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July 2020

Online Course: Bees of the Northeast with Spencer Hardy

July 1, 2020 - August 31, 2020
North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602
$75

With over 300 species in Vermont, bees are so much more than the source of honey. This course will introduce you to a mindblowing diversity of shapes, sizes, and life histories found in almost any habitat. While most species can only be identified by using a microscope, we will focus on the species and groups that are relatively distinctive to the naked eye. By the end of the course, participants should be able to identify most bees to the genus level, which is certainly not a common skill! Guided field challenges will be based on the flowers and bees currently active. With so little known about the distribution of some of these species, it's definitely possible to find new state records right in your own backyard!

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Online Course: Kingdom Fungi with Dave Muska

July 1, 2020 - August 31, 2020
North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602
$75

The world of fungi is both fascinating and mysterious. Fungi are equipped to succeed in some of the earth’s most unique and challenging environments. They have captivated human imagination and inquiry, and their existence has intimately shaped life on earth. In this class you will be introduced to the ecological roles that fungi play globally and within ecosystems here in the northeast.  We will cover major taxonomies of common mushrooms and the skills necessary for mushroom identification in the field.  Each unit will also spotlight some local and common mushrooms you are sure to run across.

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October 2020

Owl Banding Livestream Event

October 15, 2020 @ 8:00 PM - 9:00 PM
|Recurring Event (See all)

One event on October 23, 2020 at 8:00 PM

North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602

Take a virtual visit to North Branch Nature Center's owl research station! Each fall, NBNC researchers capture, tag, measure, and safely release the fierce yet tiny Northern Saw-whet Owl on its nocturnal migration through Central Vermont. During this livestream, researchers will discuss their research methods and explain owl ecology, migration, and life history. With a little luck and favorable winds, our researchers can expect anywhere from one to twenty saw-whets to visit the station during the peak of their October migration season. Have all your owl questions answered by our staff, and learn how to adopt an owl this fall!

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Turning Stones: Exploring Aquatic Invertebrates with Declan McCabe – Naturalist Journeys Online Presentation Series

October 21, 2020 @ 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM
North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602

We’ll explore the ecology and basic identification of freshwater macroinvertebrates and where to see them. The talk will cover inexpensive and home-made sampling gear, and the major groups of macroinvertebrates commonly found in Vermont’s streams, ponds, and Lake Champlain. Sampling techniques for biomonitoring and/or teaching will be covered. The talk will include information of value for parents, teachers, fly anglers, and nature study fans. This talk is sponsored in part by Vermont EPSCoR.

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Owl Banding Livestream Event

October 23, 2020 @ 8:00 PM - 9:00 PM
|Recurring Event (See all)

One event on October 23, 2020 at 8:00 PM

North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602

Take a virtual visit to North Branch Nature Center's owl research station! Each fall, NBNC researchers capture, tag, measure, and safely release the fierce yet tiny Northern Saw-whet Owl on its nocturnal migration through Central Vermont. During this livestream, researchers will discuss their research methods and explain owl ecology, migration, and life history. With a little luck and favorable winds, our researchers can expect anywhere from one to twenty saw-whets to visit the station during the peak of their October migration season. Have all your owl questions answered by our staff, and learn how to adopt an owl this fall!

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Fishes of Vermont: Confessions of an Ichthyologist with Doug Facey – Naturalist Journeys Online Presentation Series

October 28, 2020 @ 5:00 PM - 6:00 PM
North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602

We will take a brief tour of some of the major groups of fishes of Vermont, including discussions of diversity, biology, and ecology of some of these groups.  Why does Vermont have more species of freshwater fishes than other New England states? Which fish in Vermont is born in the Sargasso Sea? Which is carefully described in Samuel de Champlain’s diary? Which fish have a lung-like structure that allows them to breathe air? Join us for answers to these and other fishy questions.

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November 2020

Macrophotography: A Naturalist’s Perspective with Joseph Saunders – Naturalist Journeys Online Presentation Series

November 11, 2020 @ 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM
North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602

Macrophotography: A Naturalist's Perspective Presented by Joseph Saunders of Para Herpetologica November 11th | 7 - 8 PM (Eastern) Free | Live via ZOOM: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86151252811 In this presentation, Joseph will give you a new perspective and appreciation for the macrofauna of our world. Through his experiences as a naturalist and photographer, Joseph will empower you with the tools and techniques to better notice, appreciate, observe, and photograph the minuscule in nature. He'll share camera settings, knowledge of animal behavior, tips…

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Wild Apples: making the most of the feral apple harvest with Matt Kaminsky – Naturalist Journeys Online Presentation Series

November 18, 2020 @ 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM
North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602

In this presentation we will discuss the history and resource of wild apple trees and the many forms that Malus manifests in. This workshop is aimed at giving audience members a background to what exactly makes an apple "wild," and we'll touch on techniques for how to identify, effectively harvest, assess and grade, and steward & perpetuate the bountiful gift of wild apples in our landscape.

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December 2020

Slugs, Seed Dispersers, & Stone Walls: Community Ecology of Northeastern Herbaceous Flora with Nathan Kiel – Naturalist Journeys Online Presentation Series

December 2, 2020 @ 5:00 PM - 6:00 PM
North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602

Every spring, naturalists seek the friendly faces of Spring Beauty, Red Trillium, and Bloodroot as symbols of warming temperatures and lengthening days. These dense carpets of herbaceous plants  in the forest floor comprise the majority of vascular plant biodiversity in the north woods. Yet past agricultural activity and other contemporary factors have left many modern forests without these plants, and with little opportunity for natural reestablishment. In this presentation, learn about the little-known ecosystem of dispersers, pollinators, seed thieves, and the other characters involved in the ecology of spring ephemerals. We'll discuss factors affecting plant distribution on the landscape, and explore current research and restoration initiatives around eastern forests.

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Online Course: Winter Ecology with Jason Mazurowski

December 8, 2020 - December 22, 2020
North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602
$60

This course is designed for those who wish to embrace the cold — to explore, understand, and appreciate the winter world. Students will learn how to read the winter landscape, explore ice age relics clinging to alpine summits, decipher animal tracks, tackle the challenge of winter tree ID, and discuss the implications of Lake Champlain’s warming waters.

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From ‘Sangers to Sochan: Plant Gathering in the Southern Appalachian National Parks with Maria Dunlavey – Naturalist Journeys Online Presentation Series

December 9, 2020 @ 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM
North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602

In the botanical wonderland of the Southern Appalachians, plant poaching is a very real threat. It's also a reflection of how important plants are to the people who live here — providing food, medicine, and income, not to mention cultural connection and belonging, for everyone ranging from the Cherokee to white settlers to newly arrived immigrants. But overharvest threatens to wipe out some species, like ginseng and ramps, even on the protected landscapes of the national parks. How can the parks keep their plant populations safe? And is there any role for cultural harvest inside their boundaries?

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January 2021

Online Course: Bugs in Winter with Charley Eiseman

January 3, 2021 @ 12:00 AM - January 5, 2021 @ 12:00 AM
North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602

Explore the different strategies insects and other arthropods have for surviving the winter. Each species has one life stage that overwinters, which may be the adult, egg, larva/nymph, or pupa. Each unit will focus on one of these life stages, including examples of species that can be found out in the open all winter as well as some that are hidden from view.

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Birdsong for the Curious Naturalist with Donald Kroodsma – Naturalist Journeys Online Presentation Series

January 13, 2021 @ 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM
North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602

Once you are attuned, every singing bird becomes interesting. There’s never “just a robin,” for example, or chipping sparrow, or whatever it is that you’re listening to. No, there’s more to be heard-- something beyond the ID that can forever captivate the curious listener. As a result, you’re never “done” with birds, never done listening to the most common of birds, such as . . . robins, thrushes, sparrows, chickadees, blackbirds, buntings, starlings, mockingbirds, thrashers, tanagers, wrens, grosbeaks, cardinals, and, oh my, warblers galore . . . you name it. Not a bad bird anywhere. Each one captivating. Somehow, sadly, we’ll have to limit the number of performers to fit into the confines of the allotted time.

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Winter Naturalist Virtual Lunch Hangout

January 18, 2021 @ 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
|Recurring Event (See all)

One event on February 15, 2021 at 12:00 PM

One event on March 15, 2021 at 12:00 PM

North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602

Need a break? Join NBNC naturalists for a casual, lunchtime virtual gathering to swap nature notes, ponder wildlife sightings, explore questions, and spend time with like-minded nature lovers. We'll see you there!

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Birds, Bees, Bats, and Bugs: Why Animals Make and Use Sound with Laurel Symes – Naturalist Journeys Online Presentation Series (Date/Time Change!)

January 27, 2021 @ 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM
North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602

This engaging and accessible presentation will delve into the world of animal sound to explore how and why animals produce sound. Using examples from crickets to whales, we will discuss animal sounds that are too fast for us to follow, sounds that are too high for us to hear, and sounds that take hours or days to finish. The talk will include many opportunities to listen to animal sound and will include examples from far away and close to home.

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February 2021

Winter Naturalist Virtual Lunch Hangout

February 15, 2021 @ 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
|Recurring Event (See all)

One event on February 15, 2021 at 12:00 PM

One event on March 15, 2021 at 12:00 PM

North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602

Need a break? Join NBNC naturalists for a casual, lunchtime virtual gathering to swap nature notes, ponder wildlife sightings, explore questions, and spend time with like-minded nature lovers. We'll see you there!

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Owls of Vermont – A Virtual Presentation

February 26, 2021 @ 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM
North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602

People worldwide have long been captivated by owls, though the intimate details of their lives go unnoticed by most, held secret by the night. Vermont is home to a diverse cadre of owl species including fearsome nocturnal predators, iconic visitors from the high arctic, and stealthy migrants who pass through our backyards by the hundreds. We will explore the unique position owls hold in both our culture and our ecosystems, and learn ways to detect and protect these enigmatic creatures.

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March 2021

What’s in a Name? – Learning to see and identify bird subspecies (online presentation)

March 3, 2021 @ 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM
North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602

We can all identify a cardinal - but can you tell the difference between an Arizonan Northern Cardinal from one at your feeder? Learn what subspecies are common in Vermont, how to identify them, and how it can be rewarding to see and hear backyard (and back of the mountain) birds with a closer lens.

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