Weather or Not Speaker Series

Quick Links to Presenters, Biographies, and Additional Information

Vermont Weather with Mark Breen

Thursday, March 27, 7:00 pm

Thetford Academy

Mark Breen

Mark Breen is the Senior Meteorologist at the Fairbanks Museum and Planetarium, and for over 30 years he has been the morning voice of weather on several local radio stations, as well as Vermont Public Radio's an "Eye on the Sky." He is also the author of the award-winning children's book, "The Kid's Book of Weather Forecasting." Along with weather forecasting for radio and newspapers, his work at the Museum involves teaching weather and science, as well as serving as the Planetarium Director for the Lyman Spitzer, Jr. Planetarium, Vermont's only public planetarium.

Fairbanks Museum and Planetarium

1302 Main Street

St. Johnsbury, VT  05819

802-748-2372 (General Info) (Weather)

Maple News with Mark Isselhardt

Thursday, April 6, 7 pm

Thetford Elementary School

Mark Isselhardt

Mark Isselhardt's research interests include the dynamics of nonstructural carbohydrate in sugar maple (Acer saccharum Marsh.), how modern production methods impact flavor and chemistry of maple syrup improving the efficiency of sap collection equipment. As a research associate at the Proctor Maple Research Center Mark's duties include the design and execution of experiments related to the practice of maple syrup production. He is also involved with experiments related to white birch (Betula papyrifera Marsh.) syrup production.

Proctor Maple Research Center

P.O. Box 233, Harvey Road

Underhill Ctr., VT 05490

(802) 899-9926 (Proctor Center website) (Vermont Maple Sugar Makers Association) (2016 Regional Production Data)

Heirloom Seeds with Sylvia Davatz

Thursday, April 13, 7:00 pm

Thetford Center Community Building

Sylvia Davatz

Sylvia has been gardening organically for over 25 years. About 20 years ago she began to notice a decline in the number of varieties available through commercial seed catalogues, and this alarming situation inspired her to begin seed saving. Her interests focus on preserving rare varieties, selecting and adapting regionally appropriate crops to support a local, year-round food system, in working on season-extending crops, trialing a range of varieties for their ability to thrive in the Northeast, and increasing the range of staple foods, such as grains, grown in the Upper Valley. Sylvia is a member of the Seed Savers Exchange (SSE) in Decorah, Iowa and a member of the Swiss seed savers organization ProSpecieRara. Sylvia offers over 140 varieties of open-pollinated seed to fellow SSE members through their annual yearbook, and an additional 50 or so varieties are maintained in her garden for personal use and trialing.

Sylvia Davatz

106 Gilson Road

Hartland, VT 05048


no website

Other Links of Interest (Seed Savers Exchange) (Fedco Seeds - the source of our "Three Sisters" seed blend given to attendees) (Svalbard Seed Vault)

Tick Talk with Dr. Alan Eaton

Thursday, April 27, 7:00 pm

United Church of Thetford

Alan Eaton

Alan joined UNH Cooperative Extension in 1978 as the statewide coordinator of IPM programs. His job has changed over the years. The role of fruit entomologist was added in 1980. He initiated work with organic farmers at about the same time. His work on vertebrate pests (birds, voles, woodchucks etc.) began in 1981. His first graduate student completed his thesis in 1982. Alan began teaching a course called Integrated Pest Management with Bill MacHardy in 1986. That course has been modified and is called PBIO 760, Insect Pest Management. With elimination of the Entomology Department in 1995, he joined the Plant Biology Department. With re-organization of COLSA, he joined the Department of Biological Sciences. 

Alan provided some great links and information at his talk - here are a few: (Protecting Yourself From Ticks - a six-minute UNH video) (Biology and Management of Ticks in New Hampshire) (Insect Repellents, including those for ticks) (Winter Ticks)

Dr. Alan Eaton

UNH - Spaulding Hall

38 Academic Way

Durham NH 03824-2617

(603) 862-1734 (a good overview with most of the above links.  Includes tick images)

Have additional related links or information that you'd like us to share?  Drop us a line and send us the information and we'll add it here.