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.

Climate action-planning: What should towns do to address climate change?

Vermont’s first Climate Action Plan has been released and we have lots to do! But where to begin? And what are appropriate climate-related projects for Vermont’s Conservation Commissions and towns to tackle? Join the Agency of Natural Resources’ Global Warming Solutions Act Coordinator, Marian Wolz, and Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department’s Community Wildlife Program staff to learn more about what is in the Climate Action Plan and what your town can do to address these pressing issues.

Presenters: 

  • Marian Wolz,  Global Warming Solutions Act Coordinator, VT Agency of Natural Resources
  • Jens Hilke, Conservation Planner, VT Fish and Wildlife Department 

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

  • Session 1: Thursday, March 10, 2022, 10:00am-11:00am. REGISTER HERE
  • Session 2: Tuesday, April 26, 2022, 2:00pm-3:00pm REGISTER HERE

 

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 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 

 

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

  • Session 1: Tuesday, April 12, 2022, 9:00am-10:00am REGISTER HERE
  • Session 2: Tuesday, May 10, 2022, 1:00pm-2:00pm  REGISTER HERE

 

Reinvigorating your Conservation Commission:

There are a broad range of activities that Conservation Commissions can engage in, from stewarding town owned land to advising on land use planning to developing educational programs and volunteer opportunities. With all these options, it can be overwhelming and it requires careful planning to help a Conservation Commission move forward. Sometimes commissions need to take a fresh look at what they're doing and make small adjustments to get the group on the same page or get more people involved. Last year the Association of Vermont Conservation Commissions partnered with the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department to produce a new version of the Conservation Commission Handbook as a reference for commissions to use. This webinar will provide ideas for reinvigorating your commission including outreach, strategic planning and the basics that make Conservation Commission an awesome volunteer opportunity

Presenters: 

  • Jens Hilke, Conservation Planner, VT Fish & Wildlife Department 

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

  • Session 1: Tuesday, February 15, 2022, 11:00am-12:00pm. REGISTER HERE
  • Session 2: Tuesday, May 24, 2022, 3:00pm-4:00pm. REGISTER HERE

 

BioFinder Drop-in Help Sessions

The BioFinder website (BioFinder.Vermont.gov) allows Vermonters to interact with the Vermont Conservation Design (VCD) through an online map with information about what each piece of it means and how it was created. VCD identifies features at the landscape and natural community scales that are necessary for maintaining an ecologically functional landscape – a landscape that conserves current biological diversity and allows species to move and shift in response to climate and land-use changes. There is a lot here to be sure! But sometimes the technology can be a barrier to understanding. Join Community Wildlife Program staff for an informal drop-in help session to get your questions answered. We’ll do a 15 min segment on BioFinder basics and then have unstructured time to answer your questions and talk you through using the BioFinder map.

Presenters: 

  • Jens Hilke, Conservation Planner, VT Fish & Wildlife Department 

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

  • Session 1: Wednesday, February 23, 2022, 11:00am-12:00pm REGISTER HERE
  • Session 2: Tuesday, March 22, 2022, 2:00pm-3:00pm REGISTER HERE
  • Session 3: Thursday, May 19, 2022, 1:00pm-2:00pm REGISTER HERE

 

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 and focus on skills leaders need to operate effectively. 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 

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.

SORRY! Due to an unexpected technological issue, we will not be able to offer the training until fall 2022.

 

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 and explore how leaders can best work with groups to move ideas forward in a municipal context. 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 

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.

SORRY! Due to an unexpected technological issue, we will not be able to offer the training until fall 2022.

 

 

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

 

 

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.