Natural Science Programs

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Natural Science Programs 2017-03-01T15:12:57+00:00

Travel with a keen eye through the wetlands, woodlands, and farmlands of NorthWoods. Natural and human influence shape the history of these lands. This nature walk brings young naturalists to along our new interpretive Lang Brook Trail to a beaver lodge and dam, a glacial erratic, through a successionally-mixed forest, and along a century-old stone wall.

NorthWoods is home to a resident Barred Owl, Oberon. Since 2005, when he was hit by a car on I-91 and blinded in one eye, Oberon has resided here at NorthWoods to serve as an educational ambassador for his wise, often silent and rarely-seen species. An interactive slideshow provides a glimpse into the unique adaptations, habitat, and habits of the owls of Vermont.

Learn about feathers and flight to prepare for an encounter with birds of the Northern Forest. Field guides and binoculars enhance students’ learning as they identify common bird species of the region.

When winter snows provide their soft canvas for the paws and prints of our forest-dwelling neighbors, indoor instruction on tracking tips and identification will be put to practice in the snow.

Students will discover the adaptations of the Northern Forest mammals they’ve learned to track, from the unique footwear of the snowshoe hare to the beaver’s impressive carpentry skills. Students will search out signs of these mammals and study first-hand how these adaptations help the animals survive the climate change of the seasons.

Take a primer in the field of science illustration, where accuracy and detail combine both art and science. This workshop begins indoors with an introduction to the techniques, covering perspective, preparation of the illustrator’s toolkit, and tips of the trade. From there, artists will head outside to field sketch, incorporating what they’ve learned to what they see.

A primer in digital cameras helps students take a close look at the natural world around them, and challenges them to capture their own unique perspective.

NorthWoods’ ponds are a perfect place for young biologists to learn about a pond’s macro-invertebrates. Students become acquainted with aquatic life, which never ceases to amaze – from a seemingly empty container of water, students begin to see the teeming life inside: from the caddisfly’s unique home to crayfish and salamanders. This workshop is hands-on and eyes-open. Students collect their own samples, identify, observe, and record their findings.

Moving from the pond to the Clyde River’s flat-water wetlands and curving oxbows, students will explore one of the most unique wetland complexes in the state, moving from classroom activities in this multi-day workshop to outdoor exploration. Combining recreation, fisheries, culture, history and habitat, we’ll explore and celebrate the diversity and distinction of the river with pride.

Now that our students know more about the native species of our region, we’ll learn about the invasive species that most threaten the Northeast Kingdom and what we can do to help stop their spread. From Eurasian milfoil to Japanese knotweed, partner with NorthWoods’ crews to identify areas in your community in need of habitat restoration or invasive species removal projects.

Students learn to identify trees in winter and summer, examine tree growth, age and measure trees, and learn the basic suite of techniques for forest management. Novice foresters will take the indoor primer and apply the techniques in the woods.