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Online Seminar Series

Since 2022, UMATR has hosted a seminar series in the beginning of some of our UMATR Committee Meetings that were held on zoom from 6:30 PM to 7 PM before our regular business meetings. These seminars are free and open to the public, and most are recorded on our YouTube page with permission from our presenters.

Read our seminar descriptions below of previous recorded seminars. Recordings of previous seminars are available by clicking the image to the left of the seminar description.

Extra thank you to all our presenters for their interesting and informative presentations! 

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Join us for our first installment of our 2024 Seminar Series about River Dynamics and Floodplains presented by River Ecologist and Geomorphologist, Mike Kline. Mike Kline has worked for over 30 years restoring and protecting rivers in Vermont with state and federal resources managers to develop science-based river policies. Over the years he has accomplished great strides towards river protections through working with professionals across academia, government agencies, and NGOs to develop and apply stream geomorphic and habitat assessment protocols, fluvial erosion hazard mapping, and river and floodplain management principles and practices. Learn about how rivers shape our landscape and how floodplains are important to protecting our local river ecosystems!

Find more information about our speaker on his website,



Black bears are the smallest of the three bear species found in North America, and the only bear found in Vermont. Black bears prefer wild areas with fewer people, but in recent years, as people have begun to encounter bears more, it is important to understand how to protect them and reduce bear encounters. Join us and VT Fish and Wildlife’s Black Bear Project Leader and Wildlife Biologist, Jaclyn Comeau, while we discuss Vermont’s black bear population, their biology and habitat, and specific actions we can all take to prevent conflicts. 


Find out more information about Vermont black bears on the VT Fish and Wildlife website,



Planting healthy native trees is vital to restoring and protecting our natural waterways in Vermont. Join us for a discussion of Native Tree Propagation with Conservation Nursery Seed Coordinator, Brooke Fleischman, and Production Manager, Ben Fishbein, of the Intervale Center based in Burlington, VT. The Intervale Conservation nursery is dedicated to growing native, locally sourced trees without the use of synthetic fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides. Come learn about all the hard work and consideration that goes into propagating native trees in Vermont!

To learn more about the Intervale Center, visit their website at

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Join us for a night of learning about Vermont’s moose with VT Fish and Wildlife Wildlife Specialist, Josh Blouin during our final installment of the UMATR 2024 Seminar Series. Josh grew up in Vermont, and graduated from the University of Vermont with a BS and MS degree with research focused on moose habitat use in the Northeast Kingdom. He currently works for the state and assists with Vermont moose research while enjoying hunting, fishing, hiking, and wildlife photography in his free time. Learn about our local moose populations, how the state is monitoring them, and for an insight in wildlife photography! 

Learn more about our speaker on his website,


Learn more about VT Fish and Wildlife’s Moose Research on their website at

2023 Seminar Series

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Join us for our first session of our 2023 Online Seminar Series, where we will learn about Wild and Scenic Rivers by award winning author, Tim Palmer.

UMATR is a part of the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System, which Congress enacted in 1968 to preserve certain rivers with outstanding natural, cultural, and recreational values in a free-flowing condition for the enjoyment of present and future generations. UMATR joined the W&SR system in 2014, and has been providing grant funding for our 8 communities that our rivers flow through since. Come learn more in depth about the Wild and Scenic Rivers system, presented by the fabulous renowned author, photographer, and speaker Tim Palmer!

Find more about our speaker at his website, at

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Institute's Julia Cavicchi as she walks us through "Urine My Garden: Why and How to Peecycle at Home".  This webinar covers why & how to fertilize your garden with urine. Reclaiming urine as a fertilizer is a safe and simple practice that gardeners everywhere can learn to reclaim "waste" as a resource, access an abundance of free fertilizer, and prevent downstream pollution. The presentation covers step-by-step instructions for fertilizing with urine in home gardens, informed by Rich Earth's agricultural and social research. Julia will give a brief presentation and then have time for discussion for you to share your experiences and questions.

Find more about the Rich Earth Institute, visit their website at

Join us for our second session of our 2023 Online Seminar Series, where we will learn about amazing research into "Peecycling" by the Rich Earth 

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Fish & Wildlife Department. For the past six years Tyler has been working with private landowners, Vermont Agency of Transportation, town road crews, and on public lands to mitigate human infrastructure/ beaver conflicts with the goal of protection and maintaining beaver-created wetland habitats. Through his presentation, we will learn the importance of beavers in Vermont's ecosystems, wetland habitat, and more! 

Find out more about the VT F&W Furbearer Program on their website at

Join us for our third session of our 2023 Online Seminar Series, "The Value of Beaver Created Wetland Habitat in Vermont" presented by Tyler Brown of the Vermont

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Join us for our final session of our 2023 Online Seminar Series, Rock History of Northern Mountains with Carey Hengstenberg of the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation. Vermont has a very unique geology, and the Cold Hollow Mountains are no

 exception! Come learn the paleogeography, history and some of the unique rocks in the area in the context of "Where did these rocks come from?". Carey has been working with the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) for over 15 years. After graduating with a Masters degree in geology from UVM, she spent several years working for an environmental consulting company before joining the Vermont DEC as a hydrogeologist and a compost specialist. In 2013, she was promoted to the role of DEC Planning Manager where she leads strategic planning and Results Based Accountability efforts in the Department, and oversees the Agency of Natural Resources internship program, and is the ECO Americorps Program Director.

2022 Seminar Series

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In 2021, Michael Lew-Smith from Arrowwood Environmental completed a freshwater mussel survey on the lower reach of the Wild and Scenic section of the Missisquoi 

River from Enosburg to Berkshire. During this presentation, he summarizes basic mussel biology, why mussels are important to our water systems, and his findings from his survey. Comparing from data collected in 1999, this new report gives insight to the health of our river system's ecosystem.

To the right are links to a copy of his presentation, and his report

for the complete of the grant.

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Up to 9 inches long with bright orange skin, the seemingly conspicuous 

Wood Turtle is remarkably secretive, and most people never see one in the wild. Foraging extensively on land, Wood Turtles can be found great distances from the rivers where they overwinter, but with so many river valleys crossed by roads and used for agriculture, many are crushed by cars and machinery. Wood Turtle numbers are dwindling and this iconic species may not survive in many landscapes without careful planning to keep these turtles out of harm's way. Kiley Briggs of The Orianne Society, presented on knowing how to identify their habitat, understanding the threats they face, and how to blend Wood Turtle management into working farms are the first steps to protecting this important species in Northern Vermont.  **This seminar was NOT recorded for the continued protection of Wood Turtles!**


In collaboration with Lowell Historical Society, Jeff Parsons presents on his 2021 River Community Grant funded project of research and document the history of mills, both in 

lumber and otherwise. Both the Missisquoi and Trout Rivers were used to float logs, provide power to mills, and transport timber to mill sites. Join us as Jeff goes through his findings, and learn about the history of our river system. 

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Learn about our local bird species that hang around our Missisquoi river as well as birding tips presented by Bridget Butler of Bird Diva Consulting. Based out of St. Albans, Bridget has been 

a naturalist for over 20 years while using her knowledge and skills to teach others how to appreciate nature, teach citizen science tools, and how to successfully watch birds! Join us as we dive deep into the local bird life of the Missisquoi River Basin for our fourth and final installment of our 2022 Seminar Series.

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