Trainings

 

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Community Wildlife Program
Webinars & Trainings

Browse our current WEBINARS

Browse our current TRAININGS

Watch recorded webinars on our RESOURCES page. 

 

To Register for Webinars and Trainings:
Click on the "REGISTER" text next to each posted session. You will be redirected to Eventbrite to sign up for your free tickets. Once you have completed the registration form, you will receive an email from Eventbrite marked "Order Confirmation" that includes the link you will need to join the online session. Save your Order Confirmation email. There is a section within that email titled "Additional Information" which contains a link that says "Click here to join the meeting." Click on that link to start the webinar or training. You will also receive reminder emails from Eventbrite in the days leading up to your event. Please use Chrome or Edge as your internet browser, as these events are not fully supported on Firefox, Safari, or other internet browser types. 

 

Webinars

All sessions of our webinars are live online events that last approximately one hour and offer participants a chance to learn and ask questions to natural resources experts. Webinars are recorded and added to our online resource library.

 

Starting Your Town Conservation Fund

Did you know that towns can establish dedicated funds to pay for conservation? Join Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department's Community Wildlife Program to learn about what it takes to start a Conservation Fund, where the money comes from, and what to do with yours. We'll share useful tips, inspiring project stories from other towns, and help launch you towards realizing your town's conservation aspirations. This webinar is intended for Vermonters serving on town boards and municipal staff, and is hosted in partnership with the Vermont Association of Conservation Commissions (AVCC).

Presenters: 
Jens Hilke, Conservation Planner, VT Fish and Wildlife Department 
Andy Wood, Conservation Planner, VT Fish and Wildlife Department 

Repeat sessions of this webinar will be offered on the following two dates: 

Session 1: Thursday, October 7, 2021 10:00am - 11:00am

Session 2: Thursday, December 2, 2021 1:00pm - 2:00pm REGISTER

 

 

Natural Resources Inventories

For towns, organizations, and landowners looking to better understand their land, conducting a Natural Resources Inventory is a great place to start.  Whether you are interested in wildlife, wetlands, or forest blocks, a natural resources inventory can help you identify what matters most and where it occurs on the landscape. Join Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department's Community Wildlife Program to learn how you can effectively kickstart this process and get the most out of your time and resources. This webinar is intended for Vermonters serving on town boards, municipal staff, conservation organizations, and interested Vermonters, and is hosted in partnership with the Vermont Association of Conservation Commissions (AVCC).

Presenters: 
Jens Hilke, Conservation Planner, VT Fish and Wildlife Department 
Andy Wood, Conservation Planner, VT Fish and Wildlife Department 

Friday, October 15, 2021 11:00am - 12:00pm

 

 

The River Corridor, Floodplains, and Riparian Habitat

The network of streams and rivers across Vermont is critically important for climate resilience. These places are dynamic systems, constantly changing and home to incredible biological diversity as well as many other functions and values. In this collaborative presentation, join a panel of planners from the Agency of Natural Resources to learn about these unique ecosystems at several scales: as part of a larger watershed and network of connected lands and waters, as a unit for town planning, and as dynamic places for river processes. 

Presenters: 
Jens Hilke, Conservation Planner, VT Fish and Wildlife Department 
Danielle Owczarski, Watershed Planner, VT Department of Environmental Conservation 
Staci Pomeroy, River Scientist, VT Department of Environmental Conservation 

Friday, November 5, 2021 10:00am - 11:00am

 

 

Act 171: Selecting Forest Blocks & Habitat Connectors for Your Town Plan

Act 171 requires towns to identify and protect forest blocks and habitat connectors. But what exactly does that mean? And how do you figure out which blocks and connectors are most valuable to wildlife and your community? Join the Community Wildlife Program at Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department to learn a step-by-step selection process. We'll explain the background science and help towns select areas to prioritize that meet Act 171 requirements and make sense for their community.  

Presenters: 
Jens Hilke, Conservation Planner, VT Fish & Wildlife Department 
Andy Wood, Conservation Planner, VT Fish & Wildlife Department 

Repeat sessions of this webinar will be offered on the following two dates: 

Session 1: Monday, October 18, 2021 7:00pm - 8:00pm

Session 2: Wednesday, November 17, 2021 1:00pm - 2:00pm

 

 

Reviewing your Town Plan & Regulations: Lessons Learned from our Comprehensive Review

Every eight years, Vermont municipalities update their town plans to set the vision for moving forward and balancing an array of competing values. Natural resource issues are an important consideration in this balancing act. While every town is unique and different resources are present in each community, a lot can be learned from what other towns have done to address these topics. The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department & Vermont Natural Resources Council have just completed our decennial review of every town plan, zoning, subdivision & ordinance in Vermont. Our analysis offers insights into best practices in handling natural resource issues in municipal planning. Join this session to learn more about improving your town plan natural resources chapter.

Presenters: 
Jamey Fidel, General Counsel & Forest & Wildlife Program Director, VT Natural Resources Council
Jens Hilke, Conservation Planner, VT Fish & Wildlife Department 
Andy Wood, Conservation Planner, VT Fish & Wildlife Department 

Repeat sessions of this webinar will be offered on the following two dates: 

Session 1: Tuesday, October 26, 2021 10:00am - 11:00am

Session 2: Wednesday, December 8, 2021 1:00pm - 2:00pm REGISTER

 

 

Trainings

Our trainings are in-depth, collaborative online courses. Participants must attend all three sessions as well as complete additional brief online coursework. These courses are designed for Vermonters serving on municipal boards or who work as conservation volunteers and want to learn more about the science and concepts involved in Vermont land use planning and land management.

 

Environmental Leadership Training
Unit 1: From Science to Planning

This training (formerly known as NR 1) will introduce participants to important scientific concepts involved in planning for natural resources. Participants will explore the full suite of issues at play in natural resources planning, from forests and wildlife to floodplains and climate change. Presentations on context, ecological scale, and planning for whole Communities are interspersed with interactive hands-on activities that make this an intensive and exciting training.

Instructors: 
Jens Hilke, Conservation Planner, VT Fish and Wildlife Department 
Andy Wood, Conservation Planner, VT Fish and Wildlife Department 

Note: This is a 3-session training course. You must sign up for all three sessions if you wish to take this class and receive the certificate.

Session 1: Monday, November 1, 2021 7:00pm-9:00pm (Online)

Session 2: Monday, November 8, 2021 7:00pm-9:00pm (Online)

Session 3: Monday, November 15, 2021 7:00pm-9:00pm (Online)

11/5/21 Update: Registration is closed for this Unit of the Training. We will post future Training offerings to this site as they are announced. 

 

Environmental Leadership Training
Unit 2: From Planning to Action

This training (formerly known as NR 2) will help you choose locally appropriate land use planning strategies for conserving natural resources. It uses case studies and exercises to show how taking action can work in real life. The overall goal is to build an understanding of what you can do, how to work with different people in your community, how to choose strategies to protect natural resources, and how to make it all happen. Completion of Unit 1 is not a pre-requisite but is recommended, especially for participants without a background in natural resources.

Instructors: 
Jens Hilke, Conservation Planner, VT Fish and Wildlife Department 
Andy Wood, Conservation Planner, VT Fish and Wildlife Department 

Note: This is a 3-session training course. You must sign up for all three sessions if you wish to take this class and receive the certificate.

Session 1: Monday, November 29, 2021 7:00pm-9:00pm (Online)

Session 2: Monday, December 6, 2021 7:00pm-9:00pm (Online)

Session 3: Monday, December 13, 2021 7:00pm-9:00pm (Online)

11/22/21 Update: Registration is currently full. To request a spot on the waitlist, email andrew.wood@vermont.gov

 

About Our Presenters
 

Jamey Fidel is the General Counsel & Forest and Wildlife Program Director at the Vermont Natural Resources Council. In his capacity at VNRC, Jamey leads the forest and wildlife programs, including the Forest Roundtable, a quarterly meeting of diverse stakeholders focused on forest policy and forest management and conservation issues in Vermont. Jamey also studies and tracks land use trends in the state, works on policy in the Vermont State House, and conducts technical assistance to communities to promote planning, zoning, and non-regulatory strategies for forestland and wildlife habitat conservation. Jamey has a B.S. in Environmental Studies and a Minor in Wildlife Biology from University of Vermont's School of Natural Resources, and a law degree and Masters in Environmental Law from Vermont Law School. 
Contact Jamey at jfidel@vnrc.org

 

Jens Hilke is a Conservation Planning Biologist at Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department. He leads the Community Wildlife Program, which provides technical assistance to Vermont municipalities on land use planning.  He helps towns, regional planning commissions and non-governmental organizations with their conservation planning efforts. This includes help with GIS natural resource mapping, advice on prioritizing significant natural features and help with implementing town conservation goals. Jens completed his undergraduate work at Connecticut College in Environmental Sociology and then got a Masters in Botany from the University of Vermont as a Field Naturalist.  Jens has taught high school science in Vermont, New Hampshire, and New Jersey and for a study-away program in Thailand, Southeast Asia.
 Contact Jens at Jens.Hilke@Vermont.gov

 

Danielle Owczarski is a Watershed Planner at the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation. Danielle got her start with the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources as a Park Attendant at Green River Reservoir State Park in 2003.  After receiving a Bachelor of Arts in Biology from Johnson State college and a Master of Science from the University of Vermont Field Naturalist Program, with subsequent stints with the VT Department of Environmental Conservation, Danielle shifted from plants and soils to water quality, going from a Wetlands Ecologist to a Watershed Planner in 2015.  When she isn’t coordinating with communities and watershed partners on water quality improvement projects, she’s sewing, gardening, backcountry snowboarding, mountain biking, drinking maple syrup, or snuggling with her dogs.
 Contact Danielle at Danielle.Owczarski@Vermont.gov

 

Staci Pomeroy is a River Scientist at the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation.  Staci got her start with Vermont Agency of Natural Resources’ Department of Environmental Conservation through a University of Vermont internship in 1995, working with the Lakes Program.  While continuing her schooling, Staci worked part time in the Watershed Management Division’s Lay Monitoring Program and the Biomonitoring and Aquatic Studies Program for a few years.  She graduated from UVM in 1999 with a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Conservation.  After graduating she started with the Rivers Program in 2000.  Work with the Rivers Program ranges from working with communities for flood resiliency efforts to working with watershed groups to do river restoration.  It is the beauty of Vermont's rivers, the range in the type of work, and the mix of wonderful people she gets to work with that has kept Staci working on Vermont's rivers all these years.  When she is not out looking at other people's rivers, she is playing on the river that crosses their land, camping in the woods, canoeing, or knitting on those days when she cannot be outside.
 Contact Staci at Staci.Pomeroy@Vermont.gov

 

Andy Wood is a Conservation Planning Specialist at VT Fish & Wildlife Department.  As staff for the Community Wildlife Program, he provides technical assistance to Vermont municipalities, regional planning commissions, and conservation organizations while also working on a variety of conservation science and outreach programs.  Andy brings a broad suite of skills to the Department, having worked on land-use planning, road ecology, wildlife management, and environmental assessment projects across New England. He completed his undergraduate work at Bates College, and has a Masters from the University of Vermont Field Naturalist & Ecological Planning Program.  Andy is a member of The Wildlife Society, the Society for Conservation Biology, and the American Ornithological Society.  Andy enjoys exploring Vermont's lands and waters by canoe and ski, with his trusty binoculars and fly rod.
 Contact Andy at Andrew.Wood@Vermont.gov

 

About Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department's
Community Wildlife Program

The Community Wildlife Program of the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department provides technical assistance to towns, Regional Planning Commissions, and conservation organizations. We keep tabs on the latest in conservation science and help integrate that information into efforts to protect wildlife, habitat, and the most important lands and waters in Vermont. Whether you are drafting a new town plan, seeking a project partner, or looking to level up your conservation planning, we are here to help.

To schedule a consultation with our staff of Conservation Planners, email Jens.Hilke@Vermont.gov. Consultations and follow-up services are free of charge and sponsored by the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department.