Patterns Across Nature – Drawing Class with Rachel Mirus

North Branch Nature Center 713 Elm Street, Montpelier, Vermont

A four-part drawing class | Thursday evenings in February at NBNC | This course mixes observational and creative drawing to explore common natural patterns, starting with sketching exercises to build the observation skills that are foundational for both artists and naturalists, then moving into playful and imaginative art making.

$95

Winter Discovery Hike for Families

North Branch Nature Center 713 Elm Street, Montpelier, Vermont

Come explore nature in a new way! Imagine yourself as an ant and take a "microscopic" hike into the leaf litter. Explore your sense of touch by "meeting a tree." Expand your sense of hearing by adopting "deer ears" in the forest. Test your hiding skills with the game of camouflage. Families will connect with one another and with the natural world in these fun and engaging programs led by NBNC Teacher-Naturalist Fiona Modrak.

The Spread of Deer Ticks in North America with Lucas Price (IN-PERSON)

North Branch Nature Center 713 Elm Street, Montpelier, Vermont

(IN PERSON) | Black-legged ticks are the primary tick species responsible for spreading Borrelia burgdorferi, the bacterium that causes Lyme disease, in the northeastern United States. This talk will provide an overview of the tick life cycle, how ticks obtain and spread pathogens, and what habitats they live in.

The Wolves and Moose of Isle Royale with Ky and Lisa Koitzsch (IN-PERSON)

North Branch Nature Center 713 Elm Street, Montpelier, Vermont

(IN PERSON) | Join wildlife biologists Ky and Lisa Koitzsch as they share their experiences studying wolves and moose in Isle Royale National Park. Isle Royale is a remote island wilderness located 15 miles from the shores of Ontario and Minnesota in the frigid waters of Lake Superior.

Intermediate Winter Wildlife Tracking

North Branch Nature Center 713 Elm Street, Montpelier, Vermont

Join NBNC naturalist and wildlife tracker Dave Muska for a full day of tracking and trailing wildlife, aimed at participants already holding some basic knowledge of track and sign identification. We'll start in the classroom to review the tracks, gaits, habitats, and signs of species we might encounter on the late winter landscape. We'll then head out on the land to search for sign and explore the who, what, where, when, why and how of animal tracks.

Winter Willows – Nature Retreat in the Northeast Kingdom

North Branch Nature Center 713 Elm Street, Montpelier, Vermont

**For children in 6th through 8th grade who identify as girls, nonbinary, genderqueer, and/or trans.** Explore what it means to live on and with the land in the winter wonderland of the Nulhegan Basin!  Our experience will be tailored to the interests of participants.  Activities could include: tool crafting, weaving, dream pillow making, animal tracking, fire by friction, snowshoeing or skiing in the woods, cooking on the wood stove or fire, and star gazing. This two-night retreat will have us exploring the snowy wonderland by day, and relaxing fireside in a warm and cozy winter cabin by night.

Winter Tree Identification with Jonathan Shapiro

North Branch Nature Center 713 Elm Street, Montpelier, Vermont

Learning to identify trees can be a powerful way to connect to your local landscape. They are big, charismatic, and always around us, and knowing who they are provides a baseline of ecological understanding for the rest of our surroundings. Join Jonathan Shapiro of Fox Paw School for a dive into tree ID, focusing on a pattern-based approach that we are hardwired to understand.

$50

Vermont’s Wild Bees: past, present, and future with Spencer Hardy (IN-PERSON)

North Branch Nature Center 713 Elm Street, Montpelier, Vermont

(IN PERSON) | The new State of Vermont's Bees provides the first detailed look at the conservation status and needs of these important pollinators. Included in this presentation will be advice and suggestions for improving the habitat in your community, through both consumer decisions and land management. 

SOLO Wilderness First Aid Course

North Branch Nature Center 713 Elm Street, Montpelier, Vermont

March 11 - 12 9 am - 5 pm | $225 Group Size: 20 max | Ages 18+ | Register Here This 16 hour, 2-Day entry-level course is ideal for outdoor enthusiasts looking for basic first aid training and backcountry medical skills. Led by a SOLO instructor, this course will cover topics from response and…

$225

North Branch Nature Center’s History on the Land with Samantha Ford (IN-PERSON)

North Branch Nature Center 713 Elm Street, Montpelier, Vermont

(IN PERSON) | Uncover the history of the historic farmhouse and farm that North Branch Nature Center calls home. Learn how to read the landscape to reveal history hidden in plain sight. Peel back the layers of time with landscape historian Samantha Ford of Turn Stone Research to learn how past generations have shaped the land at the NBNC property.

Seabirding Trip to Cape Ann, MA

North Branch Nature Center 713 Elm Street, Montpelier, Vermont

Cape Ann, Massachusetts, is a worldwide destination for winter birds and birders. This annual winter adventure is an outstanding opportunity to spend quality time with seabirds along the Atlantic coast. This trip is about watching, enjoying, and studying seabirds among a community of like-minded nature lovers under the leadership of a first-class guide and educator. Led by Chip Darmstadt.

$475

Amphibian Road Crossing Program – Ecology & Training Night

North Branch Nature Center 713 Elm Street, Montpelier, Vermont

Find out how you can help Vermont’s frogs and salamanders safely cross the road during their annual spring movements. Did you know that Wood Frogs freeze solid all winter long? Did you know that Eastern Red-backed Salamanders are the most common vertebrate in the whole forest? Tonight will also feature a dive into the amazing ecology and life history of these semi-aquatic critters.

The Great Texas Birding Adventure

North Branch Nature Center 713 Elm Street, Montpelier, Vermont

The Lower Rio Grande Valley in southern Texas is home to a breathtaking diversity of birds, with the breeding ranges of many just barely extending their range into the United States. From Aplomado Falcon and Buff-bellied Hummingbird to Vermillion Flycatcher and Green Jay, we’ll see resident species as well as plentiful spring migrants.

$2850

Amphibians of Vernal Pools – Biodiversity University

North Branch Nature Center 713 Elm Street, Montpelier, Vermont

This course is an introduction to vernal pools, with a particular focus on identification and natural history of the frogs and salamanders that breed in them.

$285

Cape May Spring Migration- Northeast Birdwatcher’s Paradise

North Branch Nature Center 713 Elm Street, Montpelier, Vermont

Birding in Cape May and southern New Jersey during spring migration is legendary! With over 430 total species observed, and over 330 species seen this time of year, Cape May is home to some of the greatest avian biodiversity in the northeast. May in southern New Jersey offers an abundance of everything: migratory warblers in the shrubs and forests, birds of prey cruising overhead, and shorebirds along the beaches and backwaters.

$1675

Natural History of the North Woods with Jonathan Shapiro

North Branch Nature Center 713 Elm Street, Montpelier, Vermont

We live at the meeting point of two forest biomes: the boreal forest stretches north to the tundra, and the temperate deciduous forest extends south to the gulf of Mexico. Where these two great forests overlap is called the North Woods, a unique and diverse area with its own distinct and fascinating character. This overlap zone has a strong influence on the tree, bird, and mammal species here in Central Vermont. By applying the North Woods lens to our landscape, we can better understand patterns of plant distribution and animal behavior.

Woody Plants – Biodiversity University & Northern Forest Atlas

North Branch Nature Center 713 Elm Street, Montpelier, Vermont

Woody plants—trees, shrubs, vines, creepers—are, to us, the key to understanding habitats, ecological patterns, and plant geography. This is an introductory course covering about 40 common species: how they grow, leaf, flower, and fruit; how to distinguish them and their habitats in the field; and how to use the Northern Forest Atlas photoguide and digital Atlas to confirm them.

$285

Glacial Geology of the Champlain Valley – Biodiversity University

North Branch Nature Center 713 Elm Street, Montpelier, Vermont

This class visits multiple field sites to explore key aspects of Vermont’s glacial geologic history. In particular, we will observe a variety of landforms and sediments in the Burlington and Richmond area, focusing on the different geologic processes that yielded these formations. 

$285

Plant Geography of a Granite Hill – A Northern Forest Atlas Day Course

North Branch Nature Center 713 Elm Street, Montpelier, Vermont

Drew Mountain is the Granite Hills of Groton State Park, which are an igneous pluton intruded into the Devonian Waits-River sediments. The granite is hard and acid, the Waits softer and limy. The plants are an unusual combination, reflecting both influences. We will focus on the woody plants as a key to understanding the habitat, and add some interesting grasses, sedges, and herbs as details. A Northern Forest Atlas course hosted by NBNC's Biodiversity University.

$110

Reading the Landscape – Biodiversity University

North Branch Nature Center 713 Elm Street, Montpelier, Vermont

Reading the Landscape & Telling the Story is designed to acquaint you with Vermont landscapes in the Champlain Valley and to provide you with an integrative framework for reading the land here and around the world. This framework explores an understanding of the pieces, patterns, and processes that shape the natural world.

$285

Summer Tree Identification with Jonathan Shapiro

North Branch Nature Center 713 Elm Street, Montpelier, Vermont

Learning to identify trees can be a powerful way to connect to your local landscape. They are big, charismatic, and always around us, and knowing who they are provides a baseline of ecological understanding for the rest of our surroundings. Join Jonathan Shapiro of Fox Paw School for a dive into tree ID, focusing on a pattern-based approach that we are hardwired to understand. We'll talk about tree silhouettes, branching patterns, leaf shapes, bark, and more, and you'll leave with the observational skills to learn not only trees, but the rest of your landscape as well. By meeting in three different seasons, we'll have the opportunity to see how trees' lives change throughout the cycle of the year, and how they fit into the broader ecological context of our North Woods home.

$50

Botanical Illustration – Biodiversity University

North Branch Nature Center 713 Elm Street, Montpelier, Vermont

This class will focus on botanical illustrations at all scales, from the whole plant down to its smallest parts. At times we’ll practice with magnification, measurements, maps, and diagrams to expand our techniques. We’ll work primarily with graphite pencils and technical pens, and move into watercolor and colored pencils on our final day together.

$385

Slow Birding – Biodiversity University

North Branch Nature Center 713 Elm Street, Montpelier, Vermont

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 yourself and the place you live.

$285

Mosses and the Dry-rich Community – A Northern Forest Atlas Day Course

North Branch Nature Center 713 Elm Street, Montpelier, Vermont

Quarry Hill is a dry low-elevation marble hill with an exceptionally diverse flora. Marble hills rare in the Northern Forest Region. Some of the best are in western New England. This one, which has been famous botanically since the early 1900s, is one of the best of the best. We will focus on limestone mosses and also look at some distinctive woody plants, herbs, and indicators. A Northern Forest Atlas day course hosted by NBNC's Biodiversity University.

$110

Old Forest Ecology – Biodiversity University

North Branch Nature Center 713 Elm Street, Montpelier, Vermont

The course will provide an introduction to old forests, including their forms, functions, and inhabitants. Each day will explore an old forest field site in Northern Vermont, combined with time back at NBNC to share slides and discuss concepts in a classroom setting.

$285

The Shores of the Winooski – A Northern Forest Atlas Day Course

North Branch Nature Center 713 Elm Street, Montpelier, Vermont

A one-day course in low-water and floodplain grasses, sedges, and woodies along the lower Winooski River. Vermont has about forty species of late-blooming sedges (mostly), rushes (a few) and grasses (even fewer) that are best sought on river and lake shores in late summer and fall. They are a distinctive and fascinating flora; the lower Winooski is one of the best places to find them and learn them. A Northern Forest Atlas day course hosted by NBNC's Biodiversity University.

$110

Mushroom ID and Ecology – Biodiversity University

North Branch Nature Center 713 Elm Street, Montpelier, Vermont

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.

$285

Fall Tree Identification with Jonathan Shapiro

North Branch Nature Center 713 Elm Street, Montpelier, Vermont

Learning to identify trees can be a powerful way to connect to your local landscape. They are big, charismatic, and always around us, and knowing who they are provides a baseline of ecological understanding for the rest of our surroundings. Join Jonathan Shapiro of Fox Paw School for a dive into tree ID, focusing on a pattern-based approach that we are hardwired to understand. We'll talk about tree silhouettes, branching patterns, leaf shapes, bark, and more, and you'll leave with the observational skills to learn not only trees, but the rest of your landscape as well. By meeting in three different seasons, we'll have the opportunity to see how trees' lives change throughout the cycle of the year, and how they fit into the broader ecological context of our North Woods home.

$50