bears are back

Telling Stories With Maps

story map image
Story map images show housing density
that bears live in from 6-50 houses/km2

Cary Chadwick, UConn CLEAR, used the research results on black bears in Connecticut to create a companion “story map,” an application created by GIS industry leader Esri that enables the seamless combination of online maps with other types of information such as images, videos, graphs and graphics. Story maps are designed to communicate complicated information, data, and analysis to the public in a user-friendly, interactive story-telling experience.

The Bears are Back story map includes information about the research project, including:

• Recolonization of historic black bear range in northwestern CT

• Sow (female) & cub sightings by town

• Reported incidents and conflict frequency maps

• Locations where conflict can be predicted based on incidents and landscape characteristics

• Research methods and location of field sites

• Wildlife camera trap photographs of corral visitors

• Bear counts and estimated “center of activity” per individual

• Extent of “exurban” areas in CT where ideal development patterns may lead to higher concentrations of bears

• Estimated distribution map of current estimated bear density across northwestern CT

• Links to more information about how individuals can become “bear smart” and co-exist peacefully with CT’s black bears

• Link to research published in Landscape and Urban Planning

• Additional information from UConn’s Wildlife and Fisheries Conservation Center and CT DEEP.

Visit the Bears Story Map:

CLEAR Story Maps

bearsExtension faculty at CLEAR are creating Story Maps for their projects, inspired by the successful maps of Emily Wilson. Dave Dickson has created one, called the State of Low Impact Development in Connecticut, which describes the results of research done over the summer of 2015 by CLEAR’s NEMO Project on the use of “low impact development” practices in Connecticut towns. The Story Map not only tells a compelling story, but also can be used as a research tool by town planners and others, since the interactive maps provide direct links to various town documents that pertain to low impact development. Cary Chadwick worked with CAHNR graduate student Mike Evans to create The Bears are Back, a Story Map on his research investigating the growing population and distribution of black bears in Connecticut (photo here, wildlife camera traps were set up at several sites to catch digital photographs of visitors to the site). Emily has created another Story Map with Extension Educator Joel Stocker, called Explore Connecticut’s Changing Shoreline, which looks at historical changes to Connecticut’s coastline from 1934 to the present by carefully comparing historic and current aerial imagery. CLEAR’s Extension crew are confident that this new technology will help them to bring their research and outreach efforts to an ever-growing audience. View all of the Story Maps at: