Natural Resources and Forestry

The Natural Resources &Forestry Program allows students to gain practical skills through introductory experiences with forest products, wildlife management, conservation practices, forest recreation, soil and water quality analysis, urban tree management and landscape design/installation.

What We Do

Outdoor laboratories– 4,000 acre Rutland City Watershed and various private lands, Career Exploration and related college guidance, meet professionals through site visits, field trips, competitions and community service activities, learn about residential landscaping as part of the Student Craft house project, raise seasonal vegetable and landscape plant seedlings.

Program Instructor

Mark Raishart

Mark Raishart has been instructor of Forestry and Natural Resource Management at Stafford Technical Center since 2010. He graduated from Green Mountain College in 2002 with a B.A. in Environmental Science and 2016 with a M.S. in Environmental Studies. Since college, he has worked throughout the US in agriculture, horticulture, forestry, conservation, and outdoor education. His work has included natural area stewardship at the Holden Arboretum in northeast Ohio, commercial beekeeping in the Champlain Valley, and managing educational farming and forestry operations at Smokey House Center in Danby, VT. Mark is outdoors most of the time- paddling, hiking, and managing his 70 acre property. Mark lives in Addison County, Vermont with his family.
[email protected]

Dan Lovell

Dan Lovell has been working for Stafford since September of  2012. Previously, Dan has been working for the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department, as Educational Programs Technician, Multimedia Specialist and as a Natural Resources Instructor. Dan attended Johnson State College, where he earned a BFA in photography and studio arts. Dan also teaches photography and the digital arts through Stafford’s Adult and Continuing Education programs as well as in Burlington through Burlington City Arts. Dan has been teaching photography programs since 2005.
[email protected]


young girl holding a fishHannah Poljacik, Class of 2014

Stafford changed my path by letting me try out new things that I had never done before. Before Stafford, I had never used a chainsaw, couldn’t drive a backhoe, and didn’t really know what I wanted to do after high school. Not only will you get it experience new things, any program will give you a great view of different jobs in a field.



Program Advisory Committee

David Birdsall
Nancy McGuireNatural Resource Management NRCD
Dave SchneiderRutland City Forester Arborist
Chris StoneRutland County Forester VT
Ken GagnonGagnon Lumber
Russell Reay
Monica Pryzperhart

Dual Enrollment/College Credits

Articulation agreements Paul Smith’s College and Unity College, Dual Enrollment with Vermont Technical College


US Dept. of Labor (OSHA) 10 hour Construction Safety Certification, American Heart Association HeartSaver® First Aid/CPR with AED, Game of Logging; Wilderness First Aid; Students completing 90% of the Core Competencies will receive a certificate from Stafford Technical Center.


Average Career Salaries

JobsAverage Salary
Forest Technician$39,108
Environmental Engineer$78,012
Wildlife Biologist$81,054

*Average Salaries for Vermont taken from Zip Recruiter ( in OCtober 2020.


Requirements For This Program

Recommended Prerequisites: add, subtract, multiply, divide whole numbers, fractions, and decimals; basic customary and metric measuring skills; basic understanding of area and volume vs. weight; able to read a tape measure; effective communication skills; strong work ethic; ability to perform physical labor on the job site and in classroom; competency with fine and gross motor skills

Scales for standards assessed in this program