P.O. Box 254 | Bristol, VT 05443 | tel. (802) 453-7728 fax. (802) 453-7729
visit us: http://www.familyforests.org
CHEP Researchers & Reports
An immensely talented team of researchers has contributed to the data collected on CHEP lands since 1998. Some studies were one-time assessments—like the historical geography of the Guthrie-Bancroft parcel. Others, like the herpetological and bird inventories, occur annually.
Since its inception, the CHEP research project has steadily evolved. In 2007, CHEP established a weather station to record temperature, precipitation, and other basic atmospheric measurements. And in 2009, Marc Lapin began studying wildflower phenology (the chronology of the
appearance and growth of spring wildflowers). In this era of
accelerated climate change, these additions will provide information on the relationship between climate and cyclical biological phenomena.
In the table below, you can click on the researchers’ names to learn more about each of them. Click on the year listed in the right-hand column to see the report for that year and research area.
Since 1998, Warren and Barry King have conducted CHEP's bird monitoring transect. The transect is part of the statewide Forest Bird Monitoring Program of the Vermont Center for Ecostudies. The Center's 2017 report discusses trends in forest bird populations in Vermont, drawn from this data. Take a look at their report!
Marc Lapin, research team manager
When ecologist Marc Lapin attended Middlebury College, he took Professor Steve Young’s course in Introduction to Polar Environments. The course inspired him to visit Alaska, and like any good pilgrimage, that journey offered far-reaching revelations. “While backpacking in Denali National Park,” Marc says, “I realized that my life’s work would be in nature conservation. Ever since, I’ve devoted myself to that.”
That devotion led him to masters studies at the University of Michigan and doctoral studies at Cornell University. Since moving to Vermont in 1991, he’s worked closely with the Vermont Natural Heritage Program and The Nature Conservancy, and coordinates the Champlain Valley Clayplain Project. He has also come full circle, returning to Middlebury College to teach as an Associate in Science Instruction in Environmental Studies.
Marc has brought his passion for ecological mapping to his work as team leader for the Colby Hill Ecological Project. The opportunity to document long-term change in a typical Green Mountain landscape intrigued him. “The forest [monitored by CHEP] has been worked hard—plenty of it was cleared for pasture—but as it has returned and recovered, it shows the plant composition differences one would expect based on soils.”
The data of six years of field research reveal distinct assemblages of plants, insects, spiders, small mammals, and more within the 716-acre study area—differences caused by small changes in moisture, nutrients, and temperature. “That’s why I love ecological mapping,” he says. “Because I get to see and think about those differences and document them, even before I may know what their significance is.”
Pondering the legacy of CHEP, Marc says, “I hope that the legacy is a long, long period of learning about the land and its family of organisms. It will reveal many mysteries to us over the decades. Ecologists of the future will be thankful for the data we are collecting and the permanent sampling plots that will show how the forest is changing.”
Barry and Warren King
Warren King is a conservation biologist with a background in ornithology. He worked as an ornithologist for the Smithsonian Institution, which published his book The ICBP Bird Red Data Book: The Endangered Birds of the World in 1980. He was an environmental educator for the Keewaydin Environmental Education Center in Salisbury, Vermont, for 13 years. He serves on the board of Audubon Vermont and the board of theOtter Creek Audubon Society. He also serves on the board of the Vermont chapter of The Nature Conservancy and was chair from 1998 to 2000. He received the 2002 Vermont State Award of the New England Wildflower Society. He and his wife Barry live in Ripton,where he is chair of the Ripton Planning Commission and the Ripton Conservation Commission. His interests include botanizing, birdwatching, animal tracking and canoeing. He has received numerous awards and recognition from Audubon, Nature Conservancy and the State of VT.
Barry King worked at the Keewaydin Environmental Education Center on Lake Dunmore for 21 years, 10 as its director. She and Warren started Keewaydin’s winter environmental education program which they ran for 10 years in Groton, VT. Currently, she is a freelance environmental educator. She has been on the Board of Vermont's State-Wide Environmental Education Programs in various capacities since 1985 and is currently the treasurer and newsletter editor. She is co-chair of the VT Envirothon. In 2002, she received the Silver Feather Award from the Otter Creek Audubon Society. She and Warren have participated in numerous citizen science projects including Forest Bird Monitoring, Marsh Bird Monitoring, Keeping Track and the Breeding Bird Atlas.
James S. Andrews graduated from the University of Vemront (UVM) with a B.S. in Environmental Studies. He later received his masters in Biology from Middlebury College where he continued as a grant-funded herpetological researcher through 2008 when he left his position there as a research scholar and moved his office to his home in Salisbury.
Jim began part-time herpetological fieldwork in Vermont in 1984 and began working full time as a herpetologist in 1990. He currently serves as chair of the Vermont Reptile and Amphibian Scientific Advisory Group to the Endangered Species Committee. He also coordinates the Vermont Reptile and Amphibian Atlas Project and serves as a research associate with VFF.
In addition, Jim teaches Vermont Field Herpetology at UVM where he holds the position of adjunct assistant professor. He also runs herpetological research and education projects, and provides independent consulting and herpetological surveying. Conservation of Vermont's native reptiles and amphibians is a common theme running through all his activities. He has field experience with all of Vermont's reptiles and amphibians and has worked closely with state, federal, and private agencies on herptile conservation throughout Vermont.