Nick Reo

‘Encountering Forests’ Teaches Native American Practices

On a chilly gray spring afternoon, about a dozen students stand in a circle along the banks of the Connecticut River at the College’s organic farm. In the middle of the circle, a moose hide, still covered in fur, is draped over a makeshift sawhorse. 

This is an outdoor classroom for a course called “Encountering Forests,” taught by Nicholas Reo, assistant professor of environmental studies and Native American Studies. Reo has invited Art Hanchett, a staffer in Dartmouth’s Controller’s office who is also an experienced hunter, to share his knowledge of the woods and demonstrate how to use two-handled blades to remove the moose’s fur. The students will eventually use part of the hide to make the head of a ceremonial drum.

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Nick Reo on NPR - Dakota Access Pipeline Protests At A Standoff

In North Dakota, the tents and teepees have been up for months. Native Americans and environmental protesters trying to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline. Its sponsors want to ship oil to Illinois. Opponents say it’s a danger to water supplies and a desecration of sacred sites. Last week hundreds of police moved in hard. There were dramatic clashes and 140 arrests. The protesters are still there. Winter is coming.  This hour On Point,  the standoff over the Dakota Access Pipeline. — Tom Ashbrook

Listen to the NPR On Point broadcast with Nick Reo and other guests at

An Outdoor Classroom for Environmental Studies Students

In recent years, some backcountry skiers and snowboarders have been cutting their own trails through wooded areas, sometimes illegally and without permission from landowners. The unfortunate results: erosion, the destruction of wildlife habitat, and damage to plant species.

In an effort to prevent such damage in the Green Mountain National Forest (GMNF), the Environmental Studies Program is teaming up with forest managers and the Rochester Area Sports Trails Alliance (RASTA) on an unprecedented two-year pilot project in Brandon Gap, near Rochester, Vt.

Beginning last fall, RASTA volunteers, with members of the Catamount Trail Association and about a dozen Dartmouth students, cleared trees and brush to create four tracks—backcountry skiers call them “lines”—from the base to the top of the mountain. Using chainsaws and hand tools, the trail makers followed guidelines established by the GMNF with input from Nicholas Reo, an assistant professor of environmental studies and Native American studies.

Backcountry Skiers Team Up With Green Mountain National Forest

For years, backcountry skiers have been illegally cutting trees and brush to open up trails. As the sport grows in popularity, officials with Green Mountain National Forest hope a new pilot program in Vermont could become a model to curb unsanctioned cutting, and expand terrain at the same time.  Professor Nick Reo and Dartmouth students are designing backcountry ski/snowboard trails that are as low impact on the forest and wildlife as possible and are monitoring for unintended ecological impacts.

Read the entire VRP news story here.