What is the Shelburne Landscape Change Project all about?
Shelburne is a thriving community just south of Burlington, VT. First chartered in 1763, the town has grown to a modern population of just over 6,200. Over the past 240 years, human activities have had a strong influence on the natural landscape of Shelburne as the economy and culture of Vermont evolved.

The SLCP studies how natural processes and human history have interacted in Shelburne to produce the modern landscape we see today. By studying historic texts and imagery, and comparing these resources to the modern day, we can learn more about the changes Shelburne has undergone since European settlement. In addition, we can reach a greater understanding of how natural factors such as geology and ecology have influenced human activities and developments.

The SLCP is an outgrowth of a larger, state-wide initiative to study human-induced landscape change. The Vermont Landscape Change Project is an online digital archive of paired historic and modern images depicting the effects of human activities and developments on the Vermont landscape. This project is funded by several sources, including the National Science Foundation, and works with schools statewide to implement Science and Social Studies units based on collecting and studying these images.

Project Goals
Our work in Shelburne is supported through the University of Vermont Geology Department and funded by a grant from the Lintilhac Foundation, with the following goals:

To develop a public web site archiving historic documents and imagery of Shelburne's landscape history.

To engage Vermont students in investigating local history through the lens of cultural and geological influences on the physical landscape.

Current Status:
During the 2003-2004 school year, students from the Shelburne Community School worked with UVM scientists to implement this project in their classrooms. Eighth grade students from Sutton House, along with Science teacher Robin Halnon and Social Studies teacher Jeff Hindes, studied how the geologic and human histories of Shelburne have interacted to produce the landscape we see today. These students focused their studies on four specific sites in Shelburne, and developed web pages presenting the landscape history of those sites.

People Involved
This website was developed by Eric Butler, a graduate student in the Geology and Education departments of UVM from 2001-2004. For more information on the many people involved, as well as contact information, please follow this link.

Aerial photograph looking east over Shelburne from Lake Champlain; Green Mountains in background. (image courtesy of P.L.A.C.E. program)
Satellite image of Shelburne (town boundary in red). Geographic features include Shelburne Point and Shelburne Bay to the northwest, and Shelburne Pond to the east. (image courtesy of P.L.A.C.E. program)
Aerial photograph looking west over Shelburne Village, with Shelburne Point and Lake Champlain in the background. (image courtesy of P.L.A.C.E. program)