Vernal pools are small, temporary woodland ponds that serve both as critical breeding habitat for a suite of amphibian species and as important feeding grounds and shelter for many reptiles, birds, and mammals. In efforts to protect these vital (yet often overlooked) ecosystems, the Harris Center for Conservation Education is training volunteers to identify and document vernal pools, with special focus on lands where information is needed for conservation planning – including our own protected lands. We’ll cover the building blocks of vernal pool ecology in this indoor training session, from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Keene State College Science Center (Room 127), then venture outside for hands-on instruction at a vernal pool complex in Keene on Saturday, April 23 from 10 a.m. to noon. Interested volunteers must attend both sessions to participate. Registration is required. For more information or to register, contact Brett Amy Thelen at or (603) 358-2065. Co-sponsored by the Harris Center for Conservation Education, the Monadnock Conservancy, and Keene State College.