Mike Hayslett

(434) 381-6523

Office: Nature Center @ Lower Lake

Director, Virginia Vernal Pools Program (V2P2)
Past President, Central Virginia Chapter of the Virginia Master Naturalist Program

What does Sweet Briar's Naturalist-in-Residence do?

Three things:

  • I assist Biology faculty in organizing and conducting field projects.
  • I assist the College in maintaining field sites for education and research.
  • I develop, organize and run natural history and natural resource workshops that use Sweet Briar's campus.

Recent activities

1. Schools for Pools.  This project was supported by an Environmental Education grant from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Office of the Environmental Protection Agency and by a grant from the Boxley Materials Company:

The Schools for Pools project connects schools in Central Virginia with partnering hosts who provide access to local wetland sites, which serve as outdoor classrooms for interdisciplinary studies. Students and teachers participate in directed field investigations of vernal pool wetlands as showcases of environmental dynamics, ecology and conservation concepts, and unique wildlife habitats. The purpose of the Schools for Pools project is to promote community stewardship of vernal pools and related wetland environments and to improve the teacher skills of regional educators on the environmental values and conservation issues associated with protecting these fragile ecosystems. The new knowledge and skills gained by students, teachers and their networks of family, neighbors and local leaders  encourage them to be more responsible in recognizing the value of these environments in the landscape.

2. Sweet Briar students trained as Master Naturalists.   I am delighted that Sweet Briar College students have taken the Basic Training Course with the Central Virginia chapter of the Virginia Master Naturalists.  Four students completed the training in 2009, and four more enrolled in 2010.  The Sweet Briar Student Naturalists put in many volunteer hours in Sweet Briar's natural areas and in regional vernal pools field projects.