I just received my January 2014 edition of the VCE newsletter and wanted to share some highlights with you. VCE is one of my favorite non-profits. It’s a group of dedicated researchers and scientists working to promote conservation and biodiversity in the Green Mountains and beyond.
The hardworking naturalists at VCE have an amazing array of research and citizen science projects going on throughout Vermont. I first learned about them when Kendall and Riley were little and we got involved with vernal pool mapping and spotted salamander crossing projects. Over the years we’ve also participated in the development of a Vermont breeding bird atlas and surveys of Vermont’s butterflies and bumble bees.
Another project I follow is VCE’s Caribbean bird conservation which seeks to protect migratory birds that spend their summers in Vermont and winters in Central America and the Caribbean. This project ties in to our mission of rainforest conservation at Vermont Woods Studios.
If you’re in Vermont or the Caribbean and looking to do some fun and interesting work in conservation, have a look at VCE’s website. It includes a wealth of information and dozens of opportunities to volunteer with like-minded people who love nature and wildlife. As noted on their website, VCE’s success is highly dependent on your help. Their work “gathers strength from volunteers who monitor wildlife in the Northeast and from a network of professional partners that extends from Canada to South America. This approach is successful because conservation is as much about people as it is about science. With a reach extending from northeastern Canada through the Caribbean to South America, our work in wildlife research and monitoring unites people and science for conservation.”
You can meet fascinating people, have some fun and make the world a better place by volunteering as a citizen scientist for VCE. Why not give them a call today?
Our friends over at the Vermont Center for EcoStudies VCE and the Northern Woodlands have launched a contest for Naturalist of the Year. If you want to be in contention for the big prize (a subscription to The Northern Woodlands Magazine), you’d better get outside and TODAY. Look, I’m going to be honest with you. Judging from the response they’ve gotten so far you’re not likely to win this one. Birders are serious competitors! Have you seen that movie, “The Big Year” with Owen Wilson, Jack Black and Steve Martin? Well these guys vying for Vermont Naturalist of the Year remind me of them. Great competitors! It’s not just about winning a contest, either. Actually it’s too complicated for me to understand what it’s about, but I think it might be pretty deep.
Anyway, even if you don’t win Naturalist of the Year, with a reasonable amount of luck you might win VCE’s monthly photo-observation contest. That would be a good stepping stone, right? So head outside and scour Vermont’s “fields and fens, mountains and meadows, lakes and lawns”. Take artistic, scientific or any kind of “wow” photos– maybe an amazing sighting, a neat behavior, or whatever catches your eye and email it to VCE. Their readers will select winning photographs by who gets the most votes.
Let us know if you won by sharing your winning photos on our Facebook. And while you’re over at VCE check out the amazing project that is the Vermont Atlas of Life. It’s a citizen science project cataloging all Vermont’s breeding birds, butterflies, bumble bees, reptiles, amphibians, mammals and more. You’ll be helping to save our endangered species from extinction and making the world a better place!