Audrey Clark

Audrey Clark

Audrey Clark writes articles on climate change and the environment for VTDigger, including the monthly column Landscape Confidential. After receiving her bachelor’s degree in conservation biology from Prescott College in Arizona, she worked as a field ecology research assistant and college teaching assistant for five years. Among her adventures during that period, Audrey identified tiny flowers while kneeling on the burning ground in the Mojave Desert in the summer, interviewed sea turtle poachers in Africa, and tracked wolves in the northern Rocky Mountains. Audrey began studying the nature of Vermont in 2010 and received her master’s of science from the University of Vermont’s Field Naturalist Program in 2012. She has worked as a freelance environmental journalist since then. She also works at UVM’s Pringle Herbarium, where she handles 100-year-old plant specimens. Audrey is learning fiddle and scientific illustration and lives in Burlington with her partner, cat, several dozen guppies, a few shrimp, and too many snails.

Email: [email protected]

    Landscape Confidential: Harbingers of spring

    Red-winged blackbird at Lake Woodruff. Photo by Andrea Westmoreland via Flickr

    In Vermont, it’s not the robin that tells us spring is on its way, but the blackbird.

    Landscape Confidential: Porches through the years

    The porte-cochere is a porch that extends over a driveway, protecting guests arriving by horse-drawn carriage from the weather. Photo by Audrey Clark

    As Thomas Visser details in his book, “Porches of North America,” a porch is a place where social and domestic activities meet and merge, a place that communicates our social standing and offers security, and a place where we seek health and comfort.

    UVM wins grant to help improve production of hops

    Creative Commons photo

    The three-year, $130,000 grant will fund research into which hops varieties are most resistant to pests.

    Landscape Confidential: The beautiful side of icy weather

    Rime ice formed on cobwebs.  Photo by Jason Shafer

    The science of freezing creates the beauty of hoar frost, rime ice and snow rollers, as well as the dangers of power outages and slipping on ice.

    Landscape Confidential: Mushroom munchers

    This mushroom has been eaten by slugs, which left large, irregular holes. Audrey Clark/VTDigger

    Red squirrels are perhaps the greatest devourers of mushrooms, fresh and dried. A 1924 article by William Cram in the Journal of Mammalogy is apparently the first scientific report of red squirrels drying mushrooms.

    Vermont’s bumble bee populations declining

    Yellow banded bumble bee.  Photo by Sam Droege/USGS.

    Three of the 15 bumble bee species found in Vermont are thought to be extinct and at least one other species is in decline.

    Landscape Confidential: Ancient deltas a gift from the glaciers

    At the overlook on Vermont 15 in Colchester you can stand on one arm of an ancient delta and look across the valley to the airport perched on another arm of the same delta. Photo by Audrey Clark/for VTDigger

    Forged by melting glaciers, ancient deltas can be found all over Vermont, perched along the slopes of every major valley in the state.

    A force of nature: Hub Vogelmann

    Hubert "Hub" Vogelmann, a longtime professor of botany at UVM and a leader in conservation efforts in Vermont, died Oct. 11, 2013, at the age of 84.

    A remembrance of the career of seminal UVM conservationist and acid-rain detective

    Landscape Confidential: Tracking insects

    This witch hazel has been visited by multiple species of insects -- those that skeletonize and those whose feeding forms large holes. Photo by Audrey Clark

    While it is the time of year to celebrate Vermont’s foliar beauty — oh, the colors! — it is also the time of year to note the many ways insects make a living off of leaves.

    Landscape Confidential: Flooded trees

    A shallow-rooted tree with a fluted trunk is a sign that this area is often flooded. Photo by Audrey Clark

    In 2011 spring floods and the tropical storm pummeled the forest, uprooted trees, bashed bark, devoured soil. How do trees survive such an assault?

    Climate Change Slideshow: Invasive plants encroach on native species

    Japanese-barberry THUMB

    Because many invasive plants are highly adaptable, they are poised to respond to climate change more quickly than most native plants.

    Invasive plants on the rise in Vermont

    Japanese Knotweed.  Photo courtesy KENPEI, Wikimedia Commons

    Some scientists say climate change will help invasive weeds spread and thrive. Others aren’t ready to take a stand.

    Facing climate change: Invasive pests multiply in Vermont as temperature warms

    Corn earworm THUMB

    Not only is Vermont’s climate getting warmer, which allows cold-blooded pests to do better here, but the changes in water availability stresses trees and lowers their ability to defend themselves.

    Vermont’s inhabitants – human and otherwise – owe much to volunteer extraordinaire Sally Laughlin

    Sally Laughlin THUMB

    The “grandmother of Vermont’s endangered species law” and VINS founder leaving after 32 years on state committee for endangered species.

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