Science Department Chair Selected to Represent North American Bear Center of Minnesota

January 21, 2015

Frances Saukas has been chosen to join the speakers’ bureau of Minnesota’s North American Bear Center. In this role, she will be presenting to community and educational groups in Connecticut on the behavior of the American black bear, and how to coexist with bears as we encroach ever further into their habitat. She will also be assisting volunteer coordinators from the Center with marketing projects.

Fran’s love of biology and wildlife inspired her to spend four days in the remote forests of Minnesota this summer where she and six other women observed and interacted with wild bears. This experience at the North American Bear Center was the culmination of a deep passion which began for Fran in 2009. “A fellow AP bio teacher mentioned that there was a dencam in Minnesota. The subject was a pregnant female bear…I checked it out and immediately fell in love with ‘Lily.’ Since then I have followed the saga of her life and the lives of her offspring, as well as other bears that live in the same area, ” remarks Fran.

When asked how she brings this experience into her classroom, Fran offers a wide array of ideas, “I use the research from the Bear Center as an example of one way in which science and scientists work. I use hibernation to talk about cellular respiration, and the videos of the birth of cubs and maternal care are useful when talking about reproduction.”



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