Rick Van de Poll, PhD

Dr. Rick Van de Poll provides quality inventories, assessments, and knowledge of our natural resources to promote biodiversity conservation in New England for the public and private sector. In 1988 he founded Ecosystem Management Consultants of New England, LLC and since then has inventoried over 350,000 acres. Dr. Van de Poll sets the standard with his innovative contributions to the environmental field and was the first to develop a PhD program in Natural Resource Inventory. Rick is highly influential with State and Federal agencies and his unparalleled expertise is sought after throughout New England and New York. He has appeared on TV, radio and as a keynote speaker on various ecological topics.

Who I Am.

More About  Dr. Rick.

Dr. Rick Van de Poll is the principal of Ecosystem Management Consultants (EMC) of Sandwich, New Hampshire. Beginning in the mid-1980’s, his company was one of the first to perform natural resource inventories for the public and private sector of New England. With an emphasis on biodiversity conservation, EMC has conducted land assessments and completed management plans for local and state land trusts, state and federal agencies, municipalities, and private individuals. Dr. Van de Poll has completed field-based biological inventories on over 350,000 acres of land, including the Castle-in-the-Clouds Preserve in Moultonborough, the Hersey Mountain Preserve in Sanbornton and New Hampton, the Peirce Reservation in Stoddard, and the Lake Umbagog National Wildlife Refuge in Errol. He has completed natural resource inventories in 78 municipalities in NH, 12 municipalities in VT, 12 municipalities in ME, 8 municipalities in MA, and 3 municipalities in NY.

During his natural resource inventory work, he has recorded over 1600 mushrooms in New Hampshire, including a number of undescribed species. After studying with Dr. Harry Thiers at San Francisco State University for 2 years, he taught Mycology at Antioch New England from 1985 to 2001, and then Mycology as an adjunct faculty at Plymouth State University from 2003 – 2007. As a mycology instructor, Rick has presented dozens of walks and workshops throughout New England for the past 30 years. In 1988, he co-founded the Monadnock Mushroom Club in the southwest part of the state, and in 2001 he founded the local Sandwich Area Mushroom (SAM) Club in the Lakes Region of NH.

In the field of land use development, Dr. Van de Poll has worked primarily in the field of wetland science. He is a state-certified wetland scientist and served on the NH Joint Board of Natural Scientists for two terms (10 years), including one term as Chairman. He is a founding member of the NH Association of Wetland Scientists (now the NH Association of Natural Resource Scientists), and served as Vice-President, Education & Research Committee Chair, and Wildlife Discipline Chair. He has worked on dozens of subdivision projects since 1990, and has provided mitigation and restoration plans for residential and commercial development, including five building projects for Wal-Mart.

Dr. Van de Poll has assisted a large number of municipalities with development projects from both the conservation side and the development side, and strives to seek a balance of appropriate “smart growth” types of development alongside suitable conservation initiatives. He has written zoning ordinances and master plan chapters for six municipalities on the subject of wetlands and water resources. Recently he co-authored the revised ‘Method for the Inventory and Evaluation of Freshwater Wetlands in New Hampshire’ (UNHCE & NHDES 2011). He is the past Chair the Conservation Commissions of Sandwich, NH and Sullivan, NH. He also served two terms on the Board of the NH Association of Conservation Commissions.

In the field of land conservation, Dr. Van de Poll has been active since 1997, having put 50 acres of his family’s land under easement with the Society for the Protection of NH Forests. In 2002, he was the founding President for the first five years of the Northeast Wilderness Trust (NWT), which is currently headquartered in Montpelier, Vermont. NWT currently holds 16 easements and owns eight properties, totaling over 27,000 acres in New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Massachusetts, and Connecticut. Between 2003 and 2010 he was sponsored to present “Bio-Inventories for Land Conservation” at the National Land Trust Alliance Rally. In his work with NWT, the Forest Society, several local and regional land trusts, various municipalities, and several private individuals, he has been responsible for protecting over 25,000 acres of land.
Between 1985 and 2001, Rick was a faculty member of the Environmental Studies Department at Antioch New England, and between 2003 and 2008 was an adjunct faculty for the Graduate School at Plymouth State University. He is currently an adjunct faculty for UNH’s Professional development and Training Program. He has taught Wetland Science & Policy, Mycology, Natural Resource Inventory and ran the Summer Science Institute for Secondary School Teachers at PSU. As a lecturer, Rick has presented at dozens of seminars and conferences as an invited guest and keynote speaker. Recent training programs have included middle school environmental education field trips in the ConVal School District and a variety of family education workshops at Tin Mountain Conservation Center.

Education and Employment.

1996: (Ph.D.) The Union Institute – Cincinnati, OH Specialization: Natural Resource

Management; Dissertation: “Natural and Cultural Resource Inventories: A Guide to

Comprehensive (Level III) Methods for Private Landowners in New England”

1985-86: (MST) Antioch New England Graduate School – Keene, NH Emphasis:

Environmental Science; Natural Resource Inventory; Conservation Biology

1984-85: (MS in part) San Francisco State University – San Francisco, CA

Emphasis: Mycology and Lichenology

1974-77: (BA) The Evergreen State College – Olympia, WA Emphasis: Outdoor

Education and Counseling.

1971-72: (BA in part) Middlebury College – Middlebury, VT

2003 – 2008:   Adjunct Faculty, Plymouth State University, Plymouth, NH Courses developed and taught: Freshwater Biology Seminar, Summer Science Institute in Freshwater Ecology, Mycology, Wetlands (Graduate Division)

1985 – 2001:    Associate / Core Faculty, Antioch University New England, Keene, NH.

Courses offered: Wetlands Flora, Wetlands Delineation, Natural Resource Inventory, New England Flora, Mycology, Lichenology, Non-flowering Plants, Alpine Flora, Coastal Ecology, Tropical Ecology, Desert Ecology, Ecology of the Pacific Northwest, Tropical Ecology of the Galapagos and the Central Andes.

1990 – July, 2001:       DirectorField Studies Program, Antioch New England Graduate School, Keene, NH.   Oversaw and administered off-campus Field Ecology courses: Agroecology of the Italian Alps, Galapagos Ecology, Tropical Ecology (Costa Rica), Coral Reef Ecology (Caribbean), Wolf Ecology (MN), Desert Ecology (US/MEX), Ecology of the Pacific Northwest (WA), Coastal Birds (MA), Coastal Ecology (ME, MA), Pine Barrens Ecology (NJ), Marine Ecology (ME).

1988 – present: Principal, Ecosystem Management Consultants of New England, LLC, Center Sandwich, NH. Oversee the operation of an environmental consulting firm that provides natural resource inventories, wildlife assessments, and land use planning for the public and private sector. Conduct wetland delineations & evaluations; draft ordinances, provide written and oral testimony on municipal issues; supervise employees in research and education; teach environmental education

2005 – 2016: Environmental Education Director, Otter Brook Farm, Peterborough, NH. Conducted research and coordinated environmental education activities for two middle schools, one high school Envirothon team, and one pre-school. Worked with Harris Center for Conservation Education in coordinating in-class & field activities.

2009 – 2018: Land Steward Monitor, Sweet Water Trust, Sheffield, MA. Conducted annual monitoring of 15,000-acre Shingle Shanty Preserve & Research Station (Adirondacks, NY), 11,500-acre Vickie Bunnell Preserve (NH), and 1600-acre West Mountain Preserve (VT)

2002 – 2004: Academic Consultant, Plymouth State College, Plymouth, NH. Provided planning assistance in the development of the Center for the Environment; organized science faculty contributions, advised on curriculum development; initiated and taught an annual, one-week science camp for teachers

 1990 – August 2001: Director, Antioch New England Environmental Studies Contracts, Keene, NH. Conducted community service projects for the Environmental Studies Department in environmental education and natural resource inventory & management. Administered contracts, hired and supervised students and wrote reports.

Certifications & Service.

Certified Wetland Scientist #110, State of NH, Joint Board of Natural Scientists

Wetland Delineator Certification – Army Corps of Engineers (1987 Manual)

Northeastern Naturalist

New England Wildflower Society

2007 – present: NH Method Wetland Assessment Working Group

2007 – present: NH Fish & Game Department Wildlife Action Plan Revision Task Force

2006 – present: Governor-appointed member of Site Selection Committee for Aquatic Resource Mitigation Fund, NHACC representative

1998 – 2008: Governor appointed (Chair) NH Board of Natural Scientists, 2 terms

1998 – 2004: Wetlands Bio-monitoring Assessment Working Group, US Environmental Protection Agency, Region 1.

2003 – 2004: Squam Lakes Natural Science Center Advisory Board

1998 – 2001: Board of Directors, NH Association of Conservation Commissions

1997 – 1998: Deer, Moose & Bear Task Force, NH Fish Game Department

1996 – 1998: Army Corps HGM Wetlands Assessment Work Group

1996 – 2000: Ecological Reserves Steering Committee (NH) of the UNH Cooperative Extension Living Legacy Project, Scientific Advisory Group

2018 – present: Tin Mountain Conservation Center, Honorary Board Member

2013 – present: Squam Lakes Conservation Society Lands Committee

2012 – present: NH Land Trust Coalition, Outreach & Education Committee

2007 – present: NH Association of Natural Resource Scientists, Legislative Comm.

2002 – 2010: Board of Directors, Northeast Wilderness Trust (President 2002-2007)

2002 – 2010: Chair, Sandwich Conservation Commission

2001 – present: founder, director of Sandwich Area Mushroom Club

1996 – present: Member, NH Task Force, New England Plant Conservation Program

1991 – present: Board of Trustees, Northeast Mycological Federation

1997 – 2001: Ashuelot River Watershed Association Steering Committee

1992 – 2001: Natural Resources Advisory Comm., SW Reg. Planning Commission, NH

1992 – 2000: Vice-President, New England Chapter, Society of Wetland Scientists

1989 – 1994: Board of Directors, NH Association of Wetland Scientists

1988 – 1998: Chairperson, Town of Sullivan Conservation Commission

1988 – 1998: Co-founder & President, Monadnock Mushroomers Unlimited

Selected Contract Experience

2013 – present: Northwood Area Land Management Collaborative – conducting “current condition summary” of 2646 acres of land in Northwood and Deerfield, NH for public-private collaborative of 18 landowners; preparing background documents for ecosystem-based management plan to assist landowners in joint stewardship of critical upper Lamprey River watershed area

 * 2013 – 2014: Springfield Wetlands Project – completed comprehensive mapping of wetlands in town of Springfield; assisted with revisions to the existing wetlands ordinance; identified 161 probable vernal pools & provided guidance on recognizing vernal pools; provided wetland education at regional high school; currently providing rapid evaluation of major wetland complexes http://www.uvlsrpc.org/

2011 – present: Ossipee Mountain Preserve Ecological Monitoring – completed baseline documentation reports on two expansion tracts in Ossipee Mountains for Lakes Region Conservation Trust; currently conducting 10-year interval monitoring of wildlife and natural communities on entire 3,400 acre preserve

*2013 – 2014: Squam Uplands Rapid Ecological Assessment – completed 9-month assessment of 1465 acres in uplands region NW of Squam Lake for Squam Lakes Conservation Society; coordinated project review, completed BDR’s, wrote case statement for expansion of conservation focus area

*2011 – 2013: Grantham Wetland Inventory & Assessment Project – completed comprehensive aerial and roadside survey of all wetlands in Grantham, NH, as well as revised NH Method evaluation of 54 significant wetlands; coordinated 22 town volunteers and conservation commission members; prepared and presented final report; testified at several town hearings regarding proposed prime wetlands  http://www.granthamnh.net/

 2011 – 2014: Town of Center Harbor, NH Prime Wetlands Mapping Update – utilized NRI completed in 2011 to update prime wetlands mapping for six prime wetlands; presented at Town hearings and assisted in registering wetland with state of NH. http://www.centerharbornh.org/; currently assisting with rewrite and passage of Water Resources Ordinance

 *2011 – 2013: Twin Pines Housing Trust Rivermere Affordable Housing Project – Assisted TPHT to obtain grant assistance through the Northern New England Housing Investment Fund by providing wetlands and shorelands permitting guidance in Lebanon, NH; performed delineation & site assessment for project; completed storm damage assessment and assisted with restoration plan

* 2010 – 2012: Wildwood Property NRI & Management Plan, Dublin, NH – completed 20-year monitoring of natural resources at 1400-acre property; updated comprehensive, compartment-based management plan for private landowner

*2010 – 2011: Pleasant Mountain Preserve EA, Bridgton & Denmark, ME – completed comprehensive ecological assessment of wildlife, rare plants, and ecological communities on 1500-acre Phase I property and 736-acre Phase II (pending sale) property of the Loon Echo Land Trust; found one new and one state historic rare plant for Maine; documented 28 occurrences of 16 rare plants on mountain

*2010 – 2011: Hebron Town Forest NRI & Management Plan, Hebron, NH – conducted rapid ecological assessment of 453-acre public property; presented findings to town; worked with town forester to compile management plan

2009 – present: Wetlands Restoration & Conservation Project, Webster Lake, NH – completed 850-acre conservation easement on four parcels through Wetlands Reserve Program (NRCS); currently coordinating flood storage and aquatic life passage restoration on all properties to improve WQ of impaired Webster Lake

2009 – 2011: Town of Meredith Prime & Designated Wetlands Project – remapped prime and proposed designated wetlands in town, and coordinated passage of town-wide ordinance to approve modified prime & designated wetlands http://www.meredithnh.org/

2009 – 2011: Town of Center Harbor, NH Natural Resources Inventory – mapped and described major natural resources of town; completed aerial photo mapping of all wetlands; assessed and submitted documentation on six prime wetlands to state; wrote NR Chapter of master plan; submitted final report for town.  http://www.centerharbornh.org/

2008 – 2010: City of Lebanon Natural Resources Inventory Phase II – mapped and assessed all wetlands, documented wildlife species & corridors, determined high-value co-occurrence areas, assessed steep slopes, presented findings to the City [http://planning.lebnh.net/]; currently assisting with wildlife corridor analysis to integrate with City’s ‘green infrastructure’

2008 – 2009: Town of Hanover Mink Brook Highlands Assessment – conducted NRI assessment of 650-acre area that is currently subject to development proposals; performed 4-season wildlife and natural communities assessment, mapped wetlands

2007 – 2009: Effingham Wildlife Action Plan Implementation Project – conducted comprehensive review of wildlife and wildlife habitats in Effingham, updated Wildlife Action Plan at local level, and coordinated conservation of significant wildlife habitat in Effingham; conducted intensive sampling for critically imperiled species of mammals, birds, reptiles, fishes, amphibians, dragonflies & damselflies, and moths in selected wetland and upland habitats. Presented final report and assisted Conservation Commission with education outreach & conservation.

*2007 – 2009: Meredith Natural Resource Inventory – Phase II – conducted field-based survey of high-value co-occurrence areas established during Phase I NRI; completed 40% field-based, 60% office-based mapping of 7 prime wetlands; assessed wildlife habitat and identified wildlife corridors in town; wrote/presented reports http://www.meredithnh.org/

*2006 – 2008: Squam Range Ecological Inventory and Conservation Planning – wrote 3 grant proposals and received funding for 2-year EA in 20,000-acre area north of Squam Lake; worked with Plymouth State University graduate students and the Squam Lakes Conservation Society to monitor permanent plots, conduct primary research on threatened species, identify significant ecological areas, and make recommendations for management and conservation of land resources.

2005 – 2007: Effingham Wetlands Protection Project – wrote proposal and received ‘Moose Plate’ grant to map 90% of the wetlands in Effingham using 1998 digital aerial photographs and field surveys, identifying them by cover class, and assessing them in the field using the ‘N.H. Method.’ Project included the creation of a strategic wetland conservation plan for the Town

2003 – 2006: Town of Meredith Natural Resource Inventory – Phase I – conducted comprehensive GIS map review and ‘windshield survey’ of town’s natural resources, completed API of all wetlands, developed GIS ‘co-occurrence’ overlays and attribute assessment model; Phase II – conducting field verification of NRI data.

* 2003 – 2005: Bear Pond Natural Area NRI – served on team of scientists that researched the natural resource attributes of a 925-acre property in Canaan, N.H., for the Mascoma Watershed Conservation Committee. Performed the plant, mammal, and fungi inventory portion of the project.

* 2003 – 2004: Lake Umbagog National Wildlife Refuge – conducted biological assessment of macro-invertebrates of 19,000-acre refuge for the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, assessed effects of annual drawdown of 8900-acre lake, and provided assistance in the development of the Comprehensive Conservation Plan.

2002 – 2004: Castle-in-the-Clouds Bio-Inventory – performed a comprehensive inventory and assessment of the 5600-acre Castle property in Moultonborough and Tuftonboro, NH for the Lakes Region Conservation Trust; identified old growth areas, rare & endangered species, plus flora and fauna for management purposes.

2001 – 2002: Squam Lakes Watershed Bio-Inventory – conducted first year of long-term monitoring project in the 41,000-acre Squam Lakes area of central NH; compiled data base and annotated review of existing literature; prepared long-term ecological monitoring plan for 35 permanent plots, completed comprehensive assessment of plants, animals, water quality, and ecosystems for Squam Lakes Association.

* 2001 – 2002: Remick Museum Ecological Inventory – completed a comprehensive natural resource inventory of the 410-acre Remick Museum properties in Tamworth, N.H. Wrote management plan and nature trail guide for 2.5-mile nature trail. Assisted Farm staff in managing land and offering educational workshops.

* 2001 – 2002: Holt Pond Preserve Rapid Ecological Assessment – conducted a GIS and field survey of the 400+ acre Holt Pond Preserve in Bridgton, Maine for the Lakes Environmental Association (LEA). Established monitoring plots, wetland assessment, species accounts, and educational materials for outreach efforts of LEA.

* 2000 – 2001 Nelson Priority Conservation Plan – Prepared GIS review of all natural and cultural resource attributes of the 14,452-acre town; drafted attribute assessment model based on LCIP & LCHIP criteria; assessed 38 parcels within high quality ecological areas; advised on conservation initiatives for selected parcels.

* 1999 – 2001: Ossipee Mountain Preserve Bio-Inventory – Completed two-year natural resource inventory of the +/- 3000 acre Lakes Region Conservation Trust land on part of the Ossipee ring dike; conducted rare & endangered species assessments, mammal tracking, natural community mapping, releve’ plot analysis, and bird, reptile and amphibian surveys; prepared management plan for this wildlands area

* 1999 – 2000: Amherst Wetlands Assessment – Completed ‘NH Method’ evaluation of all wetlands > 1 acre in Amherst, NH; trained 28 volunteers, supervised 4 Antioch interns; prepared and presented summary analysis for nominating prime wetlands through the NH DES Wetlands Bureau; assisted Town in preparing ordinance revision requiring water resource management plans for all proposed impacts in project area (passed 3/12/01)




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