You are here

Summer Research Experience: Student Blog

Printer-friendly version
July 25, 2018, by Jerilyn Jean M. Calaor

Farm to Fun

Committing to an 11 week scientific program – especially one that bears the prestigious name of Harvard – can be pretty intimating. However, you (prospective students) need not to worry. While it is true that the research may be challenging at times, the people you’ll meet and the adventures you’ll venture in your weeks at Harvard Forest make the battles with field work, data entry, R, and deadlines seem so small. Here, I share highlights of two summers in Harvard Forest's Summer Program for Ecology – from farm to fun.
July 3, 2018, by Shreena Pyakurel

A Day as a Harvard REU Student

It is 7:00 AM on a Friday and I wake up as I remember that it is Friday, or as Jerilyn, one of my research partners, says Chai Day! Friday is a special day because it starts with enjoying Tim’s amazing hot breakfast with chai. I think almost everyone makes it to Friday breakfast even if they do not make
August 1, 2017, by Salua Rivero

From the Zen Garden to the Zen Forest

Art installation - Salua Rivero
There was only one place, my secret place, on my campus in which I felt happy and free; the Zen Garden. It was the only green space on campus, a tiny square hidden by trees and only one picnic table to sit on. That was where I went to read, to write poetry, to meditate, to be alone and to
July 26, 2017, by Karina Martinez

Attack of the Invasive Species: Garlic Mustard and Exotic Earthworms Affect Plant Diversity

Treating Plot
Imagine easy-on-the-ears bluegrass melodies, an occasional summertime thunderstorm, a mama bear on the side of the road with her cubs, illuminating fireflies within the grasses at night, and vivid green forest scenery. This is a summer to remember for an Angelino city girl. These experiences come from living at Harvard Forest, and traveling within Massachusetts and New York with my
July 17, 2017, by Nicholas Patel

White Oak Regeneration, Is It a Crisis or Not?

Boring Tree at the Mohawk Trail State Forest
Scientists and foresters have documented and monitored the increasing mortality of oak trees in the United States for over the past century. This decline has become a high-profile issue because oaks account for one third of our nation’s hardwood saw timber volume, most of which is coming from eastern states. Of the 20 commercially valuable oak species, white oak is
July 27, 2016, by Sydney-Alyce Bourget

The Invasion of Garlic Mustard Plants: The Aliens of Nature

Gray slimy skin, large head, and dark piercing black eyes are some features that compose the classic science fiction alien. In typical science fiction fashion, these aliens come from outer space and invade the Earth. Their superior technology and intellect provide them with a competitive advantage over the human race allowing them to monopolize Earth’s precious resources, while annihilating its
July 22, 2016, by Sarah Goldsmith

How do I love thee, soil? Let me count thy roots!

The next time you find yourself in a hemlock forest, take moment to notice what is around you. Take your gaze skyward to the thick and verdant canopy or downwards to the dim and dappled light that dances in playful patterns across the thick layer of needles carpeting the forest floor. Close your eyes and listen for the myriad of
July 20, 2016, by Alex Salinas

Field Experiments: The Struggle is Real

One of the first things that struck me on my way to Harvard Forest from the Boston airport was the vivid scenery. Coming from the heart of Texas, I couldn’t believe all the lush forests and lakes that surrounded me. It was all so surreal that it took me a few hours to convince myself I was actually here. What
July 6, 2016, by Anna Mayrand

Grazing Our Problems Away: How Cows Can Put New England’s Conservation Issues Out to Pasture

Looking at New England’s forests today, it’s almost hard to believe that at one point, most of the land was open fields. In the 1880’s, land was cleared out by settlers to make fields for grazing and farming. The land has since recovered from its deforestation with 80% of the land now being dominated by forest. However, this gives rise
July 24, 2015, by Megan Shadley

Getting to the Bottom of Paleoecology

This summer I have been inducted into a prestigious group on the Harvard Forest grounds known as Club Paleo. The lucky few of us that work in the paleoecology lab attempt to decode climate and forest ecology conditions from thousands of years ago in order to infer how changes in the past could help predict how climate will change in
July 21, 2015, by Tess McCabe

Ant-ticipating Change: As forests change, will ants?

Aphaenogaster ant nest
Ants work hard. In fact, a single leafcutter colony can consume more than the average cow . But different ants work hard in different ways. Some will move seeds around, letting plants grow in new areas. Some will build vast underground tunnels that aerate the soil. Different kind of ants are useful. That's where I come in. I do two
July 6, 2015, by Natalie Gonzalez

No Such Thing As Too Much Garlic? Think Again!

One of the first things my driver told me on my way to Harvard Forest from the Boston airport was that Massachusetts was in the middle of a drought. Now I thought this was odd because, looking out of my window, I saw lakes sitting on both sides of the road. Being from California I expected a slightly different view
June 3, 2014, by Alison Ochs

Initial Impressions of the Summer Ahead

Alison Ochs standing above the canopy on the Hemlock Tower
When I first arrived at Harvard Forest, I saw green. The woods were beautiful, the trails stunning, and all I could tell was that the forest around me was unlike anything I was used to. What I didn’t see initially were the dying trees, the falling needles, and the slow decline of a once healthy hemlock forest. Yes, the maples
July 31, 2013, by Justin Vendettuoli

Wool-wearing villains

Justin Vendettuoli
Clashing, crashing, smashing--the once hearty hemlock heaves its now crippled form to the forest floor. What brings this mighty tree to its knees? Was it the axe man, his barrel chest booming with each thunderous blow? Was it the furious gusts of a gale going through the eastern hemlock stand, singing songs of sorrow? NAY!!! The culprit creeps covertly along
August 12, 2010, by Aleta Wiley

REUs ace summer symposium!

In the final week of the Summer Research Program in Ecology for Undergraduates at Harvard Forest, all 33 students participated in the Student Symposium on August 11-12 in the Fisher Museum. Over a day and a half, all the students presented 15 minute talks to an audience comprising program mentors, university professors, Harvard Forest researchers, family members, and of course,