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2012 Summer Research Program Kicks Off

Friday, May 25, 2012
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On May 21st, 29 students arrived at the Harvard Forest from around the country and the world, to take part in our 2012 Summer Research Program in Ecology. For 11 weeks, these students will live on-site and be mentored on a full-time, independent research project.

Participants range from freshmen in college to recent graduates, and their research this summer will be diverse and involved. For example, one group of three students will study the interrelated dynamics of microbes and carbon in Harvard Forest soils. Other students will investigate local populations of ants, pitcher plants, butterflies, bumblebees, chipmunks, and invasive species such as the hemlock woolly adelgid. Some students will work in the tree canopy while others extract pollen from thousand-year-old mud, or use underground photography to analyze root growth. Still others will use surveys to assess forest landowners' understanding of conservation options for their land.

Throughout the summer, students will attend science seminars, workshops on careers and graduate school, and weekend field trips. In August, as a capstone to their experience, students will present the results of their research in a Summer Research Symposium.

Our students this summer are supported by a range of sources: the National Science Foundation's Long-Term Ecological Research Program, NASA, the ESA SEEDS program, NEON, Harvard University, Mount Holyoke College, Lincoln University, and Grinnell College.

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