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Summer Research Experience: Student Blog

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June 29, 2018, by Brooklynn Davis
tldr: Harvard Forest REU has the perfect setup (no worries about housing, food, or having fun, they provide it all!) to give its students a true research experience, and experience is the most effective teacher. So I just finished my first semester as a declared environmental science major. Before that I was pre-med (we all go through that phase, right?), and before that I was lifeguarding to pay my way through enjoying high school. Needless to say, other than a class called ​Intro to Environmental E​ngineering, coming into this REU program I had pretty much zero experience in ecology, plant...Read more >

Tree Mortality Project

June 29, 2018, by Laura Puckett
When I tell people that I am studying forest ecology, they probably assume that I am studying the living organisms in forests. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. This summer, I am focused on dead trees. This is because we want to develop a better understanding of the rate of tree mortality and causes of tree mortality here. Trees are an important store of carbon, and tree mortality adds considerable variability to forest carbon dynamics. By sampling recently dead trees, we hope to develop a better understanding of how tree mortality is affecting carbon storage in the forest. The area of forest...Read more >

Ants and Trees - A Blog-Cast

June 27, 2018, by Maggie Anderson
Listen to the podcast with the link below! Maggie is a rising Senior at Lawrence University studying Biology.Read more >

Some of what goes unnoticed: A glimpse underground

June 27, 2018, by Eva Paradiso
When you first walk into the Harvard Forest during the prime summer days you might notice the large patch of poison ivy filling the forest floor, the countless tree trunks creating a maze throughout the forest, or the green leaves obscuring the sky. If you listen closely, you will hear the sounds of the forest: birds calling, chipmunks, squirrels, mosquitoes buzzing all too loudly in your ear, or the sound of caterpillar poop falling from the sky. The smell of crisp air filled with an earthy aroma calms the soul. On a hot day an occasional breeze cools the body. The forest tickles the senses...Read more >

What does a forest look like in 2318?

June 25, 2018, by Max Ferlauto
Somehow your body gets frozen for three hundred years. Maybe you fell through a lake in the middle of winter and froze solid, maybe Darth Vader threw you in carbonite, maybe you were forgotten in a cryogenic chamber. In any case, you are revived three hundred years later and wake up in a hospital. After the nurses perform their tests and you’ve overcome the shock that, instead of having to use the restroom, waste is automatically teleported into a customizable receptacle, you’re allowed a fifteen minute walk through the hospital. A news feed displays on the floor as you step on the rubbery...Read more >

Pictures Worth A Thousand Words

June 22, 2018, by Emilio Arias
I grew up in Miami, surrounded by a vibrant tropical landscape... Then I moved to Atlanta for school and fell in love with the city and the nature... And now I'm in Massachusetts excited to explore its forests! Field work began rather quickly but we found ways to lighten up the day. Our first weekend we visted Tully Lake and got to swim next to a waterfall! The following weekend we took a road trip to Cape Cod and had a blast on the beach! We've visited Boston a couple of times and it's an amazing city with so much to see and do. We continue our field work every day, striving toward...Read more >

Blog…Cast! (A Harvard Forest Podcast)

June 20, 2018, by Kyra Hoerr
Listen by clicking the image below! Kyra is a rising Junior at Bryn Mawr College studying Philosophy.Read more >

Coding Explained in Three Comics

June 20, 2018, by Orenna Brand
This summer, I’m working on the Data Provenance in R project. It is essentially a programming job. And, unfortunately, frustration is a part of the job of software engineering. But, comedy is born out of frustration, and so here we are. My experience thus far can be best described with these three comics: 1. It’s important to practice good style. 2. Programming can be a lonely endeavour sometimes. 3. Joe (my project partner) and I are the resident IT people because we ~sort of~ know how to program in R. R is not the best software development language out there (it was made for statistical...Read more >

The Forest--Spooky Stories for Prospective Students

June 18, 2018, by Jon Hamilton
7:45. Night descending. Mosquitoes coming out. Trees tossing shade. Not an ideal time for a run, but I began it anyways. Out I went, venturing from Shaler Hall toward the Hemlock Hospice, a mile into the Forest. Slowly, light faded. I turned left, heading into the Hospice, hoping to cut through to the road on the other side. Fun fact for those who don’t know: even on bright days, hemlocks create an extremely dark understory. Looking left and right, it was like a scene from a horror movie. There was even a bit of fog rolling in, generating the perfect aesthetic—just not the one I was going for...Read more >