Alaska Small Business Development Center

Ursa Major Training and Consulting

Bear Guide Education comes to Southeast Alaska

As a self-proclaimed transplant to the Pacific Northwest, Teresa Whipple has taken her passion for all things wild and built a Bear Awareness Training business designed to help visitors better evaluate risk when exploring Southeast’s wilderness areas.

Located in Juneau, Ursa Major Training and Consulting was created out of a need to thoroughly train guides on bear behavior in a way the industry was not yet used to. Before Ursa Major, the bear safety training opportunities that were available were not able to meet all needs of the people exploring the remote islands that make up Southeast Alaska. Ursa Major provides customized risk assessment and response training for staff, crew, and guides entrusted with guest safety on expeditions in bear habitats. There was a significant necessity to bridge the educational gap and Ursa Major provides that bridge, bringing customized bear awareness training to the organizational needs of individual companies.

Ursa Major training emphasizes the understanding of bear behavior as the basis for assessing the likelihood of a bear encounter and for deciding how to respond when an encounter occurs. With Whipple’s eight years experience in the field coupled with her direct experience working for expedition style cruising ships, it gives her unique insight into logistics and training needs.

Bryan Zak was my advisor from the  SBDC and I couldn’t have done this without his help. He walked me through the process step-by-step, explained how everything worked and kept up with my progress until final completion of the formation of my business. Invaluable assistance!

To connect and learn more about Ursa Major Training and Consulting, visit the Ursa Major website or chat with Whipple at