VMN Resource Library

vmnlogoblueNatural History of Vermont’s Champlain Valley and Beyond

VMN FLIX New additions:

Image 7-26-20 at 8.22 PMWatch this 3 Part series of Reading the Forested Landscape with Tom Wessels:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zcLQz-oR6sw

Image 9-30-20 at 1.18 PMNature Walk at Rock Point:  https://vimeo.com/451306502

Image 5-8-20 at 7.43 AMSpring Tree Walk in the Champlain Valley:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gXKHRs16BRg&t=5s

Wildlife and Other Biodiversity

1.  If you only watch one video on the importance of protecting biodiversity (i.e. life on earth as we know it) it should be this one by Doug Tallamy:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lrRJm-yLsQ8

2. Bryan Pfeiffer’s incredible blog The Viral Spring:  https://bryanpfeiffer.com/the-viral-spring/?fbclid=IwAR3x7hhT95RFd_EBitGk5yJ5GWoU1P-SJ00LKmjPiUR_ZBkx11Au-8XlfAY

2. Wildlife crossing a fallen log for a year.  Amazing and beautiful:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qsDU_tTgsFw

3.  Never Home Alone.  Wildlife in your home:  https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/never-home-alone-the-wild-life-of-homes

Cultural Geography with Jane Dorney

4. Evolution of Richmond Culture:  https://archive.org/details/mmtvvt-Evolution_of_Richmond_s_Cultural_Landscape_2-10-19

5. The Evolving Cutural and Natural Landscape of Huntington:  https://archive.org/details/huntingtonhistoricaltrustdorney10242019

6. Burlington Geographic talks featuring everything from bedrock to birds to human health:  https://www.uvm.edu/place/burlingtongeographic/schedule/index.php

Reading the Landscape

7. A tour of a Pine-Oak-Heath Sandplain Forest remnant in Burlington.  The outdoor walk starts at 25 minutes in:  https://www.cctv.org/watch-tv/programs/burlington-college-land-walking-tour

Things to do with kids:

Great suggestions from Crows Path:  https://docs.google.com/document/d/1RMlZJZnaT5kZlOexiozMxBPRXPGJEs52uFgBXQ_naIQ/edit#

Four Winds Nature Institute:  https://fwnidot.files.wordpress.com/2020/03/a-month-of-exploring-nearby-nature-for-families.pdf?fbclid=IwAR34yBvaQP7PTbVKUkxvAHCU9xj5mcAt2_v3MOzTusnHknwO_AW0GRHCtWI

Books for reading the landscape:

Reading the Forested Landscape – Tom Wessels

Wetland, Woodland, Wildland – Elizabeth H. Thompson and Eric R. Sorenson     https://vtfishandwildlife.com/wetland-woodland-wildland

The Nature of Vermont – Charles Johnson


The Agency of Natural Resources Atlas:  Vermont ANR Atlas

BioFinder: http://anrmaps.vermont.gov/websites/BioFinder2016/

Vermont Conservation Design: https://anr.vermont.gov/node/1182


The Geology of Vermont, B. Doolan, 1996

Bedrock Geology Map of Vermont

Paleontology of the Champlain Valley, Welby, 1962 (pdf)

Champlain Thrust at Lone Rock Point, Burlington

A global map showing changes over geologic time by address:  http://dinosaurpictures.org/ancient-earth#540

Vermont State Rocks with descriptions and locations:  https://dec.vermont.gov/geological-survey/vermont-geology/staterx

Glacial Geology

An overview of glacial processes in the Champlain valley:

Burlington and Colchester Glacial Geology (pdf)

A visualization of the formation of kame terraces and deltas during retreat of the Laurentide glacier from part of central Vermont by created by Chris Fastie, 2010

Winter Tracking

For help visualizing animal gaits, check out this awesome video by tracker Steve Leckman.

For more tracking resources, these two books are outstanding:
Tracking and the Art of Seeing: Paul Rezendes

Mammal Tracks & Sign: Mark Elbroch

Another good guide is:

Mammal Tracks : Life-Size Tracking Guide: Lynn Levine

Here is a great link about how to tell candids apart in trail camera photos:


Winter Trees

Forest Trees of Maine

Physics of Snow

Snowpack depth and density are critical to rodent overwinter survival.

Here is a brief overview of snow crystal metamorphosis and evolution


For information on Vermont’s archaeological past, the UVM Consulting Archaeology Program, UMass Archaeological Services, and VELCO published a 40+ page booklet in 2011 that covers the research and excavations done on a new power line location through three Champlain Valley counties.  They give a brief overview of the three main Native American periods Peter Thomas mentioned (Paleoindian, Archaic, and Woodland), descriptions of the field work and information collected on the power line route, and descriptions and photos of the artifacts they found, including how they were made and used.  This booklet was given to all the schools and libraries in the region the power line passed through, and was aimed at the general public and is very readable and available to download here:  https://core.tdar.org/document/391860/powerful-history-the-archaeology-of-native-people-in-the-champlain-lowlands

Signs of Spring

Newcomb’s Wildflower Guide

  • Image 5-9-20 at 8.16 PM

May Wildflower Walk at Red Rocks Park:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HHD9SAUzZrA

  • Image 5-8-20 at 7.37 AMNaturalist and songwriter Heidi Wilson just posted her terrific spring ephemerals song on instagram.  Here it is for you!

    Wildflower song

Naturalist Practices

Sit Spots

Julie Pacholik explores the practice of sit spots with the Crow’s Path kids:

Sit a While

From the Appalachian Mountain Club blog: https://www.outdoors.org/from-the-magazine-blog/how-to-keep-a-nature-journal.

And some of the “Hip Pocket Activities” for kids from the Appalachian Trail Conservancy work for sit spots for adults, too: http://www.appalachiantrail.org/home/explore-the-trail/hiking-basics/groups-families-and-pets/hiking-games-and-activities.

Event Maps

This is a free-form approach to mapping that incorporates drawing and writing in real-time while you’re out in the woods. You end up with a not-to-scale “treasure map” of your outing. It’s an excellent way to slow down while you’re outside.  A Trail Through Leaves: The Journal as a Path to Place by Hannah Hinchman is the original source.  Here is the practiced used with students as described by Laura Yayac:

Event Mapping