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July 2021

Ferns & Lycophytes – Biodiversity University

July 24 @ 9:00 AM - July 25 @ 5:00 PM
North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602
$265

Instructed by Michael Sundue | Ferns are our constant companions in the North Woods, yet many naturalists never get to know them due to their cryptic characteristics. In this course, we'll become familiar with ferns and their allies through an exploration of their natural history, evolution, and identification. Along with the other spore-dispersed vascular plants (horsetails, clubmosses, spikemosses & quillworts), ferns are the second largest group of flora on earth, exceeded only by the seed plants. We will explore this group's wonderful diversity in the field, investigate diagnostic features, then take a closer look under the microscope back in the lab.

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August 2021

Mushrooms – Biodiversity University

August 7 @ 9:00 AM - August 8 @ 5:00 PM
North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602
$265

Instructed by Dave Muska | 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 and field experience. Topics include fungi ecology, taxonomy, field identification, morphology, edibility, toxicity, fungi as medicine, bioremediation, utilitarian function, as well as ‘best’ harvesting practices. Participants will leave the course with the foundational knowledge necessary to successfully and confidently identify mushrooms, and enjoy a greater understanding of fungi ecology and life history. All skill levels and knowledge bases are welcome.

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Wetland Sedges – Biodiversity University

August 14 @ 9:00 AM - August 15 @ 5:00 PM
North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602
$265

Instructed by Jerry Jenkins & Brett Engstrom | An introduction to the late-season sedges of marshes and shores, emphasizing structure, ecological requirements, and landscape patterns. Most sedges can be identified if you know where they live, what they look like, and what you need to see about them. This is direct identification—look, think, make your best guess, check pictures and characters if you have to... It is how we, and most professionals, identify sedges, and how we teach them.

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RiverFest

August 21 @ 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM
North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602

Cool off in the heat of summer at this community-wide, family-friendly river celebration! Visit each river access point at the nature center to partake in different activities and adventures along the North Branch.

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Coevolution with Tom Wessels – Biodiversity University

August 28 @ 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602
$125

This course will delve into the scientific principles of self-organization and coevolution. Specifically we will examine how self-organization works to create systems that are energy efficient, stable, and resilient. We will then examine how this process happens in ecosystems through evolutionary time via coevolution creating biologically diverse ecosystems with robust networks of mutually beneficial relationships. After gaining a theoretical foundation we will head into the field and examine numerous examples of coevolved, mutually beneficial interrelationships. We will then head back inside to discuss human systems from the perspective of coevolution to see ways we can create a far more sustainable future.

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September 2021

The Caterpillar Lab – Caterpillar Camps!

September 2 @ 12:30 PM - September 3 @ 5:00 PM
North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602
$40

Two-hour camps | For children ages 6-13 | Perfect for homeschoolers | Take a journey into the incredible lives of caterpillars. Part living nature museum and part wildlife safari, this hands-on exploration with The Caterpillar Lab and NBNC staff brings kids up close and personal with some of the weirdest and wildest critters in the woods. We’ll hold huge caterpillars, play hide-and-seek with caterpillars disguised as twigs and bird poop, witness metamorphosis, and adventure through the fields and forests to discover specimens in the wild.

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Friday Morning Fall Bird Walks

September 3 @ 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 9, 2021

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

Join us for a weekly morning bird walks at NBNC! Learn about bird identification, ecology, and life history during these casual strolls with staff in search of fall migratory songbirds. Registration is not required. Please be prepared to follow masking and social distancing guidelines.

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The Caterpillar Lab – Moth ID & Natural History Workshop

September 3 @ 8:30 PM - 11:59 PM
North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602
$50

The Caterpillar Lab staff will lead participants on a tour of moth taxonomy, diversity, identification, and ecology in this special, small-group workshop for naturalists. We’ll begin with a classroom overview of moth morphology and strategies for learning to identify the bewildering diversity of moths in our region. We’ll also discuss the equipment, setup, and habitats that make for successful moth stations. As the moths arrive at the lights, we’ll practice identification while turning our attention towards the life history and ecology of some of the visitors. By the end of the evening, beginners will have the foundational knowledge to recognize major moth groups, while more experienced students will gain proficiency in species identification. All participants will leave with a renewed sense of awe and wonder, and many new examples of astonishing natural history found in our moth diversity.

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The Caterpillar Lab – Public Exploration Exhibit

September 4 @ 10:00 AM - September 6 @ 5:00 PM
North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602
$10

Caterpillars take over the Nature Center! Join The Caterpillar Lab for a journey into the incredible world of New England’s native caterpillars and their habitats. This hands-on, over-the-top exhibition features open-air displays where you’ll witness rare moments of metamorphosis, mimicry, symbiosis, birth, death, deception, and wonder in a program unlike anything else! CaterpillarFest is a casual, drop-in experience. Stay for ten minutes or four hours. Photograph the caterpillars, discuss gardening for insects, observe countless species, open up cocoons with staff, or just hold a really HUGE caterpillar—choose your own caterpillar adventure! There is something for everyone from young children to seasoned naturalists and professional biologists – if you are wondering if this exhibit is appropriate for you, the answer is YES!

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The Caterpillar Lab – Caterpillars for Educators

September 5 @ 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM
North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602
$50

Bring caterpillars into your classroom and your curriculum! This workshop for PreK-12th grade teachers is an exploration of caterpillar diversity and ecology, a workshop on keeping caterpillars in the classroom, and an exploration of curricular connections that use caterpillars to meet NGSS and proficiency standards. The Caterpillar Lab’s residency at NBNC is a museum, zoo, circus, laboratory, and classroom rolled into one and directed by world-class science communicators. This workshop promises bewildering stories of natural history and zoology, practical tools and technologies for working with caterpillars in the classroom and in the field, and a learning community of other biodiversity-loving educators.

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The Caterpillar Lab – Public Moth Lighting Night

September 5 @ 8:30 PM - 11:00 PM
North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602
$10

With specialized light bulbs and a few white sheets, The Caterpillar Lab’s moth lighting station turns the NBNC quad into Vermont’s single greatest concentration of biodiversity for one special evening. The station will attract thousands of insects for us to enjoy and investigate, including hundreds of seldom-seen moth species decorated in ornate patterns and strange shapes. The Caterpillar Lab’s expert staff will guide us on a family-friendly tour of our awe-inspiring nocturnal neighbors, as we enjoy all the huge, tiny, regal, absurd, furry, shiny, gorgeous, perplexing, audacious and outrageous moths that Vermont has to offer!

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Friday Morning Fall Bird Walks

September 10 @ 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 9, 2021

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

Join us for a weekly morning bird walks at NBNC! Learn about bird identification, ecology, and life history during these casual strolls with staff in search of fall migratory songbirds. Registration is not required. Please be prepared to follow masking and social distancing guidelines.

Find out more »

Friday Morning Fall Bird Walks

September 17 @ 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 9, 2021

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

Join us for a weekly morning bird walks at NBNC! Learn about bird identification, ecology, and life history during these casual strolls with staff in search of fall migratory songbirds. Registration is not required. Please be prepared to follow masking and social distancing guidelines.

Find out more »

Robin’s Nest Nature Playgroup – Fall Session

September 21 @ 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
|Recurring Event (See all)

An event every week that begins at 10:00 AM on Tuesday, repeating until November 16, 2021

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

Robin’s Nest Nature Playgroup is a free, weekly activity for families to gather, learn, and play in nature. Guided by the idea that children need to spend ample time outdoors, we offer a community experience in the world of nature and will model ways the natural environment can be used as a tool for learning and play.

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Cape May Birding Extravaganza

September 22 @ 6:00 AM - September 26 @ 6:00 PM
Cape May Point Cape May, NJ United States
$1750

Join Chip Darmstadt to explore this extraordinary birdwatching paradise during one of its most exciting times to visit. With over 430 total species observed, and over 330 species seen this time of year, Cape May is home some of the greatest avian biodiversity in the northeast. Early September in Cape May offers a bit of everything: migratory songbirds in the shrubs and forests, migratory birds of prey cruising overhead, and migratory shorebirds along the beaches and backwaters. Wading birds stalk the saltmarshes, while waterfowl and seldom-seen pelagic birds float on the open ocean. Though less than a day’s drive from NBNC, Cape May is a whole new and exciting world of birds rarely if ever encountered in Vermont!

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Friday Morning Fall Bird Walks

September 24 @ 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 9, 2021

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

Join us for a weekly morning bird walks at NBNC! Learn about bird identification, ecology, and life history during these casual strolls with staff in search of fall migratory songbirds. Registration is not required. Please be prepared to follow masking and social distancing guidelines.

Find out more »

Robin’s Nest Nature Playgroup – Fall Session

September 28 @ 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
|Recurring Event (See all)

An event every week that begins at 10:00 AM on Tuesday, repeating until November 16, 2021

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

Robin’s Nest Nature Playgroup is a free, weekly activity for families to gather, learn, and play in nature. Guided by the idea that children need to spend ample time outdoors, we offer a community experience in the world of nature and will model ways the natural environment can be used as a tool for learning and play.

Find out more »

October 2021

Friday Morning Fall Bird Walks

October 1 @ 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 9, 2021

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

Join us for a weekly morning bird walks at NBNC! Learn about bird identification, ecology, and life history during these casual strolls with staff in search of fall migratory songbirds. Registration is not required. Please be prepared to follow masking and social distancing guidelines.

Find out more »

Robin’s Nest Nature Playgroup – Fall Session

October 5 @ 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
|Recurring Event (See all)

An event every week that begins at 10:00 AM on Tuesday, repeating until November 16, 2021

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

Robin’s Nest Nature Playgroup is a free, weekly activity for families to gather, learn, and play in nature. Guided by the idea that children need to spend ample time outdoors, we offer a community experience in the world of nature and will model ways the natural environment can be used as a tool for learning and play.

Find out more »

Friday Morning Fall Bird Walks

October 8 @ 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 9, 2021

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

Join us for a weekly morning bird walks at NBNC! Learn about bird identification, ecology, and life history during these casual strolls with staff in search of fall migratory songbirds. Registration is not required. Please be prepared to follow masking and social distancing guidelines.

Find out more »

Saw-whet Owl Banding Demonstration

October 9 @ 8:00 PM - 9:30 PM
North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602

NBNC is part of a national network of scientists working to better understand the migration of the Northern Saw-whet Owl, a common yet elusive member of our Vermont forests. Join NBNC biologists as they capture, tag, and release these pint-sized owls. NBNC naturalists and educators will also discuss the highlights of recent research here and across the country, then share what’s been discovered about this mysterious little predator. Open to all ages.

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Robin’s Nest Nature Playgroup – Fall Session

October 12 @ 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
|Recurring Event (See all)

An event every week that begins at 10:00 AM on Tuesday, repeating until November 16, 2021

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

Robin’s Nest Nature Playgroup is a free, weekly activity for families to gather, learn, and play in nature. Guided by the idea that children need to spend ample time outdoors, we offer a community experience in the world of nature and will model ways the natural environment can be used as a tool for learning and play.

Find out more »

Saw-whet Owl Banding Demonstration

October 18 @ 8:00 PM - 9:30 PM
North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602

Monday, October 18 8 – 9:30 pm Registration required | Admission by donation (of any amount) at the door NBNC is part of a national network of scientists working to better understand the migration of the Northern Saw-whet Owl, a common yet elusive member of our Vermont forests. Join NBNC biologists as they capture, tag, and release these pint-sized owls. NBNC naturalists and educators will also discuss the highlights of recent research here and across the country, then share what’s…

Find out more »

Robin’s Nest Nature Playgroup – Fall Session

October 19 @ 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
|Recurring Event (See all)

An event every week that begins at 10:00 AM on Tuesday, repeating until November 16, 2021

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

Robin’s Nest Nature Playgroup is a free, weekly activity for families to gather, learn, and play in nature. Guided by the idea that children need to spend ample time outdoors, we offer a community experience in the world of nature and will model ways the natural environment can be used as a tool for learning and play.

Find out more »
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