How might your local landscape change in 40 years?

An interactive map tool built by scientists in the Thompson Lab explores five possible futures for New England, viewable in high resolution at 10-year time steps. A companion story map outlines the kinds of questions the tool can answer, and builds context for the years of research and contributions by 100+ local stakeholders that led to the final product.

News & Highlights

January 21, 2020

Study: Climate (Not Humans) Shaped Early Forests of New England

Openland and stone wall

A new study in the journal Nature Sustainability overturns long-held interpretations of the role humans played in shaping the American landscape before European colonization. The findings give new insight into the rationale and approaches for managing some of the most biodiverse landscapes in the eastern U.S.

December 19, 2019

Climate Teaching Tool Co-Produced by Local Teacher & HF Scientist

screenshot of Data Nugget website showing title (A window into a tree's world) and image of scientist Neil Pederson extracting a tree-ring core from the trunk of an evergreen tree

A new teaching tool for middle, high school, and university classrooms guides students in using Harvard Forest tree-ring data to answer questions about local climate change. The lesson plan was produced by Elicia Andrews, a teacher at Quabbin Regional High School in Barre, MA, who also participates in the Harvard Forest Schoolyard Ecology Program. Andrews was supported in

December 16, 2019

Study: Invasive Insects Increase Likelihood of Logging on Private Land

close-up on the ends of 20 cut logs stacked in winter snow, some with tracking numbers spraypainted on them

A new study in the journal People and Nature, led by a team of scientists from Harvard Forest, UMass, and Duke University, surveyed hundreds of forest landowners in New England and found that future invasive insect outbreaks could increase the likelihood of forest harvest on private land. 

Based on survey responses, the team grouped landowners into three types, characterizing their

December 1, 2019

Harvard's "Wired Woods" Featured in Resilient Forest Series

A research tram on cables glides over the top of dense, green vegetation in a recently clear-cut forest.

Harvard Forest land and research is the newest focus of a year-long multimedia series on resilient forests by Northern Woodlands.

Listen as Harvard Forest Senior Ecologist and Deputy Director Aaron Ellison walks radio producer Erica Heilman through our "wired woods," and up to the top of our 92' research tower, discussing how scientists use experimental forests to measure change over time.

October 11, 2019

Harvard Forest Co-Presents Award for Academic Conservation Excellence

In a special event today, the Harvard Forest, Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, and Highstead Foundation, along with their partners in Academics for Land Protection in New England (ALPINE), recognized the University of Massachusetts Amherst with the Charles H.W. Foster Award for Academic Leadership in Land Conservation.

The event also honored the high-impact career of longtime UMass

October 3, 2019

NYT Op-Ed Poses Wood Building & Forest Conservation as Climate Solutions

Common Ground High School

An op-ed in the New York Times, co-authored by Harvard Forest director David Foster, points to new forest management standards, increases in wood building projects, and protection of existing forests from development as untapped climate solutions in New England and around the world.

The piece was written with colleagues Frank Lowenstein from the New England Forestry Foundation and

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