Bear Naturalist Guide
Certification Manual

                                                     Webpage under construction
Professional Guide Certification

Answers to questions commonly asked by wildlife viewers on the topics listed below:
Bear Viewing Association
To watch, to wonder, and to conserve
Ph/Fax (907) 260-9059 (Office)
39200 Alma Ave.    Soldotna, AK  99669
bear viewing Alaska, bear photography, bear safety, bear behavior
A BVA Professional Guide certificate attests that the guide has successfully demonstrated knowledge which BVA's
Master guide-instructors have found to normally suffice to:

(a)  answer questions commonly asked by viewers about natural history (e.g., identifying bears, bear life cycle, and bear
ecology, conservation challenges, and bear safety); and to

(b)  cooperate with other users and managers of the habitat and wildlife, as embodied in BVA's Ten Golden Rules of Bear
Viewing; and to

(c)  minimize risk to viewing clients or other companions at bear viewing sites where the only brown or black bears that
they are likely to encounter are acclimated to viewers and generally remain calm during close encounters. (e.g., at Hallo
Bay or Brooks Falls at Katmai National Park).  The required knowledge includes basic bear safety and basic bear body
language, (detailed in the text
Alaska Magnum Bear Safety Manual and in BVA's video on this.)

A guide is considered to have demonstrated said knowledge when and only when he or she has passed a written
examination with a score of at least 90 points and documents that he or she has spent at least 100 days (of at least 4 hrs
each) guiding viewers or researching bears at sites and situations where the danger was at least as high as indicated
above in paragraph "c".


BVA certification attests that a guide has demonstrated at least the minimum level of knowledge which BVA Master
Guide-instructors have found -- through personal experience or communication with other experts -- to minimize risk to
guides and viewers in the situations specified for each level of certification.  Certification is not a guarantee that the guide
will successfully utilize said knowledge, or that said knowledge will suffice to prevent bear aggression, whether at the level
of threat, minor assault, or serious attack.  There are too many factors beyond a guide's control, and beyond an
instructor's ability to predict, for BVA or its instructors to assume any liability for any other sort of responsibility for the
success of its program to prevent harm of any sort to any human or animal.


Guides at any level of safety expertise can also earn an endorsement in various aspects of natural history, including

Web pages on these subjects will be added if there is demand.
(c) 2016 S. Stringham