Meet the team that brought the Small Mammal Atlas to the Vermont Atlas of Life.

The VAL's Small Mammal Atlas is a convergence of previous efforts to document the population of these 27 species.

The creation Small Mammal Atlas was the capstone project of Middlebury Environmental Studies seniors Jack Cornish, Emma Hills and Emma Ramirez-Richer. The project earned them credit for Dr. Alexis Mychajliw’s ENVS 401/700 Community Engaged Practicum during the 2021-2022 academic year. Their tasks included creating and designing the VAL Small Mammal Atlas webpage and digitizing inaccessible Vermont small mammal data into the standardized Darwin Core format to have it appear on the Atlas. They supplemented their work with research into the importance and nuances of establishing baselines for species during climate change, and the important role that community science is able to play in establishing these measures. The intention is for other students and interns to pick up where the Small Mammal Atlas was left off by adding more species like bats and larger mammals, additional species information, and to digitize more analog data.

Students and Interns:

Jack Cornish – Middlebury College Class of 2022. Conservation Biology major, Mathematics minor. Other interests include hunting, fishing, nordic and telemark skiing.

Emma Hills – Middlebury College Class of 2022. Conservation Biology major. Member of the Track and Field team (400m). Interests include figure skating, trivia and bird watching.

Emma Ramirez-Richer – Middlebury College Class of 2022. Environmental Policy major, Education Studies minor. Member of the Middlebury Snow Bowl Ski Patrol. Also loves running, drawing and reading.


Dr. Alexis Mychajliw – Middlebury Environmental Studies & Biology Professor. Advisor for this project.

Diane Munroe – Middlebury Environmental Studies Community Coordinator

Kent McFarland –  Conservation Biologist at the Vermont Center for Ecostudies

Sources of knowledge and valuable data:

Dr. C.W. Kilpatrick – UVM Professor Emeritus of Mammalogy and chair of the Vermont Mammal Scientific Advisory Group

New England Flying Squirrel Network – Creators of the Flying Squirrel nest boxes community science project, of which 3 nest boxes are in the process of being built for Middlebury College lands.

Dr. Stephen Trombulak – Middlebury College Professor Emeritus of Conservation Biology

You! Keep observing on iNaturalist and other community science platforms!