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Trainer, Consultant, Guide: Meet Teresa

A Tennessean by birth, now a transplant to the Pacific Northwest, it seemed to Teresa that with her passion for all things wild, the guiding profession hand-picked her to take it on as her vocation.

After graduating with a BA in Linguistics from Tennessee, Teresa lived in Germany, working on a forestry project in Bavaria. Her experiences in this job strengthened her innate interest in the natural world and supported her belief in respectful coexistence with everything wild. With this as the foundation for future pursuits, she has since worked on all seven continents, and has lived on four. She has Guided at all ends of the earth, sharing with other wilderness enthusiasts glimpses of an untamed world that deserves reverence and dedicated preservation. But she always finds herself coming back to the PNW, the best place there is, in her opinion. As a Guide, Teresa fosters communication that transpires with or without words, through intrinsic awareness and closeness to surrounding environment.

Teresa is a Guide year round, spending the majority of her year viewing bears from the coasts of Alaska to the shorelines of Hudson Bay. She’s been a bear junkie since she got hooked by Bella in 2009. Along the way she became a boat captain, a certified kayak guide and a Wilderness First Responder. The wilds of British Columbia and Alaska are her office and her desk looks a lot like a skiff with a small outboard.

On the creation of Ursa Major, she explains that it was born out of a need in Southeast Alaska to better train Guides about bear behavior. She recognized that the bear safety trainings that are currently available do not meet all the needs of the people exploring the remote islands that make up Southeast. She believes that Ursa is creating a bridge between bear awareness training and distinctive applications in the field, which is why Ursa is unique to the industry. “My brain is running wild with innovative ideas and I have loved diving into the guts of this.”

“I've spent so many days out of the last nine years watching bears, my log books are a set of encyclopedias; and I still can't get enough. I want to help connect people to the softer side of bear personalities, because often times the media portrayal of them is brutal and backwards.”