You are here

Summer Research Experience: Student Blog

Printer-friendly version

Seminar: Good scientific presentation skills

July 29, 2010, by Aleta Wiley
Two weeks from now, all 33 summer REU students will be speaking in a two-day Symposium at Harvard Forest. They will have 15 minutes to discuss their research projects from this summer. For some, this will be their first public presentation. In preparation for their talks, David Orwig, Senior Ecologist at Harvard Forest, gave a seminar Tuesday night, “How to Give a Good Scientific Presentation”. Orwig discussed how the framework for a scientific presentation should parallel the structure for a scientific paper by including sections on objectives, methods, results, discussion, and conclusions...Read more >

Soil warming and hardwoods

July 27, 2010, by Sarah Gray
Here at the Harvard Forest, I am working on the effects of soil warming on various hardwoods. There has already been an experiment to test the effects of global warming on soil. The 20-year-long experiment found that with increased soil temperatures there was an increase in microbial activity. This increase in microbial activity led to more usable nitrogen in the system. Nitrogen is the limiting nutrient in tree growth; with more nitrate and ammonium availability, trees can continue to grow. Ammonium can easily be made into many amino acids, proteins, which the tree can use. However, nitrate...Read more >

Tracking moose and deer

July 26, 2010, by Carlyn Perovich and Mickey Drott
We have spent the summer happily crawling around in the forest, bruising ourselves under mountain laurel in pursuit of the holy Grail of our project, moose poop. We are studying the impact of deer and moose browsing on the regeneration of forests, specifically looking at hemlock and oak seedlings. This research is particularly important since the number of white tailed deer continues to increase, and moose recently reappeared in Massachusetts after being extirpated since the mid-19th century. All the same, you don't have to be very knowledgeable about forest life to know that moose don't fit...Read more >

Helping the wood turtles and learning about passion: REU students participate in annual service and career day

July 20, 2010, by Aleta Wiley
Last week, all 33 REU students got to take a day off from their regular research projects in order to participate in Service and Career Day, an annual event held each summer for the Program. For 4 hours in the morning, the students worked for The Trustees of Reservations (TToR) , a land trust established in 1891. On the Brooks Woodland Preserve, just a few miles from Harvard Forest, TToR is restoring habitat to be suitable for wood turtles, a threatened species. The turtles need to be able to travel between a small creek in the woods and a newly-created opening in the forest where they will...Read more >

Linking phenology to ecosystem processes in forests of the northeast

July 19, 2010, by Andrea Garcia, Adam Young, and Cory Teshera-Sterne
We are working with Dr. Andrew Richardson and two of his postdocs, Koen Hufkins and Oliver Sonnentag, to investigate ways of monitoring and measuring the phenology (recurring life cycle events, such as flowering, spring green-up or senescence) of North American forests using webcams and digital imaging. This project is highly analytical and employs the use of computer programming languages such as R and MatLab. These programs let us process thousands of images so we can isolate ideal conditions in which to measure the vegetation indices for a given day or season. There are a multitude of...Read more >

The effects of large-scale deforestation

July 16, 2010, by Crystal Garcia and Angie Marshall
We are working in the clearcut up on Prospect Hill near the fire tower. Previously, this area was a spruce plantation, but 2 years ago, it was deforested and timber was harvested. This area is now used as a research site to highlight the effects of large-scale deforestation efforts. A flux-tower was set up in the middle of the area to help capture the carbon, water, and energy fluxed between the land and the air. The data we are collecting will be used to put the flux tower measurements into context to better understand the effects of climate variability on carbon sequestration and release...Read more >

Whale-watching success! A beautiful day in Gloucester, MA

July 15, 2010, by Aleta Wiley, REU Proctor
Last Sunday, three students and I went whale-watching. Again. Several weeks ago , we had driven to Gloucester, MA, and spent four hours on a boat, in the midst of a cold, thick fog, and returned to shore with no whale sightings. Lucky for us, Cape Ann Whale Watch gave us vouchers to come back on a boat trip at no additional cost since they guarantee whale sightings on their trips. We knew we would be missing the final game of the World Cup, but we had high hopes it would be a good day for whales. And boy, did we have some sightings! It was a beautiful, warm day on deck of the Hurricane II,...Read more >

Red Oak vs. Tree of Heaven

July 14, 2010, by Leah Nagel
My project this summer is looking at the urban-to-rural gradient between downtown Boston and Harvard Forest. This research is a small piece of a larger project that is looking at the differences in a variety of factors along the gradient. These factors can include changes in the concentration of atmospheric CO2, nitrogen levels in the soil and in tree leaves, and pollution. My personal project is looking at how changes in all of these factors between the two endpoints of the gradient impact the growth rates of two trees: red oak (a tree that is native to Massachusetts) and the tree of heaven...Read more >

4th of July weekend

July 9, 2010
Over the 4th of July weekend, many students dispersed across the Northeast to entertain themselves for the three day break. Several students took advantage of the long weekend to visit friends and family in Washington, DC, New York, and Boston. Those who stayed at Harvard Forest found many ways to enjoy the beautiful, warm weather. One group went rock climbing at a gym in Worcester; another went Contra Dancing in Greenfield, and almost everyone went to the nearby Queen Lake to cool off with a swim in the clear, clean water. One night, several folks barbequed bratwurst, corn-on-the-cob, and...Read more >

Discovering how hurricanes have affected New England forests

July 7, 2010, by Meredith Kueny and Lianna Lee
Lianna and I are working on the Simulated Hurricane Long Term Ecological Research project out on the Tom Swamp tract of the Harvard Forest. As a part of this project we are collecting another year's worth of data and information on how the original trees are fairing as well as documenting new canopy regeneration and understory dynamics. This summer specifically we’ve worked on recording the current status of the original trees, quantifying the amount of dead wood, mapping new trees that have grown to 5cm Dbh (diameter at breast height), analyzing leaf liter, and observing understory...Read more >

Measuring carbon sequestration at Harvard Forest

July 7, 2010, by Fiona Jevon
Hi! I’m Fiona, and I work for Leland Werden, Bill Munger, and the Wofsy Group at Harvard University. The project that I am involved with this summer is looking at the influence of understory vegetation on carbon sequestration in the Harvard Forest. This is one small part of a much larger project, which has been going on here for the last 20 years, centered on the eddy flux tower. Over the past two decades, this tower has been collecting data on the amount of carbon that is released and absorbed by the surrounding forest. This summer, I’m focusing on how the understory affects the finding that...Read more >

Studying tree hydraulics and electronics on the ground and in the canopy

July 2, 2010, by Lisa Chen and Sarah Fouzia Choudhury
We are studying tree hydraulics; specifically, we’re measuring sap flow in trees to understand at a fundamental level how trees get water from their roots to their canopy. A large component of this project is to understand the methodology used to assess sap flow, which includes the granier and the pulse system. Furthermore, we are also interested in evaluating the effectiveness of the method and the best way to calibrate the data. We are currently collecting and analyzing the data that is coming in from the granier and the pulse system that we have installed. There is some de-bugging we have...Read more >

Fungal diversity in response to nitrogen deposition and soil warming

June 30, 2010, by Samuel Perez
Hello everyone, my name is Samuel Perez and I am working on microbial communities at Harvard Forest with Professor Anne Pringle from Harvard University. I am a rising senior majoring in Organismic and Evolutionary Biology. This summer, I am working with decomposer fungi in the Chronic Nitrogen Plots and the Soil Warming Plots in Barre Woods. My project at the Harvard Forest is to study the effects of nitrogen deposition and soil warming on the species diversity of decomposer fungi. The process of decomposition is important because it allows nutrients sequestered in living organisms to return...Read more >

Further explorations of Harvard Forest

June 29, 2010, by Julianne Henry: Outreach and Communications Intern
On Thursday, I noticed that we were running low on our cache of blog posts. Based on this observation, I concluded that it was once again time for me to bust out my camera and go adventuring. And by "adventuring," I mean "cow visiting." Upon exiting the office I share with Aleta (an REU proctor) and venturing into the hallway, I was confronted by a curious sight. At first I thought it was some sort of experiment, but it turned out Maryette (another REU proctor) had set up a tent in the basement hallway so that it could dry. Making my way past the tent obstacle, I ventured outside to the field...Read more >

What are you up to now?

June 28, 2010
Brian Warshay
Brian Warshay REU '05 Mentor: Jacque Mohan Project: Physiological Girdling of Forest Trees: Developments of a New Method to Understand Soil Respiration Hometown: Eastchester, NY College and major: Cornell University, Natural Resources & Environmental Engineering Technology (double major) What you miss most about the REU program:The people and friends met there and the good times we had after our work days were complete. What you miss least about the REU program: The mosquitoes and humidity. What about the REU program has stuck with you: My appreciation for the dedication and efforts that...Read more >

Students consider "right vs. wrong" in ecological research

June 25, 2010, by Aleta Wiley
Last Tuesday, all of the summer REU students participated in Ethics Day, an annual event held at Harvard Forest to help the students consider some of the ethical dilemmas they may face while conducting ecological research. The program started with a presentation by Ben Minteer, a professor of environmental ethics at Arizona State University. He began by posing a "thought experiment" to the group: If only one human being remained on the Earth, and humans would be extinct after his/her death, and for whatever reason, it would make this person really happy to wipe out other species to extinction...Read more >

Woodpeckers and tree care

June 24, 2010, by Autumn Alexandra Amici and Anthony Rivera
The overall goal of this project is to understand the effects of tree care practices on habitat for cavity nesting birds, primarily woodpeckers. Most cavity nesting birds seek out dead snags for creating a nest. As cavity excavators, these birds provide habitat elements for a suite of species and are therefore important for biodiversity. While the dead snags that are important for these cavity-nesting birds may go unnoticed in a preserved area, they can be hazardous in towns and cities. By assessing the prevalence of cavity nesting birds in snags throughout an urban to wild land gradient, we...Read more >

A weekend away from Harvard Forest

June 23, 2010, by Sarah Gray
Sarah Gray Local Ice Cream
Last weekend, I attended a summer solstice party with some of my friends. Christina Stinson, a researcher at Harvard Forest, was the host of the event and is the mentor of my friend. The party was quiet, but nice. With plenty of good food to eat and good company to share, it made for an eventful afternoon. We played games and relaxed on what was a beautifully sunny day. On Sunday, a group of students went hiking in the Blue Hills right outside of Boston. It was very muggy that day, and eventually led to thunderstorms that rained down on us halfway through the hike. It felt good though,...Read more >

What are you up to now?

June 22, 2010
Alison Grantham
Alison Grantham REU '08 Mentor: Steve Wofsy Hometown: Los Angeles, CA Major/Minor: Biological Sciences/ Environmental Studies, '08 What you miss most about the REU program?: The setting and atmosphere was so nice for focusing on science and making great friends. I loved going for evening runs in the woods and taking weekend hikes and trips with other REUs. What you miss least about the REU program?: The mosquitoes. What about the REU program has stuck with you?: The project I worked on has guided my subsequent career moves, so I guess C and N dynamics and climate implications stuck. Have you...Read more >

"It's the network" - How personal connections shape land use decisions

June 21, 2010, by Megan Jones and Kristen Schipper
Megan Jones and Kristen Schipper
In the social science lab, conveniently located above the kitchen, we are working on the "It's the Network" project. Our goal is to assess - by means of a survey - how personal connections shape decisions about private forest use. We're interested in who people talk to (neighbors, foresters, loggers, friends, etc.), what they talk about (harvesting, conservation easement, selling their land, etc.) and the various levels of involvement and helpfulness of different types of people. We will be mailing our survey to 500 Vermont landowners in Windham County, and 500 New Hampshire landowners in...Read more >

Whale-watching from Gloucester, MA

June 18, 2010, by Aleta Wiley
REU Whale Watch 2010
Last weekend, 10 students drove to Gloucester, 2 hours from Harvard Forest, to go on a whale-watching boat tour. The weather was very drizzly and foggy, but the tour leaders were optimistic: "9 times out of 10, the fog lifts as we head out to sea", they said. As the boat puttered out of the harbor, students were treated to beautiful, though foggy, views of the New England fishing town, wooden sailboats, and quaint lighthouses. Unfortunately, the fog never lifted and we continued motoring around the Bay all afternoon with 300 feet of visibility. The educators on board from The Ocean Alliance...Read more >

Paleoecology - in the field, in the lab, and on film

June 17, 2010, by Allison Gillette
David Foster and Allison Gillette Paleoecology
Hi, my name is Allison and I am working on Paleoecology with Wyatt Oswald. About 5,000 years ago, all the Oaks and Hemlocks disappeared from New England, rapidly changing our ecosystem. Today, all the Oaks are dying on Martha's Vineyard in a similar fashion. Before our current ecosystem is radically altered, we would like to figure out what is causing this phenomenon. In order to do this, we travel to ponds across New England collecting sediment cores. The cores can be viewed like a timeline (the deeper the core the farther back in time). We then use the mud from the cores to determine...Read more >

Field trip to the Harvard Museum of Natural History

June 16, 2010, by Aleta Wiley: REU Summer Proctor
Meredith Kueny checks out specimens of two-headed snakes
L ast Friday, the whole REU program spent the day on a behind-the-scenes tour at the Harvard Museum of Natural History. Split into two groups, the students visited five departments: Herpetology (reptiles and amphibians), Ornithology (birds), the Botany libraries and the Herbaria (plants), and Entomology (insects). Curators in each department spoke with the students about their methods for collecting specimens, the importance of preserving natural history collections for scientific research, and the different ways that they preserve and protect the specimens from damage and decay. The curators...Read more >

Community ecology of "sarracenia pupurea" pitcher plants

June 15, 2010, by Roxanne Ardeshiri
Pitcher Plant
My name is Roxanne Ardeshiri , I'm an undergraduate at the University of California-Berkeley, and I'm studying the community ecology of Sarracenia pupurea Pitcher Plants with Benjamin Baiser at the Harvard Forest. Because Pitcher Plants are essentially microecosystems, we are studying their community ecology to ultimately create model food webs for these systems.We will be measuring decomposition of prey (an ant) as a means of measuring the functionality of the system. This experiment will be conducted in the greenhouse, but all of the species we are using will have been collected from...Read more >

Luna moths on the nightshift

June 14, 2010, by Adam Clark and Margaurete Romero
Luna Moth
The Warm Ants project consists of many mini projects taking place within the chambers. One of these projects is a 24-hour baiting, which means that we must observe which ants are attracted to tuna baits set out in the different temperature chambers for all hours of the day, on the hour. Two of us – Margaurete and Adam – took the night shift from 10pm to 6am, and encountered an unexpected visitor. While waiting near the shed to continue the data collecting, a large insect flew right into us, startling the stillness of the night. As it landed, we were so surprised to see a large Luna moth...Read more >

“What these numbers actually mean”

June 11, 2010, by Aleta Wiley: REU Summer Proctor
Maya, Joanna, and Claudia using a Portable Photosynthesis System.
Yesterday, I tagged along with three students working on a collaborative project who were out, collecting data in the field, for the first time this summer without their research mentors. It is amazing how much they all have learned in less than two weeks here at Harvard Forest! For their project, they are studying changes in soil respiration under varying scenarios. Yesterday, they were working in the "dirt plots" – a series of 21 plots (each about 10 x 10 ft) in the Tom Swamp Tract of the Forest. The plots had been subjected to different treatments; for example, some had all of the detritus...Read more >

The warm ants group

June 10, 2010, by Adam Clark, Erik Oberg, and Margaurete Romero
Margaurete collecting butterflies.
In their third week, the Warm Ants Triumvirate has dived into both the long term "Warm Ants" project and individual projects with a burning desire to elucidate the effects of climate change on ants. Each member is responsible for helping with the long term "Warm Ants" experiment which involves a monthly 24 hour baiting study and monthly pitfall trapping. In addition, each is responsible for his or her individual project involving ant nests, mutualism, and thermal tolerance. Daily tasks have varied from spending time in the lab identifying ants, sorting pitfall collections from previous months...Read more >

Student highlight: Exploring Harvard Forest

June 7, 2010, by Julianne Henry: Outreach and Communications Intern
This cow did not appreciate the paparazzi treatment.
Does it count as exploring if the location is already well-documented? At any rate, as the commuting Outreach and Communications Intern, I usually don't see much of the Harvard Forest property apart from the office I share with Aleta (one of our proctors) in the basement of Shaler Hall. Today seemed like a good day to change that, so I picked a door and walked out of it, determined to familiarize myself with my surroundings. First word that comes to mind is GREEN. It's June, so everywhere you look there is bright greenery slamming itself straight into your eyeballs. This is more pleasant than...Read more >

Undergraduate interns arrive for summer program in ecology

June 1, 2010, by Aleta
REU Group Photo 2010
34 undergraduate students have arrived as part of the Harvard Forest summer research program in ecology. Students have come from colleges and universities all over the United States to participate in on-going research projects for twelve weeks. As thelargest cohort in the program's history, these students will work on a wide diversity of projects, covering topics such as land-use history, phenology, plant physiology, invasive species, insect ecology, and climate change. Students also participate in seminars, discussions on ethics in science, and career-building and community service...Read more >

What are you up to now?

April 12, 2010
Amanda (Park) Miller REU '03 Mentor: Dave Orwig Project: Vegetation and Nitrogen Dynamics Following Selective Hemlock Logging Hometown: Wolcott, NY College and major: SUNY College of Env. Science and Forestry, Syracuse U.; Environmental and Forest Biology, class of 2003 What you miss most about the REU program: It was an incredible experience for many reasons. The people you meet are fantastic, interesting, and intellectual, resulting in friendships that have persisted over time. The facilities at Harvard Forest were wonderful, from the labs down the housing! And of course, the research...Read more >

What are you up to now?

April 12, 2010
Jessica (Scott) Pascoe
Jessica (Scott) Pascoe REU '00 Mentor: Rebecca Field Hometown: Albuquerque, NM College and major: Swarthmore College, Biology and Environmental Studies, class of 2000 What you miss most about the REU program: Being surrounded by amazing scientific researchers, and daily bird counts. What you miss least about the REU program: 55 mosquito bites on one hand, waking up at 4:30am every day for bird counts. What about the REU program has stuck with you: I met one of my best friends at Harvard Forest and we both maintain Harvard Forest was one of the best summers of our lives. Have you stayed in...Read more >

What are you up to now?

April 12, 2010
Charlotte Chang
Charlotte Chang REU '08 Mentor: Mike Kaspari Project: Soil salinity in a temperate forest ecosystem impacts ant foraging behavior (abstract) Hometown: Santa Barbara, CA College and major: Pomona College, Biology, class of 2010 What you miss most about the REU program: I miss Tim's cooking, the house full of REU love, and the woods. What you miss least about the REU program: Being far from home was about it. What about the REU program has stuck with you: The research skills I gained, the friendships I made, bike rides (soars?) down the steep hill to the left of Harvard Forest, and the cows...Read more >

What are you up to now?

December 7, 2009
Gui Woolston
Gui Woolston REU '03 Mentors: Kathleen Donohue, Kristina Stinson Project: The influence of habitat on the demography, meristem allocation, and fecundity of Allaria petiolata Hometown: New Haven, CT College and major: Harvard College, Economics, class of '06 What you miss most about the REU program: The people, the fun, and the research. What you miss least about the REU program: Almost nothing. What about the REU program has stuck with you: Life-long friends. Have you stayed in touch with other REU students?: Yes. Whether your REU experience supported or changed your career plans: It got me...Read more >

What are you up to now?

October 6, 2009
Jhessye Moore-Thomas
Jhessye Moore-Thomas REU '08 Mentor: Audrey Barker-Plotkin Project: Investigating Water Table Levels Affected by Topography and Clearcut Forest Harvest (abstract) Hometown: Tampa, FL College and major: University of Central Florida, Environmental Studies and Film, class of '09 What you miss most about the REU program: I miss the mentors! They were so awesome! What you miss least about the REU program: The ticks and the deerflies! What about the REU program has stuck with you: The amount of hard work and the beauty of presenting what you have done and learned to other people. Have you stayed...Read more >

What are you up to now?

October 6, 2009
Maggie Wagner
Maggie Wagner REU '09 Mentors: Dave Orwig, Audrey Barker-Plotkin Project: Mortality, coarse woody debris, and nutrient cycling over 20 years in a virgin Tsuga canadensis forest in New Hampshire (abstract) Hometown: Troy, MI College and major: University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, Plant Biology, class of '09 What you miss most about the REU program: The location-- I loved being in the forest with tons of opportunities for outdoor recreation. I also liked living with my friends and fellow students at Fisher House. What you miss least about the REU program: The fruit flies in Fisher House. What...Read more >

What are you up to now?

October 6, 2009
Megan Woltz
Megan Woltz REU '06 Mentors: Kristina Stinson, Kathleen Donohue Project: Garlic mustard population demographics differ among forest habitats at the Harvard Forest LTER (abstract) Hometown: Afton, NC College and major: North Carolina State University, Environmental Sciences, Ecology Concentration, Class of '07 What you miss most about the REU program: Sitting around Fisher House cracking jokes with other REUs and Tim's excellent cooking. What you miss least about the REU program: Poison ivy and mosquitoes that bite through carharts! What about the REU program has stuck with you: The conviction...Read more >

What are you up to now?

September 18, 2009
Corietta Teshera-Sterne
Corietta (Cory) Teshera-Sterne REU '09 Mentor: Emery Boose Project: A Software Engineering Approach to Scientific Data Provenance (abstract) Hometown: Seattle, WA College and major: Mount Holyoke College, Biology/Computer Science, class of '10 What you miss most about the REU program: Being around scientists all the time, the food, my friends, and the forest right outside my door. What you miss least about the REU program: The insects, indoors and out. What about the REU program has stuck with you: My project - it's continuing on to be my senior thesis, so I'll be stuck with it for a while...Read more >

What are you up to now?

September 18, 2009
Joanna Bate REU '03 Mentor: David Kittredge Project: Timber harvesting: a study of the effects of socio-economic characteristics and forest ownership patterns in Massachusetts and New Hampshire Hometown: Nashville, TN College and major: Haverford College, Biology, class of '03 What you miss most about the REU program: Living with smart, fun, creative people my age in a remote setting where we had to make up our own fun. What you miss least about the REU program: Sitting at a computer all day doing GIS was a little boring. What about the REU program has stuck with you: My friendships, and my...Read more >

What are you up to now?

September 18, 2009
Alana Belcon
Alana Belcon REU '03 Mentor: Aaron Ellison Project: Distribution and diversity of bog vegetation at Tom Swamp Hometown: Arima, Trinidad & Tobago College and major: Mount Holyoke College, Environmental Studies, class of 2004 What you miss most about the REU program: The camaraderie between participants. It was awesome being with so many other young people who were all environmentally/ecologically minded. What you miss least about the REU program: Working in the bog (Tom Swamp) by myself. I enjoyed my project but it was difficult doing it solo. What about the REU program has stuck with you...Read more >

What are you up to now?

September 18, 2009
Naomi Clark
Naomi Clark REU '03 Mentors: Eric Davidson, Kathleen Savage Project: Comparing root respiration of three tree species Hometown: Harpers Ferry, WV College and major: West Virginia University, Biology, class of '04 What you miss most about the REU program: I miss so many things! For one, the people I met were truly amazing. The setting couldn't have been better, either! I'll never forget our weekend adventures or midweek climbs up the water tower! What you miss least about the REU program: Black flies! What about the REU program has stuck with you: The sense of community was really moving for...Read more >

What are you up to now?

September 18, 2009
Daniella Rodriguez
Daniella Rodriguez REU '09 Mentor: Shannon Pelini Project: Under warmer conditions, the advantage of improved foraging is negated by increased mortality in Aphaenogaster rudis (abstract) Hometown: Yuma, AZ College and major: Arizona State University, Conservation Biology and Ecological Sustainability, class of '11 What you miss most about the REU program: My mentor and the friends I made. What you miss least about the REU program: Living with 20 other people. What about the REU program has stuck with you: How to start and go about a science project - and that research can take a lot of work...Read more >

What are you up to now?

September 18, 2009
Rob Hanifin
Rob Hanifin REU '04 Mentor: Project: First year reproductive responses of two forest herbs to experimental soil warming Hometown: Deptford, NJ College and major: Dickinson College, Biology/Environmental Science, class of '06 What you miss most about the REU program: Tim's food. Interacting and working with so many interesting people, from a variety of backgrounds, studying different but interesting and relevant topics. What you miss least about the REU program: Four of us rooming together in the same room. What about the REU program has stuck with you: That there are many intelligent...Read more >

What are you up to now?

September 18, 2009
Jen Levye
Jen Levye REU '09 Mentor: Missy Holbrook, Jim Wheeler Project: Implications of Sectoral Variation in Red Oaks and Red Maples on Sap Flow Measurements (abstract) Hometown: Sharon, MA College and major: Harvard College, Organismic & Evolutionary Biology, class of '11 W hat you miss most about the REU program: I miss the amazing people I met this summer. I miss being able to go on hikes through the woods after a day in the lab, and I miss my lab, with the awesome set-up we had going. What you miss least about the REU program: The mosquitoes. But more seriously, there were times when my job...Read more >

What are you up to now?

September 18, 2009
Tawny Virgilio
Tawny Virgilio REU '09 Mentor: Dave Orwig, Heidi Lux Project: The Use of Mixed-Bead Resins to Determine the Effect of Two Invasive Insects on Throughfall Nitrogen Dynamics Under Eastern Hemlock (Tsuga canadensis L.) (abstract) Hometown: Hinsdale, MA College and major: Westfield State College, Environmental Science/Biology, class of '10 What you miss most about the REU program: All of the people I met this past summer- the staff at the forest, the researchers, and most of all, my colleagues. What you miss least about the REU program: Worrying about whether or not I contracted Lyme Disease.....Read more >

What are you up to now?

April 7, 2009
Ernesto I. Rodriguez REU '07 Mentor: Aaron Ellison Project: Effects of Deer Population in Ant Density in Black Rock Forest, Quabbin Reservoir, and Simes Tract (abstract) Hometown: Yuma, AZ College and major: Northern Arizona University, Environmental Sciences with Biology Emphasis, class of 2009 What you miss most about the REU program: The food and the tranquility of the forest. What you miss least about the REU program: The blood sucking insects. What about the REU program has stuck with you: I continue to study ants, as I did in my project. However, I changed the focus of my studies...Read more >

What are you up to now?

April 7, 2009
Alyssa Hernandez REU '08 Mentor: Aaron Ellison Project: Forest canopy loss affects the competition dynamics of carabid beetles [Carabidae] (abstract) Hometown: Camarillo, CA College and Major: Cornell University, Natural Resources, class of 2010 What you miss most about the REU program: The fabulous group of REUers, being surrounded by the forest....and my mentor! What you miss least about the REU program: Mosquitoes, ticks, and trips to the medical center. What about the REU program has stuck with you: I came out of the program with a better understanding of field research and lab work. I...Read more >

What are you up to now?

March 26, 2009
Samantha Hilerio REU '08 and '09 Mentors: Aaron Ellison, Clarisse Hart Projects: Canopy Type Affects Habitat Preference in Web-Building and Hunting Spiders; The Presence of Spiders Reduces Ant Activity in Bogs Hometown: Barre, MA College and major: Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Aerospace Engineering, class of 2012 What you miss most about the REU program: Doing my job in the woods, what better place is there? What you miss least about the REU program: Soil respiration- all be wary of the huge machine with the collar. What about the REU program has stuck with you: I learned a whole lot...Read more >

What are you up to now?

March 26, 2009
Jonathan Mejia REU '08 Mentor: Aaron Ellison Project: Measuring Niche Overlap Between Spiders and the Northern Pitcher Plant (Sarracenia purpurea) in Tom Swamp (abstract) Hometown: NYC College and major: University of Vermont, Biological Science, class of 2009 What you miss most about the REU program: The people there were great and so was the house. It was seriously the best summer experience I ever had. But I have to say that what I miss most is the lab. What you miss least about the REU program: I miss the mosquitoes least. They were vicious and unfriendly. What about the REU program has...Read more >

Exploring Petersham and the surrounding areas

June 19, 2008
"While the area might not provide much in the way of urban entertainment, the North Quabbin region has plenty of places to go outside and play. I was lucky enough to bring my canoe with me, and while I have not taken it out yet there are a ton of places around to paddle. Tully Lake is a beautiful lake nearby with hiking and biking trails around it. Also, Erving state park is a couple of minutes away, with hiking and canoing as well. This weekend, we are probably going to go camping at one of these sites. Another fun activity is the fire pit right behind Fisher house. We have had one campfire...Read more >

Orientation and first week

June 5, 2008
Day 1 "Very exciting first day here I woke up early and went for a run before breakfast. After breakfast we had orientation all day. The morning was filled with an introduction to the forest history in the area (complete with a slideshow with the voiceover of a movie preview style narrator, so it was very dramatic and appropriate for the bits when they talked about the hurricane that came through in the 30's), and the overview of the program (including speeches about the importance/the big picture as well as personal ethics and our community here). We also had a lovely overview about ticks...Read more >

Welcome!

March 11, 2008
Welcome to the Harvard Forest REU Program blog. Here, our summer students will share their experiences and photographs from 12 weeks of ecological research at our field station in Petersham, Massachusetts. For more information on the Harvard Forest REU Program, visit the main Harvard Forest Summer Research Program webpage.Read more >

What are you up to now?

September 11, 2001
Jennifer Popham
Jennifer Popham REU '09 Mentor: Ed Faison Project: Seedling & Sapling Composition Influences Browsing Intensity of Ungulates in Massachusetts (abstract) Hometown: Gardner, MA College and major: University of Massachusetts, Wildlife and Fisheries Conservation, class of 2010 What you miss most about the REU program: I miss the people I worked with and spending every day outdoors in the woods. What you miss least about the REU program: Getting soaked in the field on rainy days wasn't fun. What about the REU program has stuck with you: The friendships I made and the memories of seeing moose...Read more >

What are you up to now?

September 11, 2001
Julia Ka'iulani Nelson REU '03 Mentor: Kristina Stinson Project: Effects of soil disturbance and mowing on demographic structure and seedling performance in garlic mustard (Allaria petiolata) populations Hometown: Honolulu, Hawaii College and major: Stanford University, Anthropological Sciences/Archaeology, class of 2004 What you miss most about the REU program: Too many things! Mostly the wonderful people I met there, but also being out in the field. Harvard Forest is beautiful! What you miss least about the REU program: Absolutely nothing! I miss it all. What about the REU program has stuck...Read more >

Pages