UW-Stevens Point’s College of Natural Resources funded $1 million for black bear project September 28, 2023 Associate Professor Cady Sartini holds a baby black bear during a weekend-long workshop where students have hands-on research experiences at a bear den. Building on 46 years of impactful black bear research, the College of Natural Resources at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point has received a $1 million endowment to ensure the continuation of the work and support the development of future conservation professionals. The funding comes from three sources: The Stephens Family Foundation Wisconsin Black Bear Research Project Endowment: The Stephens Family Foundation is a staunch supporter of conservation and the UWSP College of Natural Resources. These funds will support all operations and needs of the college’s black bear research and education. The Searle-Dew-Thomas Boone and Crockett Wisconsin Black Bear Fellowship Endowment: This endowment will support a research fellowship program, providing undergraduate and graduate student opportunities in cutting-edge black bear research. The Safari Club International Wisconsin Black Bear Research Fellowship Endowment: Multiple Wisconsin chapters of Safari Club International — including the Badgerland Chapter, Bowhunters Chapter, Illinois/Chicago Chapter and Northeast Wisconsin Chapter – have come together to secure funding in support of UW-Stevens Point’s black bear research and education initiatives. These contributions will significantly enhance the university’s ability to protect and conserve Wisconsin’s black bear population. “As a testament to our unwavering commitment to wildlife conservation, these funds will enable us to conduct comprehensive research and promote education and training on black bear ecology and management,” said Brian Sloss, dean of the College of Natural Resources. “We are extremely grateful to everyone who has supported this cause for their visionary contributions,’ he said. “Their gifts will provide valuable knowledge and experience in black bear management to budding conservation professionals in perpetuity.” Cady Sartini, an associate professor in the college, has led the Wisconsin Black Bear Research Project since 2020. She brings a wealth of expertise to the role, with extensive experience in wildlife and a strong commitment to student research. Sartini’s creation of the Black Bear Ecology and Management course provides a weekend-long workshop where students learn and refine field techniques, further enhancing her impact on students and underscoring the promise her appointment holds for the future. UW-Stevens Point’s College of Natural Resources boasts a rich history in black bear research, housing one of the most extensive datasets available on these animals. With over 1,450 undergraduate majors, including more than 400 wildlife majors, UW-Stevens Point is a trailblazer among undergraduate natural resource and conservation programs in the United States. The college’s commitment to hands-on field experiences and multidisciplinary career skills has earned it a strong reputation in conservation education and a platform in which to inspire the next generation of resource managers and conservation stewards.