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July 2020

Online Course: Bees of the Northeast with Spencer Hardy

July 1 - August 31
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 - August 31
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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(In-Person) BioU: Field Herpetology

July 11 @ 9:00 AM - July 12 @ 5:00 PM
North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602
$265

Amphibians are among one of the most imperiled groups of animals on earth and many reptile species are in sharp decline, even here in Vermont. Increasingly, reptiles and amphibians are receiving attention from state, federal, and non-profit conservation organizations, so knowledge of and experience with these secretive animals can be an asset in the fields of ecology, conservation, and education. Throughout this two-day course, participants will learn about the almost 30 species of frog, salamander, snake, and turtle found in Northeastern Vermont, including how to identify them, their ecology, habitat requirements, and the methodology used by biologists to sample their populations. The course will include a combination of active searches, standardized surveys, catch-and-release trapping, radio telemetry, and educational presentations such that participants become confident in their ability to identify each species occurring in Northeast Vermont, what their conservation needs and threats are, and some of the methods used by professionals to study their populations in the wild.

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(In-Person) BioU: Freshwater Macroinvertebrates

July 18 @ 9:00 AM - July 19 @ 5:00 PM
North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602
$265

In this course we will explore the major invertebrate groups found in freshwater habitats. We will cover the ecology and differences between aquatic habitats. This is a hands-on course that will include instruction in a range of field sampling techniques and sample processing. Using preserved samples, and samples collected during the course, we will cover all of the major taxonomic groups of aquatic invertebrates to the family level, and pursue a subset to the genus level. Lab work will include microscopy and identification using a range of resources.  By the end of this course you should be familiar with the common macroinvertebrate orders at a glance, and have the taxonomic tools at your fingertips to identify whatever you may encounter.

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August 2020

(In Person) Tracks & Sign of Insects and Other Invertebrates w/ Charley Eiseman

August 15 @ 8:00 AM - August 16 @ 5:00 PM
North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602
$265

This course addresses the full spectrum of topics covered in the book by the same name, with an emphasis on signs found on plants. We will explore nearby habitats in search of leaf mines and other feeding sign, galls, eggs and egg cases, cocoons, nests, webs, burrows, and other objects and patterns created by insects, arachnids, snails, worms, etc. In the process of identifying these features we will discuss the life histories and ecology of numerous species.

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September 2020

Friday Morning Fall Bird Walks (Encore!)

September 4 @ 7:30 AM - 9:00 AM
|Recurring Event (See all)

An event every week that begins at 7:30 AM on Friday, repeating until October 3, 2020

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

Our traditional weekly morning bird walks are back! Learn about bird identification, ecology, and life history during these casual strolls with staff in search of fall migratory songbirds. Registration is not required, but masks and social distancing are! Group size is limited, and your flexibility is appreciated to ensure the safety of all participants. Participants must fill out a short health screening upon arrival.

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Friday Morning Fall Bird Walks (Encore!)

September 11 @ 7:30 AM - 9:00 AM
|Recurring Event (See all)

An event every week that begins at 7:30 AM on Friday, repeating until October 3, 2020

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

Our traditional weekly morning bird walks are back! Learn about bird identification, ecology, and life history during these casual strolls with staff in search of fall migratory songbirds. Registration is not required, but masks and social distancing are! Group size is limited, and your flexibility is appreciated to ensure the safety of all participants. Participants must fill out a short health screening upon arrival.

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(In-Person) Slow Birding: Reconnecting with Nature and Self w/ Bridget Butler

September 12 @ 9:00 AM - September 13 @ 5:00 PM
North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602
$265

Sounds a bit strange, “slow birding.” Watching birds isn’t really fast in the first place and the pace of a birder in the field is already slow and methodical. But, it is possible to change how we approach traditional birding and what we get out of it. Slow Birding is a practice that builds a deeper observation of birds while at the same time creating a deeper connection to your self and the place you live.

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Friday Morning Fall Bird Walks (Encore!)

September 18 @ 7:30 AM - 9:00 AM
|Recurring Event (See all)

An event every week that begins at 7:30 AM on Friday, repeating until October 3, 2020

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

Our traditional weekly morning bird walks are back! Learn about bird identification, ecology, and life history during these casual strolls with staff in search of fall migratory songbirds. Registration is not required, but masks and social distancing are! Group size is limited, and your flexibility is appreciated to ensure the safety of all participants. Participants must fill out a short health screening upon arrival.

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ECO Homeschool Program

September 21 @ 8:30 AM - 11:30 AM
North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602
$255

Knowing that more students will be learning from home this school year, we are glad to announce our new ECO Homeschool program. Each Monday, the woods and fields of North Branch Nature Center will be our classroom, where students will learn by doing, using all five senses to engage with the landscape through standards-based lessons led by ECO Teacher-Naturalist Dave Muska. Each session will consist of games, songs, stories, and activities that are designed to help students directly engage with the land and what lives on it.  

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Friday Morning Fall Bird Walks (Encore!)

September 25 @ 7:30 AM - 9:00 AM
|Recurring Event (See all)

An event every week that begins at 7:30 AM on Friday, repeating until October 3, 2020

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

Our traditional weekly morning bird walks are back! Learn about bird identification, ecology, and life history during these casual strolls with staff in search of fall migratory songbirds. Registration is not required, but masks and social distancing are! Group size is limited, and your flexibility is appreciated to ensure the safety of all participants. Participants must fill out a short health screening upon arrival.

Find out more »

(in person) Mushrooms: Field Identification and Fungal Ecology w/ Dave Muska

September 26 @ 9:00 AM - September 27 @ 5:00 PM
North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602
$265

Biodiversity University - Mushrooms: Field Identification and Fungal Ecology Instructors: Dave Muska September 26 - 27 | $265 Course size: 8-10 students Mushrooms have fascinated and mystified humankind for ages. From ancient origin stories and shamanic practice to modern systematic analysis, fungi intrigue us culturally, medicinally, and scientifically. In this course, participants will explore the diversity and ecological importance of the kingdom of fungi. Over this two-day course, participants will learn the fundamentals of mushroom identification through a combination of classroom…

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October 2020

Friday Morning Fall Bird Walks (Encore!)

October 2 @ 7:30 AM - 9:00 AM
|Recurring Event (See all)

An event every week that begins at 7:30 AM on Friday, repeating until October 3, 2020

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

Our traditional weekly morning bird walks are back! Learn about bird identification, ecology, and life history during these casual strolls with staff in search of fall migratory songbirds. Registration is not required, but masks and social distancing are! Group size is limited, and your flexibility is appreciated to ensure the safety of all participants. Participants must fill out a short health screening upon arrival.

Find out more »

“Mushroom Mondays” with Dave Muska

October 5 @ 4:00 PM - 5:30 PM
|Recurring Event (See all)

An event every week that begins at 4:00 PM on Monday, repeating until October 26, 2020

North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602
$10

Join NBNC Teacher/Naturalist and expert mycologist Dave Muska on a casual foray around the property in search of all things fungi and mushrooms. Learn about fungi identification, ecology, symbioses, edibility, and life history in these relaxed, afternoon field walks. Pre-registration is required.

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“Mushroom Mondays” with Dave Muska

October 12 @ 4:00 PM - 5:30 PM
|Recurring Event (See all)

An event every week that begins at 4:00 PM on Monday, repeating until October 26, 2020

North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602
$10

Join NBNC Teacher/Naturalist and expert mycologist Dave Muska on a casual foray around the property in search of all things fungi and mushrooms. Learn about fungi identification, ecology, symbioses, edibility, and life history in these relaxed, afternoon field walks. Pre-registration is required.

Find out more »

Owl Banding Livestream Event

October 15 @ 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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“Mushroom Mondays” with Dave Muska

October 19 @ 4:00 PM - 5:30 PM
|Recurring Event (See all)

An event every week that begins at 4:00 PM on Monday, repeating until October 26, 2020

North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602
$10

Join NBNC Teacher/Naturalist and expert mycologist Dave Muska on a casual foray around the property in search of all things fungi and mushrooms. Learn about fungi identification, ecology, symbioses, edibility, and life history in these relaxed, afternoon field walks. Pre-registration is required.

Find out more »

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

October 21 @ 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 @ 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!

Find out more »

“Mushroom Mondays” with Dave Muska

October 26 @ 4:00 PM - 5:30 PM
|Recurring Event (See all)

An event every week that begins at 4:00 PM on Monday, repeating until October 26, 2020

North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602
$10

Join NBNC Teacher/Naturalist and expert mycologist Dave Muska on a casual foray around the property in search of all things fungi and mushrooms. Learn about fungi identification, ecology, symbioses, edibility, and life history in these relaxed, afternoon field walks. Pre-registration is required.

Find out more »

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

October 28 @ 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 @ 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 @ 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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Gulls Demystified with Bryan Pfeiffer – Naturalist Journeys Online Presentation Series

November 20 @ 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602

Gulls Demystified - Presented by Bryan Pfeiffer Friday, November 20 | 7 - 8:30 pm FREE | Live via ZOOM | Join at: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85716943263 They are among the most successful birds on the planet, living everywhere from the polar regions to parking lots. Yet even as they pose for us in plain sight, gulls can be notoriously hard to identify. With Bryan’s images, videos, exuberance and strategies, you’ll be enjoying gulls this winter like never before. And his identification system will guide…

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