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Two representatives from the Appalachian Bear Rescue (ABR) will discuss the importance of reintroducing black bear cubs to the wild at this week’s Science Forum.

ABR President Dana Dodd and Joel Zachry, a biologist who does task rescue for ABR, will speak at the forum on October 19.

The Science Forum is a weekly brown bag lunch series that allows professors and area scientists to discuss their research and the general public to learn about science in a way they can understand.

The weekly presentations begin at noon on Fridays in room C-D of Thompson-Boling Arena. Attendees can bring lunch or purchase it at the arena. Each presentation is forty minutes long and is followed by a question-and-answer session. It is free and open to the public.

ABR is an organization that rescues injured and orphaned black bear cubs and cares for them with as little human contact as possible until they can be returned to the wild. ABR has rescued 186 bears, and 90 percent of those bears have successfully gone back to the wild. Five bears have had to go to zoos or other non wild homes because they are too accustomed to being with people.

One ABR bear, Ursula, is at the Knoxville Zoo.

ABR also focuses on educating people about black bear rescue, which is what Dodd and Zachry will do at the Science Forum.

Dodd said it’s important for people in East Tennessee to know how to live safely in black bear country.

“If we teach people to do the right thing, bears get in less trouble, and they don’t need us as much,” she said.

Future science forums will feature:

  • October 26: J.R. Shrute, co-director and co-founder of Conservation Fisheries, Inc., will present Saving the Imperiled Fishes of Southern Appalachia.
  • November 2: J.P. Dessel, Steinfeld Associate Professor of Near Eastern history and archaeology, will discuss The State of the Ancient State: New Finds in Southeastern Turkey.
  • November 9: Alison G. Boyer, research assistant professor of ecology and evolutionary biology, will present Trouble in Paradise: Extinction and Conservation of Tropical Island Birds.
  • November 16: Rob Heller, professor of journalism and electronic media, will discuss A Brief Yet Incomplete History of Photojournalism.
  • November 23: no meeting, Thanksgiving break
  • November 30: Sue Hume, clinical associate professor of audiology and speech pathology, will present Good Vibrations—Care and Use of the Professional Voice.

The Science Forum is sponsored by the UT Office of Research. For more information about the Science Forum, visit

C O N T A C T :

Amy Blakely (865-974-5034,

Holly Gary (865-974-2225,