University of Vermont

Jeffrey Hughes

Jeffrey Hughes

Associate Professor/ Director Field Naturalist Program

Phone: 802-656-0708
Office: 267 Jeffords Hall
Field Naturalist Program:

Areas of Interest

Demystifying landscape patterns and processes; environmental problem-solving

Most of my research is conducted in Vermont and at the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest in New Hampshire. Students sometimes drag me westward, however.

My research interests have mainly centered around events that alter the ecological status quo — forest harvest, roads, climate change, flooding, species invasions. Along the way, however, I also have studied plant populations, roots, phosphorus run-off, songbird nest placement, nutritional quality of browse, sugar maple regeneration, riparian buffer width, tree seed dispersal, and stream habitat assessment. Delving into many varied fields probably hasn’t been the wisest research trajectory but it sure has been fun.

Most of my current research effort is directed to producing a set of user-friendly, “how-to” books and videos for environmental practitioners. In so doing, I seek to provide fledgling professionals with the essential, practical, real-world skills, techniques, and understandings they need to be effective.

I currently teach Natural Resource Inventory and Assessment, Fundamentals of Field Science, Forest Ecosystem Analysis, Methods for Field Ecologists, and Field Naturalist Practicum. I also direct the Field Naturalist Graduate Program in the Department of Plant Biology.

Instructional Programs

Natural Resources


Ph.D. 1987, forest ecology, Cornell University
M.S. environmental problem solving/applied ecology, Miami University

Selected Publications

Hughes, J. W. 2015. The Environmental Practitioner’s Handbook of How-To Skills. 187 pp. (in review).

Hughes, J. W. and W. H. Blackwell. (2007). Environmental Problem Solving: A How-To Guide. University of Vermont Press, University Press of New England. 217pp.