Spencer Hardy – Project Lead

Spencer is a biologist and the VTBees coordinator. He has surveyed birds, alpine butterflies, and worked on the Vermont Bumble Bee Atlas for VCE. Spencer worked for several seasons in California with bumble bee and pollinator studies in California. His interest in pollinators is motivated both by a fascination with small, under-appreciated organisms and a selfish desire to preserve the tasty fruits and vegetables that depend on them. Learn more on the VCE website.

Kent McFarland – Co-lead

A co-founder of the Vermont Center for Ecostudies, Kent is a conservation biologist, photographer, writer and naturalist. He has been on the State Advisory Group for Invertebrates for the Vermont Endangered Species Committee since 2002. He’s spearheaded the Vermont butterfly, bumble bee, and other Vermont Atlas of Life projects. Learn more on the VCE website.


Michael Hallworth – Data Scientist

Mike is a wildlife ecologist who takes a full annual cycle approach to understand the interplay between the environment and population demography. To do this, it’s imperative to understand animal movement at multiple spatial scales–from fine-scale habitat selection of individuals to intercontinental migrations of populations. Identifying how different phases of the annual cycle interact to shape individual, population, and community dynamics is essential to understand how wildlife populations respond to global change. Learn more on the VCE website.

Leif Richardson – Project Advisor

Leif is a Conservation Biologist with the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation. His research focuses on the ecology, distribution, and declines of North American bumble bees. He has previously worked on VCE’s Vermont Bumble Bee Atlas and as an ecologist with the Vermont Nongame and Natural Heritage Program. Leif’s is a co-author of Bumble Bees of North America: an Identification Guide. Learn more on Leif’s website

Mark Ferguson – Natural Heritage Zoologist – Project Advisor

Mark is a wildlife biologist with the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department and serves as zoologist with the Department’s Natural Heritage Inventory. His work takes him into woods, fields, and waters in search of rare fish, amphibians, and invertebrates. He helps shape both state and Northeast regional efforts to conserve and restore vulnerable wildlife populations.


Taxonomic Experts

The following people have been invaluable in assisting with bee identification, without which this project would not be possible.

VTBees is a project of the Vermont Atlas of Life at the Vermont Center for Ecostudies in partnership with the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department and collaboration from the University of Vermont Gund Institute for the Environment. Financial support has been provided by a State Wildlife Grant from the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department, the Kelsey Trust, the Sarah K. deCoizart Article Tenth Perpetual Charitable Trust, and generous contributions from Vermont Center for Ecostudies supporters.