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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.

Education:

    • 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.

Teachers:

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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