University of Vermont

Vermont Agency of Natural Resources Commissioners Brainstorm with RSENR Community

Commissioner of Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation David Mears and Professor Breck Bowden
Commissioner of Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation David Mears and Professor Breck Bowden, who hosted the Rubenstein School meeting

In April, David Mears, Vermont’s Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Conservation, and Michael Snyder (FOR ’85, MS-FOR ’90), Commissioner of the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation, each visited Aiken on separate occasions to meet with the RSENR community.  Participants brainstormed ways to strengthen ties between the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources and the School.

In a packed Aiken green conference room, David Mears, who is this year’s Rubenstein School Commencement speaker, described for faculty, staff, and students his visions for stronger collaboration: a student internship program with the State, teaching by state personnel, brown bag lunches, researcher collaborations, and better avenues of communicating faculty research results for state practitioners.  RSENR attendees eagerly offered more suggestions and ways to make David’s visions reality.

Michael Snyder’s visit to the Aiken Center also filled the room with enthusiastic RSENR members.  As a former student, research staff member, and lecturer in the School, Mike has witnessed changes, particularly in the forestry program, that he feels should be addressed. At the same time, to expand capacity in his department and strengthen a partnership with the School, Michael proposed creating a Vermont forest health institute to re-build shared needs in forestry and recreation in the Rubenstein School and the State of Vermont.

Commissioner Pat Berry of the Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife, Secretary Deb Markowitz (UVM '83) of the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources, and Secretary Lawrence Miller of the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development have been invited for Fall meetings.