Notes for attendees:
- This will be a physical activity outside on farm grounds, and water is involved! Wear appropriate footwear and outerwear.
- The EQI guides will be bringing enough hip-waders for everyone, but if you have your own please bring!
- This class is not recommended for kids in middle school or younger for content comprehension.
- Our Farm Store will be open 10am-5pm. When attending classes, you will receive a 5% discount in the Farm Store & Butchery!
- When you purchase admission for events here at the farm on our website, we will have a will call list. You simply check in with the event staff and give them the name of the purchaser! Want to stay up to date on our Events & Sales? Check out our Farm Store Facebook Group.
Featured Speakers & Guides:
Tyler Hickman is currently the Stream Monitoring Coordinator for EQI, a position served through AmeriCorps’ Project Conserve. He received his BS in Biology with a concentration in Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology from Appalachian State University (ASU) in 2019, and is currently a graduate student in ASU’s Aquatic Conservation Research Lab finishing his master’s thesis on endangered freshwater mussel distribution. He is a strong proponent of science-based conservation efforts and the inclusion of community members at all levels in those efforts.
Madelyn is the Environmental Quality Institute’s Assistant Director. She received her BS in Environmental Studies from the University of North Carolina Asheville (UNCA) and has been a resident of WNC for 30 years. She is passionate about stream health and looks for any opportunity to talk about aquatic insects and how they can help identify stream pollutants. Madelyn has been a part of the EQI family since 2014, first as a volunteer, then AmeriCorps member, Board member, and now full time Staff.
Virginia is our Farm Director here at the home of the brand in Fairview. She received her BS in Environmental Studies from Warren Wilson College and her MS in Land Resources & Environmental Science from Montana State University. Prior to completing her MS, she was the assistant farm manager at Warren Wilson College in Swannanoa, NC for five years. She is interested in the ecology of working lands and any and all opportunities to invite landowners and community members to participate in the scientific process. She believes that working farms and forests are the key to thriving and resilient rural communities that are poised to support the communities around them. Virginia also spearheads our Ecological Outcome Verification efforts with the Savory Institute.
About the Savory Institute
The Savory Institute’s mission is to facilitate the large-scale regeneration of the world’s grasslands and the livelihoods of their inhabitants great and small, through holistic land management. Savory Institute is working in collaboration with research institutions and partners, to measure the outcomes of managing holistically, by monitoring the health of ecosystem processes, levels of permanent soil carbon, quality of life of the people, as well as financial vitality. Hickory Nut Gap is a verified Savory Hub as of 2021- to equip our partner farmers, local farmers, ranchers, and pastoralist communities with the tools and knowledge to regenerate grasslands in a localized context. To learn more about the Savory Institute, click here.
About the Environmental Quality Institute
The Environmental Quality Institute is a nonprofit laboratory that operates chemical and biological stream monitoring programs in western North Carolina. EQI coordinates sampling and data analysis for our 2 programs – VWIN (Volunteer Water Info. Network – chemical monitoring) and SMIE (Stream Monitoring Information Exchange – aquatic insects). VWIN has operated since 1990 and provides monthly chemical monitoring at more than 160 stream, river, and lake sites. The VWIN program is extremely cost-effective and reliable because trained community volunteers collect the samples, while analyses are performed at our nonprofit, state-certified lab. SMIE has operated since 2005 and is a collaboration of several western NC non-profit, educational institutions, and local, state, and federal agencies. The SMIE volunteer biological monitoring program focuses on aquatic invertebrates to help determine stream health for over 50 streams in WNC. To learn more about the EQI, click here.