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Summer Research Experience: Student Blog

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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
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?

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?

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?

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?

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 >

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