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

Mike Stannard

Mike Stannard joined  Stafford Natural Resources and Forestry in 2023  after 16.5 years as a Science Teacher at Rutland High School and 19 overall. He graduated from Paul Smith’s College in 1997 with an A.A. in Environmental Studies and from Johnson State College (Northern Vermont University), in 2000, with his B.S. in Environmental Science. From childhood, Mike has worked, studied, and adventured in the outdoors. From the hills and mountains of Vermont and the Adirondacks to the rainforests and coral reefs of Belize to the wild rivers of Alaska, Mike has made snowboarding, paddling, hiking, wildlife photography, flyfishing, camping, maple sugaring, hunting, and fishing a great part of he and his family’s lives.”

Mike built his own home, in Fair Haven, with the help of his family and friends, from standing trees to an energy-efficient three-story timber-frame home in one year, where he has lived and managed the land since, 2008. He has worked in agriculture, as a Park Ranger with the Vermont State Parks and the Vermont Youth Conservation Corps, as an Orvis fly fishing Instructor, and in the forestry and the wood products industry as a log buyer. Mike has worked closely with the former NRF Instructor on the development of the RHS and Stafford Maple Sugaring School and sugarhouse, since 2012. He also developed a long-running Year End Studies program through RHS, Aquatic Biology Through Fly Fishing.
[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

Name Business
David Birdsall Northeast Woodland Training /DW BirdsallForestry 
Nancy McGuire Rutland NRCD:Conservation District Manager
Dave Schneider Rutland City Forester Arborist (ret)
Tim Smith Rutland City Forester Arborist
Kyle Mason Rutland County Forester
Ken Gagnon Gagnon Lumber
Russell Reay Paxton Greens
Corey Hart VT Dept Fish and Wildlife

Dual Enrollment/College Credits

Articulation Agreements with University of Maine at Fort Kent and Paul Smith’s College, Dual Enrollment with VTC


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

Jobs Average Salary
Forest Technician $39,108
Landscaper $28,526
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