Home * About * Ecological Services * Natural History Programs * Book * Blog * Photography * Links

Ecological Services

My surveys are tailored to your interests and budget. Do you have a general desire to know about the habitat value of your property, or are you especially excited to know what large mammals are using it? Do you want an exhaustive list of plants on the site, or a targeted search for rare species? Are you interested in a detailed report, complete with photographs and maps, or would you rather simply spend a few hours exploring the area with a knowledgeable naturalist?

A rapid ecological assessment might entail a single visit to a property, in which I describe the major habitat types, list the dominant and noteworthy plant and animal species I encounter, and give my opinion of the site's most important ecological features along with management possibilities. A more complete natural resource inventory ideally includes visits at different times of the year, and may include any combination of the following:

•   Rare species search
•   Botanical inventory
•   Wildlife inventory
•   Natural community classification and mapping
•   Vernal pool documentation
•   Trail mapping
•   Inventory of cultural features (e.g. stonewalls, cellar holes)
•   Invasive species mapping
•   Management recommendations
•   Photographic documentation

Natural community mapping can focus on highlighting the uncommon or exemplary natural communities on a property, or it can be a complete picture of the plant assemblages present. As part of my natural resource inventory for the Winooski Valley Park District in Burlington, VT, I made one set of maps for all of their properties showing the current vegetative cover, and a second set (like the one at left) showing the potential natural communities. For the latter, I used all the available clues (current vegetation, bedrock, surficial geology, topography, hydrology) to predict what the landscape would eventually look like if left undisturbed by human management. I have worked with the natural community classification systems of Vermont, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Connecticut.

Below are a few of the rare plants I have discovered and documented:

Pinedrops (Pterospora andromedea)
Endangered in Vermont
Tuckerman's sedge (Carex tuckermanii)
Endangered in Massachusetts
Broad-leaved waterleaf (Hydrophyllum canadense)
Endangered in Massachusetts
Great bur-reed (Sparganium eurycarpum)
Threatened in New Hampshire

All images on this web site ©Charley Eiseman