top of page
Naturalist Intensive


Instructors: Lucian Avery and Jonathan Shapiro


Humans are hard-wired to the rhythms of the living, breathing natural world. Whether you call it neurobiology or spiritual connection, paying attention to what's happening on the landscape around us is what makes us who we are.

Many of us deeply want to belong to the land where we live— to cultivate a rich, intimate connection to our landscape that is both emotional and rational. The Naturalist Apprenticeship balances these two facets—the rational from honing our skills of observation and awareness, and the emotional from relationship-building, intention, and cultural practices such as gratitude, intention, and story.

This two-pronged approach is the basis for learning to belong on the land where we live. Without a deep connection to the greater-than-human world, our factual knowledge is shallow. But without concrete understanding of the lives of our wild neighbors, our emotional connection to our landscape may be just a projection. Join us as we learn concrete naturalist skills as well as forge a relationship with the living, breathing, animate world around us.

We'll start in winter, with an overview of the North Woods, journaling techniques, tree identification, and winter bird behavior. While the snow remains, we'll follow tracks and interpret mammal feeding and breeding behavior. Spring ephemerals will emerge, along with bird nesting and mating behaviors. Next, we'll watch trees leaf out, meadow plants start to bloom, and summer arrive in full. When fall arrives, we'll look at bird migration, animal preparations for winter, foliage change, and leaf drop.

When we end, you'll have watched in wonder at a full cycle of the seasons, and you'll be prepared to continue your naturalist practice in the future. Equally important, during our time interacting with the land and her inhabitants, you will have built a meaningful relationship with the animate world around us.

We meet one weekend a month from January through October, omitting August. There is additional mentoring time and optional homework between sessions. Most of our time will be spent in the field, and we'll also journal our observations, and research answers to questions that come up in the field using books, maps, and other resources.

We will be outside in almost all weather, walking up to several miles a day over varied terrain. We start around 9am on Saturday, and spend a long day in the field. Sunday is shorter, usually ending mid-afternoon. Please consider your level of physical fitness when registering.

2023 Naturalist Intensive Dates:

We'll meet one weekend a month, for 9 months, from January to October, with no class in August.

Jan 14-15

Feb 11-12

Mar 11-12

Apr 15-16

May 20-21

Jun 17-18

Jul 8-9

Aug no class

Sep 23-24

Oct 21-22

$2,475. Enrollment is capped at 10 students—to reserve a spot, please contact me and submit a $250 non-refundable deposit. All Fox Paw classes are eligible for VSAC advancement grants. Contact me for more info, or check out


Payment plans are available, as well as limited financial aid and barter. If finances are a barrier for you, please contact me.



If you have questions, or for more information, please contact me at (802) 249-1463 or



Instructors: Lucian Avery and Jonathan Shapiro


Connect to your habitat—come learn wild edibles throughout the seasons!

This seven-month apprenticeship meets one day a month, and provides a strong foundation in field botany, plant ID, and wild edible harvesting and preparation. Each class will end with a shared wild food meal. Runs April through October.

$980. Partial or full VSAC grant funding available to qualified VT residents. Payment plans and limited scholarships available.

2023 Foraging Apprenticeship dates:

April 2nd

May 7th

June 4th

July 2nd

August 13th

September 10th

October 8th

Enrollment is capped at 10 students. To register, please contact me, and send a $200 non-refundable deposit (checks made out to Fox Paw School) to the below mailing address.


All Fox Paw Classes are VSAC eligible. Payment plans are availalbe, as well as listed financial aid and barter. If finances are a barrier or you, please contact me.



Take a deep dive into what is arguably the oldest human skill—tracking. By learning to read the stories in the tracks of our wild kin, we learn their lives and become a part of the greater-than-human community. This weekend-long course is easy to digest and goes in-depth, and beginners and experienced trackers are welcome.


We'll start with awareness and observation skills, and move into a basic ecological framework for our bioregion. Next, we'll tackle track ID and mammal foot morphology, and finish with a lesson on animal gaits and using them to interpret behavior.


Most of our time will be in the field, and we'll have ample opportunity to practice the skills we'll learn. We'll be outside in (almost) any weather, so come prepared to spend your day out on the wintry landscape.

February 18th-19th. Location: Hardwick and surrounding towns. Cost: $300. VSAC grant eligible, limited scholarships and barter available.

To register, contact me and send a $100 non-refundable deposit to the below mailing address.



The Fox Paw School can travel to you!


I'm available to present to your university class, student group, or just to you and your friends. I offer workshops ranging from tracking, to bird language, to skull interpretation, to pattern-based tree ID. We can also develop a custom class that focuses on your specific interests.

Contact me about rates or to discuss content for a ready-made or custom class.

bottom of page