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Chris Rimmer ’69

Current Work:

For the past 35 years I have been an ornithologist/conservation biologist, and I am currently the Executive Director of the non-profit Vermont Center for Ecostudies (www.vtecostudies.org) in Norwich, VT. We conduct conservation research and monitoring of wildlife populations across the Americas. Among other projects, I have been working to conserve birds and biodiversity in the Dominican Republic and Haiti for the past 15 years.


    • Milton Academy
    • University of Vermont (B.S.)
    • University of Minnesota (M.S.)

Favorite Applewild Memories:

Many of my enduring memories involve athletics, and two that stand out are ski racing on the half-forested slope behind the school and playing hockey on the old skating rink, having the entire team shoveling off snow before practice.


Abbott Fenn probably had the greatest influence on me, as a teacher, coach (hockey and baseball) and life mentor. I have always remembered his morning assembly talk, in which he held up a partially-filled glass of water and asked the quintessential question: “Is the glass half-full or half-empty?” He then discussed the two ways of looking at life, and that made a real impact on me. Most importantly was that Abbott steered me towards a five-week Keewaydin wilderness canoe trip, which he led. I have always felt that experience cemented my lifelong commitment to the outdoors and launched me on my career path as a conservationist. I was also influenced by Headmaster, Bill Laverack, whose firm yet kind guidance were a valued source of stability and support.

Applewild Impact:

Applewild instilled values of responsibility, conscientiousness and team work that I believe were instrumental for me. I believe that Applewild broadened my horizons beyond what I might have experienced at public school, preparing me for a more rigorous educational experience at Milton Academy and beyond. The tight-knit community and caring guidance of faculty helped shape my approach to life, and probably impacted my personal growth at a very formative time of my like (grades 7-9) than I ever realized.

Posted: June 2, 2010

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