When I first saw the property listing for my new home in Fletcher, its location in the Cold Hollow to Canada region was a huge selling point. I had first heard about CHC while studying in UVM's Field Naturalist Program, then again through Sue Morse and the New England wildlife tracking community. I really appreciated the level of engagement in community-led conservation in the CHC area, as well as the tools and resources that CHC offers to landowners. I tapped into these and consulted the Conservation Priority Map to see whether my new prospective parcel fell within any priority forest blocks or connectivty landscapes—then got in touch for updates on the Keeping Track program.
I'm now excited to be joining the CHC team as Conservation Science & Administrative Coordinator. In this new role, I will be offering administrative support to the board and coordinating citizen science programs, including the Keeping Track and Wild Cams projects. More broadly, I'll be considering what wildlife data we can gather (and what questions we can investigate) to engage our community and inform our conservation work.
I bring a diverse work history in community science, program management, and nature education. I initiated the Burlington VT Mammal Tracking Project in 2015 and coordinated the Community Wildlife Monitoring Program out of Seattle for the past 2 years. In addition to my CHC work, I currently manage a nonprofit that oversees the training and certification of wildlife trackers and also lead wildlife tours to Yellowstone and the Canadian Arctic.
When I'm not working away at the computer or off leading a wildlife trip, you'll typically find me outside looking for wildlife sign. To me, tracking is akin to learning the language of the natural world. As you gain fluency, singular tracks and sign connect into stories that reveal the travels and interactions of our wild neighbors—and can inform the protection of wildlife habitat. The upcoming snow season in particular offers unparalleled opportunities to pick up on all of the details.
I hope you'll reach out in the months ahead to share any wildlife sightings or tracking mysteries—or simply to say hello. You can contact me at sophie@. coldhollowtocanada.org