Northern Woodlands Conference

Northern Woodlands Conference Image  1

Friday, September 30 - Sunday, October 2, 2016

The Hulbert Outdoor Center
Fairlee, Vermont

Keynote Speaker:

Richard Ober

Plenary Speakers:

Rick Bass, Todd Katzner, Jeffrey Lent, Susan Morse

Thank you to everyone who participated in this weekend celebration of the Northern Woodlands. Stay tuned for updates about next year's event!

View the Weekend Schedule At-a-Glance

View the Complete Weekend Schedule

View the Presenter Biographies

Enjoy a fun, informal weekend at the Hulbert Outdoor Center on Lake Morey with the Northern Woodlands crew. This year’s celebration will include special workshops for writers, educators, and illustrators, as well as natural history talks on eagles, loons, and ice storms, a caterpillar lab, woods walks, and – back by popular demand – open mic night! Conversations around the fire, good meals, and comfortable cabins.

Sponsored by The Bailey Charitable Foundation and The Trust for Public Land, this event celebrates the natural history of our region and the interactions of people and place. Professional development credits available. Enrollment limited. Questions? Contact conference coordinator Emily Rowe at emily(at)

The conference will begin Friday evening with social hour, dinner, and the first plenary session “Golden Eagles of the Northern Woodlands” with raptor expert Todd Katzner, followed by poetry and music in the barn with poet Verandah Porche and folk singer Celia Evans. Early risers Saturday morning can join Virginia Barlow and Dave Mance on a woods walk before breakfast. Richard Ober will deliver the keynote address “If You Don’t Know the Ground” before the morning workshop sessions. Select two one-hour sessions or a two-hour intensive:

  • “The Common Loon: Habitat, Colonization, and Stories from the Field” Walk with Eric Hanson
  • Writing Workshop with Author and Northern Woodlands Columnist Robert Kimber (limit: 20)
  • “Thirty-Eight: The Hurricane That Transformed New England” with Stephen Long
  • “Finding the Verse in Conversation” Writing Workshop with Verandah Porche
  • “A Place in Mind” Writing Workshop with Terry Osbourne & Patrick White (Two-hour intensive, limit 20)
  • “Connecting to Place: Learning in Nature at Every Age” Educator Workshop with Lisa Purcell & Cheryl Charles (Two-hour intensive, limit 20)

Following lunch will be another plenary session “Elements of Story” with author Rick Bass. Around this time The Caterpillar Lab will open for the afternoon, were you can drop in between sessions to meet an assortment of late season native caterpillars. Afternoon workshop sessions include two one-hour sessions or a two-hour intensive:

  • “Caterpillars of New England: Their Natural History and Value as an Educational Resource” with The Caterpillar Lab's Sam Jaffe
  • “How to Make Venomous Snakes Sound Appealing” Reading & Discussion with Ted Levin
  • “Finding Stories and Humor in Nature” Workshop & Walk with Michael Caduto
  • “Why Ice Storms Aren’t Cool: New Research at the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest Targets Deadly Winter Storms” with Dr. Lindsey Rustad
  • “The Natural (and Unnatural) History of the Common Loon” with Eric Hanson
  • “Elements of Story” Writing Workshop with Rick Bass (Two-hour intensive, limit 20)
  • “The Story and the Pitch” Writing Workshop with Jim Collins & Jay Heinrichs (Two-hour intensive, limit 20)
  • “Nature Illustration” with Nona Estrin & Adelaide Tyrol (Two-hour intensive, limit 20)

After this full day we will gather for social hour to schmooze, enjoy hors d’oeuvres and check out four seasons of highlights from our Reader Photo Gallery. The last plenary session of the evening will follow dinner, a reading and discussion “Voices From the Hills” with Jeffrey Lent. The night will culminate in an Open Mic Party in the barn.

Sunday morning breakfast will be followed by the last plenary session of the weekend, “Wildlife Messages: Parental Guidance Advised,” a fun presentation on scent marking with natural history and tracking expert Susan Morse of Keeping Track.

Following registration, you will receive an email inviting you to select your preferred workshops.

Registration Refund Policy:
Full refunds can be issued until September 16, 2016. 50% refunds can be issued from September 16 until September 23. No refunds can be issued after September 23.

Alternate Lodging

Off-campus lodging may be available at the following locations:

Silver Maple Lodge

The Lyme Inn

The Pastures Campground