Webinar Archive

Watch recordings of previous webinars.

Webinar: Green Infrastructure Benefits for Climate Change Adaptation and Health

The Green Infrastructure Collaborative and the Department of Health are proud to sponsor Green Infrastructure Benefits for Climate Change Adaptation and Health on March 3rd, 2016 at 12 pm EST (noon).

Jared Ulmer will be presenting research on the health impacts of heat islands in Vermont and how green infrastructure can help mitigate both climate change and heat island impacts. Draft agenda below. Pre-register for the webinar here.

Agenda:

1. Intro to green infrastructure’s impact on:

  • climate change mitigation
  • human health promotion
  • potential health concerns

2. Overview of urban heat island effect
3. Findings from analysis of heat island impacts on health in Vermont

  • Overview of heat-related health impacts in Vermont
  • Future expectations for heat-related illness & mortality
  • Urban v. rural heat-related health impacts
  • Thermal analysis of urban heat islands in Vermont

4. Next steps for research & practice

Managing diverse viewpoints: Decision-making and best practices on volunteer boards

Urban trees provide a multitude of benefits to citizens, businesses, and visitors alike. Beyond the aesthetic values, trees also provide practical and environmental benefits, and economic value, about which many communities are unaware. With only three Vermont towns that have arborists on staff, many towns rely on volunteer tree boards or conservation commissions to guide direction of local urban and community forestry programs.  

Citizen-powered boards, committees, and commissions are an invaluable resource to Vermont cities and towns; they are often tasked with coordination, advocacy, and raising awareness about relevant community issues, such as the management and cultivation of a healthy public tree population.  However, these groups often comprise individuals with varying, and sometimes conflicting, viewpoints. Join us for our February webinar to understand common - and unique - challenges of viewpoint diversity and to explore a variety of best practices for managing conflict and making group decisions. This presentation may be particularly useful to municipal board, committee, and commission members, especially those that make decisions concerning natural resources and public trees, and the Vermont Tree Wardens who work with them.  

Our presenter is Emily Silver Huff, Research Forester with the USDA Forest Service and adjunct faculty member at the University of Massachusetts. Emily holds a Ph.D. in Forestry from the University of Maine, specializing in human dimensions of forestry, and a M.S. in Forest Management from the University of Minnesota. She is currently part of the Family Forest Research Center where she works on the National Woodland Owner Survey and related efforts to better understand the decisions of private forest landowners nationwide. Her work uses mixed methods including large-scale surveys, in-depth interview techniques, and focus groups. She has worked with inter-group dynamics and decision-making processes on several projects including a new national effort to better understand urban residential landowners' attitudes, behaviors, and perceptions of their green space and trees

The Importance of Trees in Stormwater Management

Trees provide us with a wide range of benefits, including acting as natural reservoirs by intercepting rainfall, which can reduce stormwater runoff volume and mitigate its negative effects. The benefits of trees and other green stromwater infrastructure (GSI) management practices, especially in urban and suburban settings, are being more widely recognized as a solution to protect our waterways. 


Join Becky Tharp, coordinator of Vermont's Green Infrastructure Collaborative, as she explores the role and importance of trees in stormwater management. The webinar will introduce GSI: what is it? how is it used to manage stormwater runoff? why? Becky will then discuss the important role of trees and vegetation in managing stormwater and give examples of Vermont-based projects that have used the power of green infrastructure to reduce their impact on natural water bodies. 

Our presenter for the January webinar is Becky Tharp, coordinator of the Green Infrastructure Collaborative, a joint program of Lake Champlain Sea Grant and the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation developed in the summer of 2015. The Collaborative promotes Low Impact Development (LID) and Green Stormwater Infrastructure (GSI) practices as the preferred methodologies to manage stormwater runoff from developed lands in Vermont. This work includes the coordination of the Green Infrastructure Roundtable, an ad hoc group of individuals from the public and private sector who come together on a quarterly basis to discuss various aspects of GSI and LID. Further efforts include development of technical GSI trainings for design professionals, a new career conference for college students, and continued research and extension on the efficacy of GSI practices.

 

Emerald Ash Borer Management Considerations for VT Communities

The initial confirmation of Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) in any state has typically been in its more densely populated areas. However, once established, confirmation slowly extends into rural communities. Vermont, like many New England states, is dominated by rural landscapes, which makes the management of EAB uniquely problematic. With an eye toward policy development, Mark Duntemann will present on two specific topics. First, he will provide some brief insights from his experiences on how urban and rural communities in Illinois approached EAB management, first identified in 2006. Then, the majority of the discussion will focus on strategies to consider for the unique landscape that comprises Vermont towns. 

Presenter bio: Mark Duntemann founded Natural Path Urban Forestry Consultants in 1988. The firm’s area of expertise is arboricultural maintenance and management policy development, with an emphasis on tree risk assessments and tree risk management. Through this specialization, Mark has been an expert witness in dozens of tree-related injury and fatality cases. This experience informs his understanding of tree risk issues. Besides North America, his experiences have included work in Europe, South America and Asia. Mark has a Bachelor’s of Science in Forest Resources from the University of Montana and a Master’s in Urban Forestry from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Mark is an ISA Board-Certified Master Arborist, an ISA Tree Risk Assessment Qualification instructor and a former Tree Warden for the Town of Worcester and the City of Montpelier. He was recently appointed to represent the ISA on the Council of Tree and Landscape Appraisers in the development of the 10th edition of Tree and Landscape Appraisal Guide.

 

The Vermont Village Greens Initiative

Vermont’s village greens, steeped in history and tradition, serve as the physical and cultural heart of our communities. Historically located where roads converged, meeting houses were established, commerce concentrated and homes clustered, village greens hold a special place in community life. Village greens provide Vermonters a place to gather, to recreate and celebrate and to engage in commerce and community.  Today, human pressures and developmental changes to village greens have affected the longevity and well-being of these beloved gathering spaces. Preserving and revitalizing Vermont’s village greens is of utmost importance, as the greens are cherished community spaces in our villages and downtowns that reveal the collective history and culture of Vermont. 

Our April lunchtime webinar was a presentation on the Vermont Village Greens Initiative (VVGI). The Village Greens Initiative aims to raise awareness, appreciation and understanding of these revered community gathering spaces across Vermont. Since the fall of 2013, two interns and over 60 students in UVM community service-learning courses have engaged in a variety of projects. Presenters: Amie Schiller and Kate O'Brien, VVGI interns, and Richard Amore with the VT Department of Housing and Community Development.  The VVGI is a collaborative effort between the Vermont Urban & Community Forestry Program, the Vermont Agency of Commerce & Community Development, and the Preservation Trust of Vermont. 

Climate Change and Vermont's Forests

Forests are an invaluable economic and environmental resource of Vermont. Climate change will likely affect many forest functions that humans rely on, including clean water, recreational opportunities, forest products, wildlife habitat, and colorful fall foliage. Some forest impacts are already occurring and others are expected as current forests try to adapt to environmental changes and a new forest evolves. Taking proactive steps now will help protect what we have while we assist forest adaptation into a new, uncertain future forest. This presentation starts with information on recent trends in Vermont’s climate then focus on ways to assess forest and tree vulnerabilities, and implement strategies to build resilient, adaptable forests. 

This presenter is Sandy Wilmot, Climate Change Program Manager with the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks, & Recreation. Sandy grew up in Vermont, attended the University of Vermont for a bachelor’s degree in Botany and a master’s degree in Forest Entomology. She has worked for over 25 years for the State as a forest health specialist, focusing on long-term monitoring of forest health. The last 7 years have included work on climate change, forest carbon and adapting forests to climate change.

Developing Local Tree Policies and Vermont's Tree Warden Laws

A tree ordinance or policy is a municipal regulatory tool used by communities to attain and support healthy, vigorous, and well-managed urban trees and community forests.  Public policies for trees should reflect the goals and perspectives of the community, and should be based on a municipality's management goals, needs, and capacity.  

Join Danielle Fitzko, Program Coordinator of the Vermont Urban & Community Forestry Program, to explore the Vermont Tree Warden Laws, developing local tree policies to support community needs and goals, and why public policies for trees are important for healthy urban forests.  Danielle will provide examples at different scales, share how Vermont communities have approached developing ordinances and policies, and will introduce tools and resources that can aid in the process.  

 

Community Level Tree Risk Management Webinar

Managing risk is a complex undertaking when a large number of public trees is the consideration. Adding to this complexity is the unique town system found in Vermont, where public trees can be found along roads and town greens in villages and along densely wooded roads that connect these communities. Our understanding of tree risk has been primarily informed through litigation and tree biomechanics. The former has more than likely skewed our perception of liability, and the latter addresses only one of the three elements that determine tree risk. Perhaps due to these factors, the arboriculture profession tends to emphasize the extreme consequences of a tree part failure. Risk is about uncertainty and it is managed over time by implementing long-term, non-reactive, policies. Using Vermont-based examples, Mark will discuss the management of tree risk at the community level. He will provide strategies that have the goal of maintaining a healthy, expanding and safe community forest system while reducing the potential for harm occurring. 

Presenter bio: Mark Duntemann founded Natural Path Urban Forestry Consultants in 1988.  The firm’s area of expertise is arboricultural maintenance and management policy development, with an emphasis on tree risk assessments and tree risk management.  Through this specialization, Mark has been an expert witness in dozens of tree-related injury and fatality cases.  This experience informs his understanding of tree risk issues.  Besides North America, his experiences have included work in Europe, South America and Asia.  Mark has a Bachelor’s of Science in Forest Resources from the University of Montana and a Master’s in Urban Forestry from the University of Wisconsin – Madison.  Mark is an ISA Board-Certified Master Arborist, an ISA Tree Risk Assessment Qualification instructor and a former Tree Warden for the Town of Worcester and the City of Montpelier.  He was recently appointed to represent the ISA on the Council of Tree and Landscape Appraisers in the development of the 10th edition of Tree and Landscape Appraisal Guide.

 

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