Natural History of Timber Rattlesnakes in the Adirondacks (and the Northeast) with William S. Brown

Wednesday, June 21, 2017, from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. at the NRWA River Resource Center at 592 Main Street (Rt. 119) in Groton, MA

William S. Brown has been studying the Timber Rattlesnake population in the Adirondacks for nearly 40 years. His study of the life history and ecology of these snakes is the longest running continuous capture-recapture study of any rattlesnake conducted in the wild. Learn about the life history of the Timber Rattlesnake, its behaviors and habitat. Professor Brown will share information on these snakes that has come to light thru his study.  For example, these snakes are long-lived (over 40 years), and females generally don’t reproduce until age 9 or 10.  He’ll discuss winter rattlesnake denning, essential to their survival.  Did you know that winter dens in New York represent ancestral populations which have been in continuous existence for approximately 8,000 years? Brown will also cover how to live with these shy and retiring snakes, and efforts to preserve native Timber Rattlesnake populations.

Brown is an Associate Professor Emeritus of Biology at Skidmore College and lecturer in the Dept of Biological Sciences at the University at Albany (SUNY). His work has been published in National Geographic and peer-reviewed scientific journals. Currently, he is an editor and author for a national group of research biologists producing a "Conservation Action Plan" for the Timber Rattlesnake, and serves on the Timber Rattlesnake Recovery Team of the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation. Professor Brown was a recipient of The Nature Conservancy's (Eastern New York Chapter) annual Oak Leaf Award in 2003 citing his "many years of study and efforts toward preservation of Timber Rattlesnakes."  He is a zoologist and herpetologist with Bachelor's and Master's degrees from Arizona State University and a Ph.D. degree in Biology from the University of Utah.

This program is free and open to the public, made possible by a grant from the Groton Trust Funds’ Lecture Fund.  Pre-registration is required; seating is limited.  To pre-register, please contact Wynne Treanor-Kvenvold, NRWA Communications Manager, at (978) 448-0299, or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  

Climate Trends in Massachusetts and Their Impact on River Behavior

Thursday, June 1, 2017, 7:00–9:00 p.m., NRWA River Resource Center, 592 Main Street (Rt. 119), Groton, MA

Scientists at National Weather Service (NWS) are seeing changing trends in our precipitation and temperature patterns across New England, with an increasing trend in annual average temperature, annual average precipitation, and the number of heavy rainfall events over the past two decades. What does that mean for our rivers? How can changes in river behavior impact our communities?  Join us for this presentation by David Vallee, Hydrologist-in-Charge of the National Weather Service’s Northeast River Forecast Center. The Northeast River Forecast Center provides detailed water resource and life-saving flood forecasting services to National Weather Service Forecast Offices, and the hundreds of federal, state and local water resource entities throughout the Northeast and New York. NWS data shows that our region has experienced an increasing number of moderate to major flood episodes.  These episodes have been associated with a variety of storm types and have affected the region at different times of the year.  The common thread in each episode was the ability of each storm system to tap a tropical moisture source which resulted in very rainfall on already saturated ground.  This presentation will examine these observed climate trends, the atmospheric connections to the increased rainfall intensity of our weather systems, and the impacts it is having on river flood frequency in the region.

David has worked for the National Weather Service for 28 years, serving in a variety of positions.  He has extensive experience leading hydrometeorological forecast and warning operations and directing weather research and training programs.  David served as the NWS lead investigator with the SUNY Albany, on a multi-year project addressing Land Falling Tropical Cyclones in the Northeastern United States which improved the forecasting of heavy precipitation associated with these land falling tropical cyclones. His outreach and education work on the behavior of New England Hurricanes has included many appearances on local radio and T.V. networks as well as the Weather Channel, the History Channel and the Discovery Channel.  David has been the recipient of numerous regional and national awards including the prestigious National Isaac Cline Award for Leadership.  

This presentation is free and open to the public. Pre-registration is not required, but is appreciated for planning purposes.  To pre-register, please contact Wynne Treanor-Kvenvold, NRWA Communications Manager, at (978) 448-0299, or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  

NRWA FSU Grad/PDP Course for Teachers Grades 5 thru 8

Monday, July 10 thru Friday, July 14, 2017 from 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the NRWA River Resource Center, 592 Main Street (Rt. 119) in Groton, MA

The Nashua River Watershed Association will lead a course for teachers this summer through Fitchburg State University. “NRWA Watershed Investigations Course: Connecting Watersheds and 2016 MA Science & Technology/ Engineering Standards” will allow graduate level and/or in-service teachers grades 5-8 to dissect and apply the new Massachusetts Science and Technology/Engineering Draft Revised Standards. This course, offered through Fitchburg State University/Summer II 2017, will run from July 10 through July 14, 2017, 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., based at the NRWA’s River Resource Center located at 592 Main Street (Rt. 119) in Groton, MA.  

Candidates will practice using the publication Nashua River Watershed Investigations for Grades 5-8: Connecting Watersheds to the 2016 MA Science and Technology/Engineering Standards, including 12 lessons ready for classroom use. They will learn through hands-on outdoor science lessons, presentations from NRWA scientists, and collaboration with peers. Candidates will also design a science unit including a self-designed research project with measurable data collection. Outdoor excursions will include a short canoe trip, walks through several forested areas, and explorations in a schoolyard.

The cost is $600 for 3 graduate credits from Fitchburg State University, or $400 for 37.5 PDPs.  Space is limited; be sure to register today to reserve your spot. The deadline for registration is June 30, 2017.  To register, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., NRWA Environmental Education Associate.

"Tick Talks": How to Prevent Tick Bites, Lyme and Other Tick-borne Diseases

Spring is a great season to enjoy the outdoors, whether hiking, gardening, or just playing in the yard; however, it is also a time when ticks are active.  How can you protect your family and pets from tick bites and prevent tick-borne diseases like Lyme, Babesiosis, and Anaplasmosis?  Join us for one of these free "Tick Talks" and learn the latest information from Dr. Katie Brown, the State Public Health Veterinarian from the MA Department of Public Health.  Dr. Brown will discuss the life cycle of local ticks, local tick-borne diseases, best practices to avoid tick bites, efforts to control tick populations, disease transmission & symptoms in humans & pets, and answer audience questions. Dr. Brown has held her position since 2006. Following 8 years of clinical practice in wildlife medicine, she was awarded a Fellowship sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and prevention. In her current position she oversees surveillance and educational outreach on all zoonotic and vector-borne diseases. 

Tuesday, May 2, 2017, 7:00- 8:30 p.m. at the Bromfield School Library, 14 Mass Avenue in Harvard, MA  Co-sponsored by the Harvard Board of Health, Harvard Conservation Commission, and NRWA.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017, 6:30- 8:00 p.m. at the Nashoba Valley Medical Center, 200 Groton Road in Ayer, MA  Co-sponsored by NRWA and the Nashoba Valley Medical Center.  Dr. Brown will be joined by a second local physician for this conversation.  For planning purposes, pre-registration for this talk is appreciated.  Pre-register by This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  

The NRWA’s participation is funded in part by a grant from the Nashoba Valley Healthcare Fund, managed by the Community Foundation of North Central Massachusetts and the Greater Lowell Community Foundation.  

Summer Eco-adventures for Youth for Ages 6 to 14

Get ready for summer!  Registration is open for Nashua River Watershed Association’s popular Summer Eco-adventure programs.  Your children will enjoy days of fun science, outdoor adventure, and making new friends. These small group programs are each led by NRWA professional educators/naturalists.  Sign up soon; space is limited.

Wilderness Summer Survival Week for Ages 11- 14
June 26 – June 29,2017 (Mon -Thu) 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Challenge yourself in nature with four adventurous, action-packed days of hiking Groton trails through numerous conservation properties, paddling the Squannacook River, developing summer survival skills, and exploring the inner world of our local river, woodlands and fields while making new friends. Outdoor adventure at its best with River Classroom Director Stacey Chilcoat. Program fees are $200 for NRWA members or $230 for non-members.

Wild World of Water Week for Ages 6-8
July 17– July 20,2017 (Mon - Thu) 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Escape the heat of summer with a fun-filled four days all about water!  Collect aquatic critters from the Nashua River, make a fresh water aquarium, do water experiments, make mini-boats to race on mini streams, and stay cool each day with lots of water games. Perfect for nature & water loving kids! Program fees are $180 for NRWA members or $210 for non-members.

Animal Adventures: Discover the creatures that share our forests, fields and wetlands
July 24 – July 27, 2017 (Mon – Thu) 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Calling all animal lovers and nature explorers!  From reptiles to mammals, this program focuses on the amazing lives of our local wildlife. Collect fascinating insects, practice summer tracking skills, hike local trails and play animal camouflage games. Discover how our local wildlife has adapted to live and thrive in these three distinct habitants. Program fees are $190 for NRWA members or $220 for non-members

Wee Play: Nature Detectives for Ages 6-7
Joint program with Nashoba Paddler’s Wee Paddle 3-day Camp
Tuesday, August 1 & Thursday, August 3, 2017, 9:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

The NRWA is offering two land-based outdoor adventure days for children participating in Nashoba Paddler’s Wee Paddle 3-day camp which runs Monday, Wednesday and Friday during this same week. Children will explore woods and fields, collect aquatic insects, play eco-games, and learn about the local wildlife. These two days are open to all families but will expand the outdoor fun for Nashoba Paddler Wee Paddle Campers interested in a full week of adventure! Program fees are $75 for NRWA members or $90 for non-members.

All programs are based at the Nashua River Watershed Association River Resource Center at 592 Main Street (Rt. 119), in Groton.  Pre-registration is required. Space is limited! To register This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., NRWA Environmental Education Assistant, or (978) 448-0299.