Click on links below to listen to Ben’s story.
Ben Kilham is a bear biologist who, for decades, has “studied wild black bears in a vast tract of Northern New Hampshire woodlands. At times, he has also taken in orphaned infants–feeding them, walking them through the forest for months to help them decipher their natural world, and eventually reintroducing them back into the wild. Once free, the orphaned bears still regard him as their mother. One of these bears, now a near 20-year-old female, has given him extraordinary access to her daily life, opening a rare window into how she and the wild bears she lives among carry out their daily lives, raise their young, and communicate. Kilham’s unique findings now interest bear researchers worldwide.”
His dedication to black bears has made him such an expert that China asked for his help with the giant panda, a collaboration that inspired the recently released documentary “Pandas.”
Ben’s work with bears, however, is just part of his story. Ben is dyslexic, which, for years, kept him from pursuing an advanced degree. As a result, his work and rare insights into the social and emotional lives of bears went largely unpublished. With the support of wildlife preservationist George Schaller (whose story is also included in the Story Preservation 4-12 Learning Lab), Ben enrolled in a doctorate program at Drexel University where he completed his course of study and now holds a Ph.D in Environmental Science. In a review written about In the Company of Bears, Brock and Fernette Eide, authors of The Dyslexic Advantage write, “Kilham perfectly exemplifies how much the world has to gain from the exceptional insights of dyslexic individuals, who often possess a special talent for finding order hidden in the complex patterns of the real world.”
SPI recorded Ben’s story in late July 2019 with upload to SPI’s grades 4-12 Learning Lab later this fall.
For more, go to: www.storypreservation.org and please consider making a donation to Story Preservation Initiative. Details can be found on our website. Donate = ❤ (-:
This recording and all accompanying materials, as uploaded to our Learning Lab site, were made possible with funding from the Dorr Foundation, Portsmouth, NH.