating. I just had to learn more about what Dr. Rogers did and through my searches I found out about the NABC.

Q: What do you do as a volunteer?

A: As I live in the UK I do long distance volunteering!

I am a den watcher. I love doing this! The most recent addition to volunteering has been being asked to become part of the NABC Ecology Research Team. This has been fascinating as it has involved researching and writing guide sheets on various North American species. Doing this research has taught me such a lot about these amazing and very beautiful mammals.

Last year I did one week of volunteering at the NABC in Minnesota, just before I went on the amazing WRI Black Bear Field Course.

Q: Is there one memorable experience you’ve had as a volunteer?

A: My time at the NABC gave me the fantastic treat of being able to see ‘in the flesh’ the ambassador bears, Ted, Honey and Lucky. That was a real privilege for me. I also never tire as a denwatcher of being able to see mothers in the dens interacting with their cubs, and the cubs interacting with their sibling(s).

Q: What would you like volunteers to know about you?

A: I am just a passionate and caring person that has total respect for all wildlife. I adore the Black Bears, they are so majestic, intelligent and awe inspiring. There is still so much to learn. My background is in Psychology, specializing in Health Psychology, but my heart is more and more with getting involved with other sentient beings on the planet. I also love reading, gardening, watching wildlife documentaries and some crime dramas (!) I have a vegetable garden as I love growing fresh food.