Located in the heart of the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont, the Northeastern Highlands biophysical region is composed of unique natural features, rare wildlife species, and a rich cultural history. The Nulhegan Basin is a geological formation in the highlands and will serve as the “classroom” for a combination of field based courses: Wetlands Ecology, Wildlife Conservation and Management, and Conservation and Ecology of the Nulhegan Basin.
Enrollment Requirements and Options:
This Pod will be a 5 week off-campus program. During that time, the faculty and students will be housed along the Clyde River in East Charleston where we will live and learn as a group. This program includes regular full day field trips with hiking and a multi-day camping trip. Courses are integrated co-requisites with simultaneous enrollment required. Students in this pod cannot enroll in online courses. TA-ing one of these courses is possible with instructor permission.
This pod includes the following courses:
NS225 Wildlife Conservation and Management 3 cr
The Wildlife Conservation and Management course is built upon the concept of a land ethic, recognizing that the definition of ‘community’ encompasses all living things. How we interact with the land has potential impacts on the needs of wildlife. In this course students will learn wildlife habitat inventory and management techniques as we assess the habitat within the Nulhegan Basin.The historical and current land uses will be considered in conjunction with the field research, culminating in a broader understanding of wildlife needs across the landscape.
NS305 Wetlands Ecology 3 cr
The goal of the Wetlands Ecology course is for students to build an understanding of the ecology of freshwater wetlands, including their flora and fauna, biogeochemical processes, and the critical ecological functions and services they provide. Students will study the various types of wetlands through extensive field time combined with readings and classroom learning. The course will include a strong practical component, including identification of wetland flora and fauna, classification of wetland natural communities, and methodologies for wetland assessment and delineation. An overview of wetland protection strategies including state and federal regulatory programs as well as local conservation initiatives will be discussed.
INT*** Conservation and Ecology of the Nulhegan Basin 2 cr
Conservation & Ecology of the Nulhegan Basin is a case study on the science and policy of land conservation, focusing on this particular watershed. The Nulhegan Basin is home to the Champion Lands deal, the largest sale of land in Vermont’s modern history and a complex, multi-use and multi-stakeholder conservation project involving state and federal agencies, land trusts, community members and private landowners. The Nulhegan Abenaki Tribe is also named for the Nulhegan River, and students will learn about their recent acquisition of a parcel of tribal forestland nearby. Students will explore the social, cultural, economic and political issues and challenges associated with these projects and evaluate their outcomes through conversations with stakeholders, readings, field trips, and class discussions.