Calendar of Events

Berkshire events – locations in red
Connecticut River Valley events – locations in green
All other events in black
BEAT sponsored/co-sponsored events in navy

The events listed here are not all sponsored or conducted by BEAT. We list them as a way of helping people participate in the full range of environmental events shaping our future.
Please send environmental news or calendar items to [email protected]

To view regional Public Notices for conservation commission meeting times and environmental issues, see our dedicated page.

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BEAT’s Wildlife Tracking Club

1st Wednesday and 3rd Saturday of the month
9 AM – 12 noon
Locations vary throughout Berkshire County

BEAT’s Wildlife Tracking group meets twice monthly, on the 1st Wednesday and the 3rd Saturday. It is open to the public and runs in Berkshire County. There is an annual membership fee of $15.00. One-time participants can attend an individual event for $5.00.

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JANUARY 2018

Saturday Jan. 20th | 9 AM – 12 PM | G. Darey Housatonic Valley Wildlife Management Area, Lenox

The 818-acre George L. Darey Housatonic Valley Wildlife Management Area is located in the towns of Lenox, Lee and Pittsfield. There is parking for the area that is accessible from on New Lenox Road in Lenox. The Housatonic River flows through the area from north to south. Additionally, the area is stocked with pheasant, waterfowl, aquatic furbearers, woodcock, deer, and numerous nongame species associated with the lowland habitat. Directions from Lenox: HERE

Directions from Great Barrington: HERE

FEBRUARY 2018

Wednesday Feb 7th | 9 AM – 12 PM | Post Farm Marsh, Lenox Dale

Situated alongside Woods Pond and October Mountain State Forest, Post Farm Marsh offers acres and acres of fields and forests for our tracking enjoyment.

Directions from Lenox: HERE

Saturday Feb 10th | Thomas and Palmer Brook Preserve, Great Barrington

Note the unusual date, the second Saturday of the month rather than the third. This 219 acre parcel is one of BNRC’s newest. Located alongside route 23 in Great Barrington, this wetland complex should provide good winter tracking. Over the summer one of BEAT’s trail cameras captured this little gem: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ikl_pRiU-oU

Directions from Great Barrington: HERE

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Email [email protected] for more information or to attend the next meeting.

The objectives of this club are threefold:
1) to educate the public (and each other) on wildlife tracking and other naturalist skills (including birding and plant identification)
2) to collect data (such as wildlife movement) for organizations in a position to act (like BEAT, MassWildlife, or a land trust)
3) to establish a robust wildlife tracking community

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BEAT Kiwi Removals at Burbank Park

Fridays at 8:30 – 10AM
Burbank Park Boat Launch, Pittsfield, MA

Get your morning exercise and help eradicate this destructive invasive at the same time! Gloves and tools will be provided, but we encourage you to bring extra tools if you have them (loppers, pruning sheers, and pruning saws).

Directions from the center of Pittsfield: HERE

Hardy Kiwi is an exotic invasive ornamental that threatens forests in western Massachusetts through complete domination of mature trees. Once it germinates, it will climb surrounding vegetation and eventually kill its support. Hardy kiwi can grow over 20 feet in a year. It has become a major problem in places such as Kennedy Park and Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary, and now Burbank Park.

Contact: Elia Del Molino (413) 429-6416 or [email protected]

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Pittsfield Green Drinks

Sponsored by Berkshire Environmental Action Team (BEAT)

Tuesday, January 16th (Third Tuesday of the month) | 5:15 PM

At our January meeting we will welcome Mark Stinson, the MassDEP Circuit Rider for Western Massachusetts. Mark will lead a discussion about town Conservation Commissions and environmental legislation in Massachusetts. Everyone is welcome and encouraged to bring your questions!

2018 DATES : January 16 | February 20 | March 20 | April 17 | May 15 | June 19 | July 17 | August 21 | September 18 | October 16 | November 20 | December 18

Each month a guest speaker talks for about 15 minutes beginning at 6 PM. The presentation, which is free and open to the public, will be followed by discussion and Q&A.

What is Green Drinks? Green Drinks is an international forum where people who work in the environmental field meet for a beer and snacks at informal sessions. There will be a lively mix of people from Non-profit organizations, academia, government and business. Green Drinks is a great way of catching up with people you know and for making new contacts. These networking events are very simple and unstructured. Come along and you’ll be made welcome.

Great Barrington Green Drinks


First Thursday of the Month
5:30 PM | The Prairie Whale | 178 Main St. | Great Barrington, MA
What’s Green Drinks? It’s a free monthly social event for people interested in everything from environmental education to local agriculture, the arts, activism, green business and design, and the ways all of these intersect.

So grab a friend or two and bring them down to share what you’re working on (green or not) and meet others in the community.


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Northern Berkshire Green Drinks

Thursday, January 4th (the first Thursday of the month) | 5:30 – 7 PM
Purple Pub Annex, Spring St., Williamstown, MA
  

The January meeting will host the Pownal Superfund Site Redevelopment Team who will discuss their project to develop the former Tannery Site into a recreational site for Pownal, which would include a bike path, river access, a walking path, and maybe even a pump track or skating area.

The students worked for the Pownal Recreation Task Force on this project and they interviewed lots of officials and residents and even did a planning charrette in an elementary school class.

Your feedback and ideas are welcome!

Green Drinks is an informal local gathering of North County folks who care about the environment. We meet monthly for discussion, often around a focus topic introduced by a guest speaker.
We are active, engaged members of communities near Mt. Greylock. We are committed to justice and united in our fight for progressive policies. This group was formed immediately after the November 2016 presidential election. We gather as a community to galvanize action, support one another, discuss ideas for moving forward, ways to deal with our own and our family members’ responses to the election.

Pittsfield Tree Watch Monthly Meeting

NO JANUARY 2018 MEETING – stay tuned for February
Second Thursday of every month | 4 – 5:30 PM
Pittsfield Senior Center, 330 North Street, Pittsfield

TREE OF THE MONTH: SPRUCE
See info sheet HERE

Pittsfield Tree Watch works to:

  • Help preserve existing Pittsfield trees
  • Encourage tree planting
  • Stand for the economic, social and environmental benefits of trees

Please come and learn more about what is happening to increase the number of trees in Pittsfield!

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Green Night with Western Mass Green Consortium

(2nd Wednesday of the month) | 5:30 – 7 PM
Platform Sports Bar, 125A Pleasant Street, Northampton

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GCC has significantly contributed to Massachusetts’ national prominence in renewable energy and energy efficiency, and our interns are often on the forefront of these fields. Student interns have contributed to such forward-looking developments as manufacturing recycled vegetable oil fuel, assessing the energy performance of our regional building stock, increasing outreach to businesses and volunteers for our local low-income housing franchise, and designing and installing solar arrays.

GCC’s pioneering Renewable Energy/Energy Efficiency degree and certificate programs have been closely aligned with local sustainable businesses since the program began in 2008. It is a leader in not only the state, but the country. The coursework predicted the need in this booming industry, received recognition for its academic AND practical, on-the-ground, accomplishments. They have graduated 29 students in the degree program and 79 students in the intensive one-year certificate program.

Visit our WEBSITE

About Green Night – Every Second Wednesday except August come to Platform Sports Bar at Union Station for Green Night to learn about what is going on in the Valley around sustainability. From 5:00-5:30 grab a drink or order food and chat with others. At 5:30 it’s time to share news, events and make your announcements. The featured presentation begins at 6:00 with Q&A following. At 7:00 we move into the bar. Energy is high and we continue with conversations, networking and more food and drink.

All are welcome!


350Mass Berkshire Node: Monthly Meeting

(3rd Wednesday of the Month)
Potluck at 5:30 PM • Meeting begins at 6 PM

UU Church, 175 Wendell Ave. Pittsfield, MA

350 MA-Berkshires is meeting on Wednesday,  January 17 at 6pm (5:30 for snacks & conversation) at the UU Church at 175 Wendell Avenue in Pittsfield.  We’ll be starting the new year by charting our course for a 100% Renewable, Sustainable future in the Berkshires.  Join us to work on upcoming events, the letter writing campaign, and legislative actions aimed at moving Massachusetts toward our clean energy goals.  Bring your energy and ideas to share.

Every month our meetings offer an opportunity for Berkshire residents to network and work together in the growing climate change movement.  JOIN US!

As always catch us around the web:

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Climate Action Now Monthly Gathering

Fourth Monday of each month | 7 – 9 PM
Visit website for location per month.
AMHERST LOCATION:
Unitarian Society of Amherst, 121 N Pleasant St, Amherst, MA 01004
NORTHAMPTON LOCATION:
Unitarian Society of Northampton on Main St.

Handicap accessible and on a bus line
E
veryone is welcome!

MONDAY, JANUARY 22ND MEETING: AMHERST LOCATION 

The People vs Oil and Gas Summit – First Hand Reports from Participants!

People fighting all forms of fossil fuel extraction came together in Pittsburgh last November to chart a way forward towards a powerful climate justice movement.  Discover what local organizers learned and how it connects with our work here in Western Mass. Plus the latest news on Columbia Gas’ proposal to include six miles of new pipeline from Agawam to Holyoke (See article by Marty Nathan)… and lots more.  Everyone warmly welcomed; we will have a space for folks new to Climate Action Now to connect and learn how to get involved.

Climate Action Now is a people powered, grassroots Western Massachusetts based organization dedicated to building a powerful, unstoppable climate justice movement. We work in our communities and in collaboration with diverse partners across the region to educate, advocate, and mobilize for climate action. Newcomers are welcome! Let’s work together to create an inclusive, unstoppable movement for climate justice!

VISIT OUR WEBSITE!

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Lee Monthly Town Clean-up with the
Greener Gateway Committee

Last Saturday Of The Month | 9 AM – 1 PM

A monthly town clean-up will be held in Lee every last Saturday of the month, if the ground is clear and the wind-chill is no lower than 25 degrees.

We meet at the gazebo near the post office on Railroad St. at 9 AM and clean until around 11am keeping the roadsides and wetland areas beautiful for our enjoyment and for wildlife to thrive.

Interested? Please contact Uli at (413)329 3514 or [email protected] or Valerie Bluhm, [email protected] to confirm.
http://www.lee.ma.us/recycling-greener-gateway-committee/news/first-monthly-mini-town-clean-january-28th-weather


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Pittsfield Repair Cafe

NEXT DATE: TBA | 12:30 – 4 PM
St. Stephen’s Church, downstairs dining room – on Allen Street opposite Berkshire Bank parking lot.
Bring in lamps; knives, scissors, garden nippers and trimmers in need of sharpening; nonfunctional vacuum cleaners, radios and other electrical or electronic equipment; bicycles; anything else needing raising from the ashes. Also legal questions.
Bring items don’t work anymore (but did once); we will (usually) either fix, restoring functionality, or show why fix is impossible.
Free food, free goods; live music.
Co-founder said, cogently, “It’s a hoot.” – The Volunteers


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Athol Bird & Nature Club Events
Millers River Environmental Center | 100 Main St. Athol, MA

 

ABNC GEOLOGY DIVISION MEETING
Tuesday, January 16th Cancelled due to weather
Join Paul Kachinsky and others for our next Geology meeting at the Millers River Environmental Center. Paul will report back about some possible acquisitions to the collection. We will discuss possible fall and winter work days in “The Quarry,” new geology storage and work room.   Signs for the room and collection will be discussed. Paul will talk will present a sample file of some information books. As in the past please feel free to bring 1 or 2 mineral or rock specimens which we might discuss. If time permits we will work some in “The Quarry.”

KNOW YOUR HABITAT : GARDEN SUCCESS WITH NEW ENGLAND WILDFLOWERS
Thursday, March 15th | 7 PM
with Ted Elliman, N.E Wildflower Society

From meadows and forest communities to wetland and coastal habitats plant ecologist Ted Elliman will present the diverse wildflowers and habitats specific to Massachusetts. Suitable for naturalist and gardeners. Ted will examine the physical features of these habitats as well as both common and rare plants that occur in each of them. Use your habitat knowledge to grow wildflowers at home. Ted’s books will be available for sale. This is a joint meeting of the Athol Bird and Nature Club and North Quabbin Garden Club. @ Millers River Environmental Center

ATTRACTING POLLINATORS TO YOUR LANDSCAPE
Tuesday, March 20th | 7 – 8:30 PM

Celebrate the first day of spring with this illustrated evening program on transforming gardens and landscapes into native bee habitat.  Learn about native bees and what steps we can take to create pollinator friendly landscaping including providing food for bees and nesting opportunities to raise their young.  Join Tom Sullivan, M.A.L.D, at Pollinators Welcome.com, for an evening filled with ideas and inspiration – from simple techniques to community practices focusing on connectivity.  Tom is a pollinator habitat designer, land consultant, and educator with a special focus on native bees. He gives talks and workshops on the nesting, foraging and life cycles of native bee species in New England.  A beekeeper in his youth, Tom switched his interest from honeybees to native bees in 2008 after Colony Collapse Disorder emerged and it became clear how intricately tied whole ecosystem health is to pollinator well-being and human survival.  This event is co-sponsored with the Northfield Bird Club and the Athol Bird and Nature Club. Free and open to all  Northfield Mountain Recreation and Environmental Center

99 Millers Falls Road Northfield, MA 01360 (413)659-4462 http://www.h2opower.ca/recreation/northfield-mountain-recreation-and-environmental-center/

NATURAL HISTORY AND CONSERVATION OF FRESHWATER MUSSELS: LIVING GEMS IN NORTH AMERICAN WATERS
Wednesday, April 11th | 7 PM

MNHESP Aquatic ecologist Peter Hazelton, Ph.D will focus on the life history, diversity and conservation importance of FW mussels, with a largely Massachusetts perspective.

SPIRITS OF SPRING: WARBLERS AND MORE
Wednesday, May 9th | 7 PM

With John Van da Graaff
Spring is when birders’ hearts beat faster.  And it’s when my wife Marylee and I regularly went to Ontario’s Point Pelee and Ohio’s Magee Marsh, often elbowing  our way through crowds of birders. Those trips provide the largest group of images, but there’s much more, for example from western Canada, and around New England (including loons, piping plovers and ospreys).

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Mass Audubon Events

MINDFULNESS & NATURE : ANIMAL TRACKS & SIGNS
Sunday, January 7th – Wednesday, January 10th
Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health | Stockbridge, MA

Instructors: Dale Abrams – Education Coordinator; Kripalu Yoga and Outdoor Educators Audience: Adult Members: $279.00 Nonmembers: $279.00

Mass Audubon is proud to partner with Kripalu to offer a new outdoor program series that explores the intersection of mindfulness practices with the appreciation of the natural world. Experience wildlife tracking through the lens of consciousness and awakened perspective. You’ll develop observational skills to notice subtle language of tracks and other clues to help you know our wild neighbors while upping the ante on your awareness of place and mindful practice. To register, go to: https://kripalu.org/presenters-programs/nature-and-mindfulness-animal-signs

WILDLIFE CSI: UNDERSTANDING ANIMAL TRACKS & SIGNS 
Saturday, January 20th | 9 – 11 AM 
Lime Kiln Farm Wildlife Sanctuary | Silver St. Sheffield, MA

Audience: All (suitable for children 6 – 18 years) Members: Adult $8.00, Child $4.00 Nonmembers: Adult $10.00, Child $6.00

Winter is a great time to look for animal tracks and signs! Join our naturalist for a 2-hour adventure in search of tracks, scat, and other signs of animals that stay active through the winter. You’ll discover a new window into who-done-it mysteries that take place outside in nature while we’re snug and warm inside our homes. Register online at: https://www.massaudubon.org/pleasantvalley

PLEASANT VALLEY SNOWSHOE HIKES
Saturday, January 20th | 12:30 – 3 PM 
Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary | West Mountain Rd. Lenox, MA

Audience: Adult Members: $10.00 Nonmembers: $15.00

Strap on snowshoes (or microspikes, depending upon conditions) and join us for a hike around the sanctuary trails. We’ll track wildlife, identify trees by their bark, and watch for wildlife activity around ponds, streams, meadows, and woodlands. BYO snowshoes/microspikes. Register online at: https://www.massaudubon.org/pleasantvalley

MOONLIGHT OWL & WILDLIFE PROWL
Tuesday, January 30th | 6 – 7:30 PM 
Canoe Meadows Wildlife Sanctuary | Holmes Rd. Pittsfield, MA

Audience: All (suitable for children 6 – 18 years) Members: Adult $6.00, Child $3.00 Nonmembers: Adult $8.00, Child $4.00

Enjoy a moonlit winter evening at one of our sanctuaries to listen and watch for owls and other nocturnal wildlife. We’ll explore fields, forests, and wetlands and learn about animal adaptations for hunting at night. We’ll warm up with tea and hot cocoa after the walk. Register online at: https://www.massaudubon.org/pleasantvalley

WILDLIFE CSI: UNDERSTANDING ANIMAL TRACKS & SIGNS 
Saturday, February 3rd | 9 – 11 AM 
Canoe Meadows Wildlife Sanctuary | Holmes Rd. Pittsfield, MA

Audience: All (suitable for children 6 – 18 years) Members: Adult $8.00, Child $4.00 Nonmembers: Adult $10.00, Child $6.00

Winter is a great time to look for animal tracks and signs! Join our naturalist for a 2-hour adventure in search of tracks, scat, and other signs of animals that stay active through the winter. You’ll discover a new window into who-done-it mysteries that take place outside in nature while we’re snug and warm inside our homes. Register online at: https://www.massaudubon.org/pleasantvalley

LENOX MOUNTAIN SUMMIT HIKE
Saturday, February 3rd | 12:30 – 3:30 PM 
Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary | West Mountain Rd. Lenox, MA

Audience: Adult Members: $10.00 Nonmembers: $15.00

We’ll track wildlife, identify trees by their bark, and take in a 50-mile view (on a clear day) from the top of Lenox Mountain (2,126 feet). This moderately strenuous hike follows the Trail of the Ledges and/or Overbrook Trail three miles round-trip through northern hardwood and evergreen forests for an elevation gain of 840 feet. Register online at: https://www.massaudubon.org/pleasantvalley

MINDFULNESS & NATURE : WINTER WOODS
Sunday, February 4th – Wednesday, February 7th
Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health | Stockbridge, MA

Instructors: Becky Cushing – Berkshire Sanctuaries Director; Kripalu Yoga and Outdoor Educators

Audience: Adult Members: $279.00 Nonmembers: $279.00

Mass Audubon is proud to partner with Kripalu to offer a new outdoor program series that explores the intersection of mindfulness practices with appreciation of the natural world. Experience New England woods in winter through the lens of consciousness and awakened perspective. Participants will investigate the question of how to distinguish among oaks, maples and other woodland trees and shrubs sans leaves. We’ll use a combination of branching patterns, bud and bark characteristics, habitat, and other helpful traits to “get to know” woody plants in winter. For more details and registration visit: https://kripalu.org/presenters-programs/nature-and-mindfulness-winter-woods

WILDLIFE CSI: UNDERSTANDING ANIMAL TRACKS & SIGNS 
Saturday, February 17th | 9:30 – 11:30 AM 
Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary | West Mountain Rd. Lenox, MA

Audience: All (suitable for children 6 – 18 years) Members: Adult $8.00, Child $4.00 Nonmembers: Adult $10.00, Child $6.00

Winter is a great time to look for animal tracks and signs! Join our naturalist for a 2-hour adventure in search of tracks, scat, and other signs of animals that stay active through the winter. You’ll discover a new window into who-done-it mysteries that take place outside in nature while we’re snug and warm inside our homes. Register online at: https://www.massaudubon.org/pleasantvalley

PLEASANT VALLEY SNOWSHOE HIKES
Saturday, February 17th | 12:30 – 3 PM 
Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary | West Mountain Rd. Lenox, MA

Audience: Adult Members: $10.00 Nonmembers: $15.00

Strap on snowshoes (or microspikes, depending upon conditions) and join us for a hike around the sanctuary trails. We’ll track wildlife, identify trees by their bark, and watch for wildlife activity around ponds, streams, meadows, and woodlands. BYO snowshoes/microspikes.Register online at: https://www.massaudubon.org/pleasantvalley

WINTER ADVENTURE CAMP
Tuesday, February 20th – Friday, February 23rd | 9 AM – 3:30 PM
Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary | West Mountain Rd. Lenox, MA

Audience: Children (suitable for children 7 – 11 years) Members: $190.00 Nonmembers: $250.00

Join the adventure and explore Pleasant Valley in winter. Each day we’ll learn about the wildlife that stay active in the cold and snow, and the adaptations that enable them to survive. We’ll build snow shelters and snowshoe or hike into remote parts of the sanctuary. Snowshoes will be provided. Dress for the weather because we’ll be outside as much as possible; warm outerwear and boots required! Bring a lunch and two snacks each day. Register online at: https://www.massaudubon.org/pleasantvalley

MOONLIGHT OWL & WILDLIFE PROWL
Tuesday, February 28th | 6:30 – 8 PM 
Lime Kiln Farm Wildlife Sanctuary | Silver St. Sheffield, MA

Audience: All (suitable for children 6 – 18 years) Members: Adult $6.00, Child $3.00 Nonmembers: Adult $8.00, Child $4.00

Enjoy a moonlit winter evening at one of our sanctuaries to listen and watch for owls and other nocturnal wildlife. We’ll explore fields, forests, and wetlands and learn about animal adaptations for hunting at night. We’ll warm up with tea and hot cocoa after the walk. Register online at: https://www.massaudubon.org/pleasantvalley

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Great Falls Discovery Center
2 Avenue A | Turners Falls, MA

KIDLEIDOSCOPE STORY HOUR
Four Fridays in January | 10:30 – 11:30 AM

1/5: River Otters; 1/12: Bugs in Winter; 1/19: Rabbits; 1/26: Porcupines
10:30-11:30am       

Come learn about our wildlife neighbors who share our home in the Connecticut River Watershed. Program includes a story, interactive games, and a craft to introduce young children to wildlife along the river. Meet in the Great Hall. For ages 3-6, accompanied by an adult. Siblings and friends welcome.

WHO’S BEEN HERE? LET’S FIND OUT!
Saturday, January 13th | 1-2 PM

Join us for stories, crafts, and a tracking adventure to find out who has been outside in the snow at the Discovery Center. For ages 3-8 with a parent or guardian. Siblings and friends welcome. Meet in the Great Hall.

TEACHING CREATURES PRESENTS ANIMAL DEFENSES
Saturday, January 27th | 11 AM – Noon

Join Rae Griffiths from Teaching Creatures to take a closer look at live animals that have evolved unique adaptations for defending themselves against predators. This program is FREE, but space is limited so please call 413-863-3221 to reserve your spot! Sponsored by the Friends Group.

 

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Quabbin Resevoir Visitor Center
485 Ware Road | Belchertown, MA

THE ART & SCIENCE OF LISTENING TO BIRD SONG
Sunday, January 14th | 2-3 PM
In Don Kroodsma’s own words “Birdsong makes me happy.” He loves to share what he has learned during his career as an academic and researcher to encourage a greater appreciation of how birds communicate. Join us and as Don says “learn to crawl inside the mind of this singing bird, coming as close as you can to understand what it is like to be the bird itself.”

SECRETS OF THE QUABBIN WATERSHED
Sunday, February 25th | 2-3 PM
Presentation of his amazing wildlife photos and book signing by Dale Monette.

POSSUMS, BATS & GOLDENROD – OH MY!
Sunday, March 4th | 2-3 PM

DCR Interpreter Nancy Huntington presents on the benefits of often overlooked flora and fauna.

FROM GREEN TO GRAY: 17 YEARS OF HEMLOCK DECLINE ALONG A QUABBIN STREAM
Sunday, March 18th | 2-3 PM
Presented by DCR Natural Resource Analyst Brian Keevan.


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Flying Deer Nature Center Events
5 Abode Road | New Lebanon, NY

WINTER SURVIVAL SHELTER
Saturday, January 13th | 10 AM – 3 PM

For ages 16 and up.

The ability to make shelter is essential to finding comfort in the harshest season. We’ll construct simple snow shelters and touch upon methods of heating and cooking inside them. Find out more and register.
WINTER BOTANY WITH FARMSCAPE ECOLOGY
Three Saturday Mornings :
January 20th : 9 AM – Noon
January 27th : 10 AM – Noon

February 3 : 10 AM – Noon

 

Location: 122 Daley Rd., East Chatham, NY; please approach from Route 9 only.

Tuition:
Suggested donation: $50 for all three sessions; $20 for one session

Learn to identify trees and shrubs in the “off” season with ecologists Conrad and Claudia Vispo of the Hawthorne Valley Farmscape Ecology Program, who have led ecology walks throughout Columbia County and taught people how to identify plants in all seasons since 2004.

Winter Botany can be a lot of fun when you key in on a combination of clues the plants offer to help reveal which species they belong to. These clues include the habitat where the plant is found, its general shape and branching pattern, and its bark and bud characteristics. Some plants even have unique smells that can help with their identification. And don’t forget to search the ground for remains of leaves and/or fruit and nuts—it’s all fair game.

This course combines indoor and outdoor instruction to provide participants with a set of tools to improve their skills with winter identification of woody plants, no matter their prior knowledge. Everybody with a curiosity about the natural world can benefit from this course and gain a new appreciation for the patterns discernable in the plants of our wintry woods.

The three consecutive sessions will build on each other, and we will give preference to participants signing up for the entire course. However, if space is available after January 10, we will also accept sign-ups for individual sessions. Sessions will be limited to 15 participants, so please register early to reserve your spot!

Tuition: The instructors are donating their time to Flying Deer Nature Center. If you would like to participate in the Winter Botany course, please contribute to the Capital Campaignfor the new campus on Daley Road. Suggested donation: $50 for all three sessions; $20 for a single session.

E-mail us to register for this program. Register early as space is limited.

WINTER TRACKING INTENSIVE
February 16 – 18
Soul Fire Farm, 1972 NY Highway 2, Petersburg, NY

FOR AGES 18 AND UP. DATES INCLUDE OVERNIGHTS.
Tuition : $275

Unlock the secrets of the forest! In this joint venture with Tamakoce Wilderness Programs, participants will get a deep and detailed insight into what stories the tracks of an animal can tell. Through two days and nights of lecture and field work on the grounds of Soul Fire Farm in Petersburg, New York, you’ll gain a rich understanding of the various methods used to positively identify, interpret, and communicate the information within the tracks we encounter. Topics covered will include:

  • Gaits
  • Track identification
  • Bones and feathers
  • Life cycles
  • Habitat use
  • How to use local ecology to anticipate animal movement
  • How to properly use measurements.

We’ll explore all this while following the trails of bobcat, deer, fox, rabbit, coyote, and more! Simple accommodations and food will be provided. Register here.

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Williams College Center for Environmental Studies

LOG LUNCHES
12 – 1 PM at The Log | 78 Spring St. 

Open to the public. Vegetarian homemade wholesome local food lunch! Reservations required ($4) online at ces.williams.edu or [email protected] If the cost of lunch is a financial hardship, financial aid students may buy a reduced price lunch at CES offices before Friday.

JANUARY 19TH
Balance of Power : Why Flipping the Switch Will never Be The Same Again
Peter Kelly-Detwiler  ’83, NorthBridge Energy Partners

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Tamarack Hollow Nature & Cultural Center
1515 & 1516 Savoy Hollow Rd. Windsor, MA

SPRUCE-FIR BOREAL FOREST SNOWSHOE TRECK & TRACK and WINTER ECOLOGY AT TAMARACK HOLLOW
Sundays January 21st & February 4th | 10 AM – 1 PM 

Join naturalist guide and Director Aimee Gelinas M.Ed for a winter ecology snowshoe in the unique high elevation, boreal forest. Learn winter tracking skills, forest ecology & how to identify native trees, plants, and signs of wildlife. Co-Sponsored by Mass Audubon. More dates TBA. Email: [email protected] for registration info.

BOREAL SPRUCE-FIR FOREST VOLUNTEER TRAIL WORK DAY
Sunday, April 8th | 9 AM – 1 PM

Email [email protected] to register.

FLOODPLAIN FOREST SPRING CANOE MILL RIVER
Saturday, April 21st | 9 AM – 1 PM

Register: www.massaudubon.org


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Hike with Healers

SKI WITH HEALERS
Saturday, January 20th | 10 AM – 1 PM
Notchview Reservation : Rt. 9 Windsor, MA
Start your year off with a different dose of Vitamin “N” as we ski with owner of Martin Chiropractic, Dr. David Martin, DC at Notchview, a Trustees of the Reservations property in Windsor, MA. Dr. Martin is also a former PSIA Nordic and downhill ski instructor and has offered to teach our beginner participants. Notchview has kindly discounted their trail pass and rental package rates, which includes snowshoes, by 50% for our participants. The ski will be followed by another advisory meeting from 12-1 in the upper room of the lodge and is also open to the public. Registration is helpful to reserve your equipment and please share the flyer and fb event.


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Kestrel Land Trust Events

NEW YEAR NATURE WALKS
Saturday, January 13th | 1 – 3 PM | Amherst & Northampton
Join us for a belated hike to celebrate 2018 together. Since the weather was not cooperative for a safe and enjoyable Happy Winter Hikers by John Bodywalk on New Year’s Day due to the extreme cold, we have rescheduled our annual celebratory nature walks for this Saturday, January 13 from 1 pm – 3 pm. Start the New Year off right by getting outdoors with nature and new friends! In Amherst, take a walk with Wildlife Biologist Dave King at the Wentworth Farm Conservation Area, and in Northampton, join naturalist and educator John Body at the Fitzgerald Lake Conservation Area. The terrain is easy to moderate in both locations.
The walks are free but registration is required.In the event of heavy rain or ice, we will cancel (again!), but let’s cross our fingers that the rain moves through sooner.
TRACKING THE HOPPERS, STALKERS & WADDLERS
Saturday, February 17th | 10 AM – Noon | Northampton
Our region is full of wildlife, but most of the time, it’s difficult to see where the animals are or what they’re doing. In the winter, however, the evidence of animals that hop, stalk, or waddle suddenly becomes easier to see and to interpret. Join us on Saturday, February 17 from 10 am – Noon to explore the wildlife in Northampton with naturalist John Body. You’ll learn how to identify the tracks of animals that hop, stalk, or waddle, and see how they interact with the winter world. Plus, find out about the lifestyles of the local porcupines (one of the waddlers) in their high-rise “condos.” This event is limited to 20 participants. Registration is required.

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Berkshire Natural Resources Events

SUNSET HIKE TO SUNSET ROCK
Friday, February 2nd | 4 – 6 PM | North Adams 
Take in the sunset from Sunset Rock on the Hoosac Range while sipping on hot apple cider!
Difficulty: Moderate (moderate pace, moderate elevation changes) Description: Join BNRC staff to watch the sun set with hot apple cider over the city of North Adams. 1.5-mile roundtrip hike with moderate climbs to the overlook. Bring a flashlight or headlamp for the hike down. BNRC will provide hot apple cider, but feel free to bring snacks and your choice warm drink! Please bring water, wear sturdy footwear (consider snowshoes and/or micro-spikes) and bring appropriate clothing. Directions: From Pittsfield, take Rt. 8 North. At the Cumberland Farms, take a right onto Rt. 8A. Take a right onto Rt. 2. After climbing the hairpin turns, the BNRC parking lot will be on the right, immediately following the Wigwam Cabins. Email Mariah at [email protected] or call 413-499-0596 with any questions.
NIGHT HIKE AT ALFORD SPRINGS
Saturday, February 10th |  5 – 8 PM | Alford
Enjoy the views of the open sky on the Father Loop at Alford Springs.
Difficulty: 2 miles total. Moderate (moderate pace, moderate elevation changes) Note: Night conditions may make this moderate hike harder depending on your comfort level. Description: We will hike 1 mile on the Father Loop to the early successional, open habitat to take in the view of the night sky and enjoy hot apple cider before returning to the trailhead. Please bring water, wear sturdy footwear (consider snowshoes and/or micro-spikes) and bring appropriate clothing. Directions: From Great Barrington: Take Taconic Avenue, which becomes Alford Road. Drive past Simon’s Rock to a left on Seekonk Road; follow Seekonk Road for 3.6 miles. Turn right on to Mountain Road (if you come to the New York State line, you’ve gone too far). Follow Mountain Road for 0.8 miles, bearing left at the first “Y” and left again at the sharp right turn at 0.8 miles. Email Mariah at [email protected] or call 413-499-0596 with any questions.
CONSTITUTION HILL HIKE
Wednesday, February 21 | 10 AM – Noon | Lanesborough
Come explore the property from the valley to the spiny ridgeline.
Pace: Easy Terrain: Moderate — good trails with gradual to steep inclines Description: Enjoy the 20-30 minute climb from the trailhead to the spine of the hill and the summit. After descending from the ridgeline, return on the blue-blazed trail, noting the slag glass used to firm the road. Be prepared for potential of icy trails. Dogs on leash are welcome. Directions: From the intersection of Bridge Street and Main Street/Route 7 in Lanesborough (right near the police station): follow Bridge Street west to its end at the BNRC trailhead and kiosk. The trailhead is about 0.8 miles from Main Street. Email Mariah at [email protected] or call 413-499-0596 with any questions.

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Morgan Bulkeley | Nature, Culture, Clash

September 29, 2017 – February 4, 2018
Berkshire Museum | 39 South St. | Pittsfield, MA

Humorous and ominous at the same time, Morgan Bulkeley’s images offer compelling scenarios where humans are pitted against nature, with nature holding the advantage. Morgan Bulkeley: Nature Culture Clash is a solo exhibition of paintings and sculptures by the Berkshire-based artist, curated by Geoffrey Young.

A significant career retrospective covering five decades, Morgan Bulkeley: Nature Culture Clash includes a wide range of work, from early drawings and watercolors to a recent series of small paintings in gouache depicting a vivid array of birds. The exhibition encompasses carved and painted wood masks and panels, tiny wooden “whimseys,” large oil paintings, sculpture, and a site-specific installation.

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ADULT CLASS
Ancestral Ways : Reclaiming Our Past

December 9 – 10, February 3 – 4, March 31 – April 1, June 2 – 3, August 4 – 5
Grafton, NY

If you’ve ever felt drawn to a waterfall, mountain range, serene lake, or boundless prairie, you’ve experienced “Biophilia”. A reflexive response to our evolutionary relationship to nature. Yes, we are part of nature! Though modern civilization, over the last 5 thousand years, has moved us further and further apart. Still we find ourselves drawn to connect with the natural world.

Each weekend of this 6 month course will bring you back into that relationship. As we gather our food, build our shelters, craft our clothes and containers and re-learn to speak the language of nature, we will experience the kind of connectedness or “biophilia” that our ancestors new for 100,000 ’s of years!  

Activities will include: friction fire, food gathering, food prep, primitive cooking, tool and container crafting, shelters, hide tanning, clothing making, animal tracking, bird language, nature immersion, story telling, and more!

Ages – 16 and up | Location – Grafton, Ny | Cost- 1,200.00 (Bring someone for 25% off) | All meals included!

CLICK HERE FOR FULL INFO & TO REGISTER

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Homeschool Wilderness Skills Programs
Earthwork Programs

Winter Sessions start Friday, January 5th
Amherst, MA

2 Groups: HERON–ages 7+ and SWIFT EAGLE–preteens & teens

With Earthwork Programs, hundreds of children have learned and practiced not only wilderness skills, but mentoring and being part of a community. During the Winter session, children learn ice safety, hypothermia prevention, winter shelter building (quinzees), tracking and more! $55-$70/class, sliding scale, for the 8-week Winter session. Visit earthworkprograms.com or call 413-340-1161

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WEBINARS
NAACP Just Energy Policies & Practices Action Toolkit

Wednesday, January 17th from 7 – 8 PM
Wednesday, January 24th from 1 – 2 PM
Monday, January 29th from 7:30 – 8:30 PM

The NAACP’s ECJ Program has officially released ourJust Energy Policies and Practices ACTION TOOLKIT!  Learn how you can develop action steps and just energy policies that protect your communities’ health and wellbeing, while keeping your neighbors’ lights on and maintaining jobs for your families.

About the Toolkit

The NAACP Just Energy Policies and Practices Action Toolkit contains practical guidance that helps local NAACP units and othersdiscover what your community needs are, vision planning and goal setting towards transforming your local energy economy.  Our FREE toolkit is divided into 8 modules that are designed to be used either separately or together so that organizers can build the exact campaign that works for their community. At the end of each module, are several fact sheets, and resources for you to modify, copy and use in developing and implementing your energy justice projects.

The Just Energy Policies and Practices Action Toolkit works in conjunction with our Just Energy Policies: Model Energy Policies Guide, which has practical information for people wanting to change legislation and energy policies.    Just like the Action Toolkit, the Model Policies guide is free and available under the Resource section of our Environmental and Climate Justice Program webpage on the NAACP website or HERE.

About the Webinar

JOIN US!  The ECJ Program here at NAACP will be hosting THREE webinars to provide you with a brief introduction to the NAACP’s energy justice work, including the Power to the People Campaign, and a thorough walkthrough theJust Energy Policies and Practices Action Toolkit.

Specifically, presenters will:

  • Explain the toolkit and the projects and outcomes that the NAACP hopes that  NAACP units, ECJ Committees or partners will achieve
  • Dive into the toolkit itself to demonstrate the different parts of each action module and show how members in the field can use this toolkit in everyday ways
  • Highlight the incredible NAACP energy justice projects lead by units around the country
  • Answer all of your questions about the action toolkit and NAACP energy justice work

Presenters:

Katie Taylor, ECJ Communications Manager, NAACP

Marcus Franklin, ECJ Program Specialist, NAACP

Swetha Saseedhar, ECJ Research and Policy Fellow, NAACP

Liz Kennedy, ECJ Research and Policy Fellow, NAACP

Special Guests:

January 17, 2018

Rosemary Harris-Lytle, President Rocky Mountain Area Conference of Branches, NAACP

January 24, 2018

Kevin McGee, President Anchorage, AK Branch, NAACP

Jan Bronson, Co-ECJ Chair Anchorage, AK Branch, NAACP

Besse Odom, Co-ECJ Chair Anchorage, AK Branch, NAACP

January 29, 2018

Brooke Harper, ECJ Chair Maryland State Conference of Branches, NAACP

Please register at the link below for your preferred webinar date.

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/rt/5806691718005462274

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WEBCAST
Holding Fossil Fuel Companies Liable for Climate Change Harms

Thursday, January 25th | 9 PM

 

The Union of Concerned Scientists and the Emmett Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at UCLA School of Law invite you to a timely and stimulating conversation exploring whether and how the fossil fuel industry can be held liable for the harms climate change is inflicting on communities. ALL THE INFO & REGISTRATION HERE.

Live from the Fowler Museum at UCLA.

The event is free but registration is required. Please register today to attend in person or to receive more information on joining the live webcast.

Keynote Address by Bill McKibben, author and environmentalist, founder of 350.org, and Schumann Distinguished Scholar in Environmental Studies at Middlebury College, VT (via Skype)

Panelists:
Peter Frumhoff, director of science and policy, Union of Concerned Scientists
Ann Carlson, Shirley Shapiro professor of environmental law, and inaugural faculty director of the Emmett Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, UCLA School of Law
Honorable Serge Dedina, mayor of Imperial Beach, California, and executive director of the nonprofit organization Wildcoast
Gladys Limon, Executive Director of the California Environmental Justice Alliance
Alex Hall, professor in the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences and director of the Center for Climate Change Solutions at the UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability

Ken Kimmell, President of the Union of Concerned Scientists, will provide closing remarks.

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Wilderness First Aid (WFA) Class

Thursday, January 25th – Friday, January 26th | 8 AM – 5 PM
Huntington, MA

Accidents happen. People get hurt, sick, or lost. The temperature drops, the wind picks up, and it starts to rain. Would you know what to do? Many backcountry emergencies are preventable, and even when bad things happen, sometimes the wrong care can make things worse. By learning a few basic skills, you can make the difference between a good outcome and a bad one-and maybe even save a life.

WHO IS THE WFA FOR?
The WFA is the perfect course for the outdoor enthusiast or trip leader who wants a basic level of first aid training for short trips with family, friends, and outdoor groups. It also meets the ACA guidelines.

WHAT IS TAUGHT?
The WFA is 16 hours long (two days), and focuses on the basic skills of: Response and Assessment, Musculoskeletal Injuries, Environmental Emergencies, Survival Skills, Soft Tissue Injuries, and Medical Emergencies – see course outline in sidebar.

WHERE AND WHEN IS IT HELD?
Classes are held at Dog Pals Canine Sports Camp

HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?
$160.00 (discounts for groups of 5 or more)

IS THERE AN EXAM?

Yes, there is ongoing evaluation of practical skills, and there are written assessments throughout the course.

DO I GET CERTIFIED?
Yes. You will receive a SOLO WFA certification, which is good for two years.

DOES THE WFA COUNT AS CONTINUING EDUCATION?
The WFA may give continuing ed credits (depending on the specific requirements for your certification) and is approved for recertifying SOLO’s Wilderness First Responder program.

FULL INFORMATION AND REGISTRATION HERE.

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Winter Walk at Wyomanock Preserve

Saturday, January 27th | 1:30 – 3:30 PM
68 Wyomanock Rd. Stephentown, NY

Come enjoy a winter walk at Wyomanock Preserve! Winter conditions can facilitate easier access to wetland areas. We’ll be exploring the headwaters of the Wyomanock Creek in frozen splendor with discussion including habitat ecology, wildlife, plants, and watershed. Be prepared for any weather! Walk will last about 2 hours, depending on conditions. Suggested donation $10 per person. Should driving conditions be hazardous, we will postpone until the following day (Sunday 1/28). Please check this site and our Facebook page for updates. Register Here.

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Natural Gas Infrastructure & Public Health : From Local to Global

Tuesday, January 30th | 10 AM – 5 PM
Boston University | Photonics Center | 8 St Mary’s St. Boston, MA

FREE – REGISTER HERE

Please join us for a discussion regarding the health impacts of natural gas infrastructure (NGI) and the role of public health officials in this topic.

The event is co-sponsored by Boston University School of Public Health, Massachusetts Medical Society, Greater Boston Physicians for Social Responsibility, Health Care Without Harm, Mass Health Professionals for Clean Energy, and Physicians for Policy Action.

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Sue Morse in the Berkshires | February 16 & 17

BEAT, with the support of Berkshire Natural Resources Council and other partners, is once again bringing Sue Morse to town!

Sue Morse, the founder of Keeping Track®, is highly regarded as an expert in natural history and one of the top wildlife trackers in North America.

Bear With Us! Living with Bears in the North Country
Friday, February 16th | 6:30 PM
Boland Theater at BCC in Pittsfield


Photograph © Susan C. Morse

Be prepared for lots of fascinating information on black bear biology and ecology, with emphasis on the field identification of tracks and sign.  Sue is very excited about this show because it offers the most comprehensive discussion of bear scent-marking behaviors, illustrated with dozens of her original images.  As for living in harmony with black bears, it’s entirely up to us, as this pogram will solidly demonstrate.  “Bear safety” is achieved largely because of what we do out there, whether it be in the wild or around our home and farmyard. It is more about what we can do to minimize the hazards we pose to bears.

The Mysterious Mustelids
Saturday, February 17th | 6 PM
Monument Mountain Regional High School in Great Barrington

Photograph © Susan C. Morse

Photograph © Susan C. Morse

Experience a fun- and fact-filled exploration of the world of the Mustelidae — the weasel family.  Learn why fishers aren’t cats and ermine aren’t evil.  Instead, these animals and other relatives, including mink, marten, otter, wolverine and badger, belong to the largest and most diverse order of carnivores on Planet Earth!  From the treetops to subterranean burrows, in both fresh and salt water habitats, these remarkable animals are bold, bright and determined wildlife neighbors.  They deserve our respect and conservation commitment.  Sue Morse’s amazing photography, personal stories and discoveries, as well as lots of tracking lore, are sure to fascinate your audience, including the youngest naturalists. Entire families will love learning what these often misunderstood animals are really all about!
Saturday wildlife tracking hikes at the Myrin Preserve in Great Barrington. 
More information to come.

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Local Environmental Action 2018

March 3, 2018
Boston, MA

March 3rd, 2018 in Boston will be a full day of keynote speakers and workshops, and an opportunity to re-connect with others doing work similar to yours. This day gives you the chance to hear from local leaders across the Commonwealth who are deeply involved in making the world a better place. Please register today to and join us for a day of  renewed purpose in Boston.
Powerful solutions start at the local level. At the end of this conference you will go home re-inspired, with the tools to be an even more effective local leader. or if you are just starting out, to become an environmental champion in your community.
Last year we had a wonderful day with more than 500 local leaders who, like you, are making their communities better. This year will be another day of community and inspiration. Buy your tickets today here!

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2018 Northeast Natural History Conference

April 13 – 15, 2018
Sheraton Hotel | Burlington, VT

The Northeast Natural History Conference will be held within the elegant conference facilities of the Sheraton Hotel in Burlington, VT, which is on the eastern shore of Lake Champlain, north of Albany, northwest of Boston, and south of Montreal. The venue is just off Interstate 89 and is easily reachable by multiple routes from along Route 90 in Massachusets.

Once again, participants have the convenience of accommodations under the same roof as the conference.

Pre-conference field trips and workshops will be on Friday, with all oral and poster presentations and other conference activities on Saturday and Sunday.

The Northeast Natural History Conference continues to maintain its long-held standard of being the largest regional broad-spectrum forum for researchers, university professors, students, natural resource managers, and naturalists to present current information on the varied aspects of field biology (freshwater, marine, and terrestrial) and natural history for the northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. It serves as a premier venue to identify research and management needs, foster friendships and collegial relationships, and encourage a greater region-wide interest in natural history by bringing people with diverse backgrounds together. Students are especially welcome at this very collegial and supportive conference.

Sessions already confirmed are as follows …

The session organizers welcome inquiries. Each session has 4 presentations.

Forest Ecology … Peter Palmiotto
Full-Cycle Biology/Ecology … Jason Hill
Fungal Ecology … Pierre-Luc Chagnon
Montane Ecology … Jason Hill
Vernal Pool Ecology and Conservation … Steve Faccio and Elizabeth Morse
Wetland Ecology and Restoration … Catherine Owen Koning
Butterfly Conservation and Ecology in the Northeast … Kent McFarland
Ecology of Vermont’s Bats … Meghan Lout
Landscape Ecology of Stream Macroinvertebrates … Sean Regalado
Moths (Lepidoptera) as Environmental Indicators … Michael Sabourin
Odonate Natural History … Bryan Pfeiffer
Pollinator Ecology … Carla Fenner
Shrubland and Grassland Bird Ecology and Conservation … Rosalind Renfrew
White-nose Syndrome in Bats of the Northeast … Craig Frank
Climate Change and Plant Migration … Jesse Bellemare
Fern Ecology … Dave Barrington and Cathy Paris
Natural History Collections: Botany … Christian Schorn
The Bowser Road Mastodon (NY): Implications about the Demise of a Species … Michael Gramly

Early registration deadline … March 12th

Deadline for discounted hotel rates … March 23rd

Make arrangements directly with Hotel Burlington and Conference Center (800-325-3535) or online for students or online for all other attendees.

Events scheduled so far.

29 Sessions
10 Field trips
2 Workshops

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Orion Environmental Writers’ Workshop

June 10 – 15, 2018
Omega Institute | Rhinebeck, NY

The country’s foremost workshop for people interested in writing about nature and culture. Now at the Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, New York.

Connect with Orion writers and editors in order to understand more deeply Orion’s approach to the relationship between literature and the natural world.

The curriculum will include faculty readings and lectures, student readings, and small group classes dedicated to poetry, fiction, and nonfiction.

Applications will open on November 15, 2017.

Visit orionmagazine.org/workshops for more information.

Questions?  Email Orion here.