Science in the Community


May 18 – 22

Every day, scientists are out in the field, conducting research and discovering ways to help protect our planet. Tune in this week to learn about the impact scientists have in our region.

Watch the series on Facebook or YouTube.

Len Reitsma, PhD. Professor of Ecology, Plymouth State University

Monday, May 18, 2020


Len Reitsma earned his BS in Biology at William Paterson University in Wayne, NJ in 1985 and his Ph.D. from Dartmouth in 1990. He has been a professor at Plymouth State University since 1992 teaching a variety of courses including ornithology, vertebrate zoology, tropical biology, conservation, ecology and current environmental issues. Len has worked with students and local teachers on an environmental education effort that reached all elementary school children in the last four summers. His bird research focuses on population ecology, most recently of the Canada warbler, and bird community responses to experimental timber harvest. He is an avid birdwatcher and has traveled with his wife, Denise, to many places around the world to see new birds.

Watch Len’s video here.

Luke Groff, Ph.D Herpetologist with the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department

Tuesday, May 19, 2020


Luke is a wildlife biologist who works to conserve and recover endangered and threatened amphibians and reptiles. He has lived and worked in the Northeast, Northwest, Midwest, and Rocky Mountain regions. Luke has developed predictive models to identify potential habitats for rare species and guide on-the-ground surveys. He has investigated how habitat features and snowpack depth influence temperatures experienced by overwintering frogs. He has evaluated the importance of alternative amphibian breeding habitats in high-elevation landscapes where wetlands are limited. Luke began with the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department last summer and has continued ongoing management and conservation efforts that benefit the state’s rare snake and turtle species. He is also responsible for managing wildlife habitat within some of Vermont’s Wildlife Management Areas.

Watch Luke’s video here.

Judy Rosovsky Vermont’s State Entomologist and Plant Regulatory Official

Ginger Nickerson, Vermont’s Urban & Community Forestry Program and Pest Education Coordinator

Wednesday, May 20, 2020


Have you ever wondered what an Entomologist does for a living? What about a Forest Pest Education Coordinator? Learn the answer to these questions and many more as Judy Rosovsky, Vermont’s State Entomologist and Plant Regulatory Official and Ginger Nickerson, Vermont’s Urban & Community Forestry Program and Pest Education Coordinator are interviewed in this “Meet a Scientist” series. Learn about the Emerald Ash Borer, an invasive pest that has found its way into Vermont, what you can do to help report pests and take action in your community!

Watch Judy & Ginger’s video here.

Additional Resources:

Walter Opuszynski Forest Recreation Specialist Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation

Thursday, May 21, 2020


Walter has been working with recreation trails for over two decades. Previous roles include Trail Crew Leader for the Maine Conservation Corps, Trail Director for the Northern Forest Canoe Trail and owner of True to the Land Trails, LLC. His current role with the Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation (FPR) is focused on managing recreation resources on State Lands in Central Vermont. Efforts are focused on working with partners, volunteers and FPR staff to provide the public with safe, sustainable and enjoyable recreation experiences. Management activities involve supporting long range management plan development and implementation, procuring resource data via infrastructure assessments, user surveys, and trail usage data and managing grants and field projects.

Watch Walter’s video here.

Robin Tindall, Engineer and the Environmental Stewardship Manager, Hypertherm

Friday, May 22, 2020


Robin Tindall serves as Hypertherm’s Environmental Stewardship Manager, integrating environmental stewardship along the entire value chain. Her efforts are central to Hypertherm’s mission of reducing the environmental impact of everything it does. Guided by an aggressive 2020 sustainability dashboard, Robin touches upon all aspects of the business beginning with product design, supply & operations, to end use & product end of life.  Robin’s team at Hypertherm has brought landfill waste down to just 1.25% today; electricity consumption is down 19% percent from 2010.

Watch Robin’s video here (Part 1 & Part 2).

Contact with questions or comments.