Date of Award

2017

Document Type

Dissertation/Thesis

Advisor(s)

Deane Wang, PhD.

Josef Gorres, PhD.

Jennifer Pontius, PhD.

Elizabeth Thompson

Abstract

The Pond Brook Watershed in Monkton, Vermont, is a 19,000-acre patchwork of northern white cedar swamps, oak-covered ridgetops, and prime agricultural soils. Over 95% of the watershed is privately owned, limiting ecologists’ abilities to conduct a landscape-scale field assessment or determine significant natural resources within the area. I was hired by the Agricultural and Natural Areas Committee of Monkton [ANAC] to conduct an ecological assessment of the Pond Brook Watershed by visiting a diverse sampling of privately-owned parcels and inventorying the 300-acre town owned wetland.

I worked with over 30 individual landowners to understand current and historical land use in Monkton and inventoried nearly 4,000 acres of land. By aggregating this data with existing spatial data, I mapped state-significant natural communities, rare species, wildlife habitat, and areas of special conservation concern throughout the watershed. The maps and individual property reports I have created will guide ANAC and town conservation planning in the future. In order to reinforce residents’ appreciation and connection to the Monkton landscape, I also created a photographic guide to the common habitats and species of the watershed.