VMN Youth Program

Naturalist Science Program for Middle School Aged Children in Williston’s Natural and Cultural History

Vermont Youth Naturalist Williston Program runs the week of June 24 – 28 from 9am to 2pm.

The Vermont Youth Naturalist (VYN) training is designed for middle-school children ages 10-13.  The program covers geology, glacial history, human settlement patterns and natural communities of plants and animals in Williston but in the broader context of the natural history of Vermont.  VYN students will visit local natural areas and explore everything from bedrock to birds.

There will be daily field trips, rain or shine (but not when thunderstorms threaten), to natural areas in Williston such as Five Tree Hill, Mud Pond and the Catamount Community Forest, to illustrate the topic for that day.  We will be walking at least a few miles on a daily basis.

Related topics such as compass skills, tick identification and conservation issues will be covered. There will also be theme based snacks!  Students attending at least four of the five training days will receive a certificate from the Vermont Master Naturalist (VMN) Program.  The Youth Naturalist Program is modeled after the VMN Program which offers professional training in towns such as Williston.

The volunteer instructors are Laura Meyer and Carrie Salinger.  Laura has a doctoral degree in Biology and has volunteered in the public schools in naturalist programs while her children were growing up.  She also has written a family resource on outdoor adventures with middle schoolers that will be e-published soon. Carrie has 30 years experience teaching in the public school system in California and in Vermont.  Both instructors have training through the Vermont Master Naturalist Williston Program.

The Director of the Vermont Master Naturalist Program, Alicia Daniel, will also be joining in the training days.  Alicia is the Field Naturalist for the City of Burlington and teaches at the University of Vermont. She began the Vermont Master Naturalist Program in 2016.

The cost of the training is $325 per student. Full or partial scholarships may be available.  We will only be accepting 12 students. A nonrefundable deposit of $50 is required to hold a space for the training.  For more information please contact: laura.e.meyer@gmail.com.