Monday, April 3rd – Afternoon:

Wildlife Service Dogs: How Working Dogs are Can Be Used for Wildlife Conservation and Management

The Wildlife Service Dog (WSD) Workshop will provide an introduction to the ways in which working dogs are being used to help manage and conserve wildlife species with a focus on Karelian Bear Dogs and the ways that the Wind River Bear Institute has been working with this breed of dog to help conserve bear since 1995. We will discuss the history of the breed, their key uses for conservation, and the WSD programs that have been established throughout North America and Japan. We will also discuss the basic principles of scent-tracking with dog and how to conduct a dog-based search scenario. There will be an opportunity to meet and interact with two accomplished WSDs, Soledad and Rio, and a field component of the workshop in which participants will get to experience what it is like to conduct a search scenario with WSD.  The workshop will be conducted by Nils Pedersen: Wildlife Service Dog Program Coordinator for the Wind River Bear Institute and M.S. seeking graduate student at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Pedersen’s graduate research is on grizzly bear-human interactions in the North Slope oil fields of Alaska and methods for finding bear dens in the Arctic using Unmanned Aircraft Systems and Forward Looking Infrared technology. Pedersen has 5 years of experience training and handling WSD for bear-human conflict resolution.

Wildlife Service Dogs Workshop Flyer

Tuesday, April 4th – Afternoon:

Challenges and Opportunities in Partnering with Indigenous People

Participants in the workshop will delve into Alaska Native ways, organizations, aspirations, and challenges to creating partnerships with Alaska Native peoples.  This will be an interactive workshop where participants will discuss what they have learned and explore questions and issues about how to apply what they have learned.

Contact:  Nate Svoboda (