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