University of Vermont

Vermont Monitoring Cooperative 2012 Annual Meeting Successfully Reschedules During Superstorm Sandy

The Vermont Monitoring Cooperative (VMC) held its 2012 Annual Cooperators Meeting at the University of Vermont Davis Student Center on November 19, 2012.  The meeting, previously scheduled for October 29th but rescheduled due to superstorm Sandy, was well attended and VMC staff wish to thank everyone who came.

Speakers during the initial session titled “Acidification” included Richard Scheffe, science advisor at EPA’s Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards, who spoke about EPA’s Aquatic Acidification Index and proposed secondary standards.  Also speaking during this session were Paul Schaberg (FOR ’81, MS-FOR ’85, PhD-UVM ’96), research plant physiologist with the USDA Forest Service Northern Research Station (USFS, NRS), who talked about impacts of acidification on forest tree health and growth in Vermont, and Heather Pembrook (FOR ’92), environmental technician with the State of Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation (VT DEC), addressing total maximum daily loads for acid-impaired lakes in Vermont.

The “Cooperator Reports” session featured talks by Jamie Shanley, research hydrologist at the U.S. Geological Survey; Neil Kamman, program manager at the VT DEC; Don Ross, research associate professor in UVM’s Plant and Soil Science Department; William Kilpatrick, UVM’s Howard Professor of Zoology and Natural History; and the Rubenstein School’s own Professor Bill Keeton and Alejandro del Peral, a master’s candidate working with Beverley Wemple, associate professor in UVM’s Geography Department.

During the afternoon session David Bloniarz, director of the Urban Natural Resources Institute, USFS, NRS, spoke about the newly-released i-Tree 5.0 software as a tool for inventorying and managing urban and community forests.  Dave also responded to questions from panelists Jen Pontius, RSENR assistant professor, and Mark Twery of the USFS NRS, about i-Tree’s potential to help VMC meet its mission.

Several posters authored by students and faculty at the Rubenstein School and Middlebury College and staff of the Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife were displayed at the meeting.  Posters featured research and information about the influence of tropical storm Irene on invertebrate and invasive species communities and distributions, rehabilitation forestry and carbon market access, VMC paired watersheds on Mount Mansfield, and stress factors contributing to forest decline in northern hardwood ecosystems.

New to the VMC Annual Meeting this year were two remote presentations given by our most distant speakers (Richard Scheffe and David Bloniarz).  Despite a few anxious moments, the presentations went well, and we anticipate that other speakers will choose to participate from afar at future meetings. For more information about VMC, please visit our website at www.uvm.edu/vmc.