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Conducting Research

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Harvard PondThe Harvard Forest welcomes research by any investigator that is compatible with the goals of the Harvard Forest research program, the integrity of the ecosystem, and the cultural and aesthetic characteristics of the site.

What you need to know about doing research at Harvard Forest

May 2020 update: Current status of research at Harvard Forest:

Buildings, laboratories, greenhouses, and other research facilities at the Harvard Forest are closed in compliance with Harvard University policy to reduce the risk of COVID-19. We do not yet know when we will be able to re-open these facilities. In the meantime, there is an additional approval process and new field protocols for the limited priority field research that can be done safely while maintaining social distancing. We ask that researchers interested in doing research at the Harvard Forest in 2021 contact the Site Manager before filling out a research project application (below). 

Harvard Forest has many resources available for visiting researchers.  Please review the resources and policies below before filling out a research project application (RPA). RPAs are required for all projects at Harvard Forest.  Fees for these resources are listed on the Forest User Fee Schedule. 

Returning Researchers

If you are a returning researcher and need to request housing, update or create a new research application, please proceed to directly to login page.

Research Facilities and Resources

Harvard Forest provides a wide variety of research facilities both in the field and laboratory to assist in performing research on our campus.

Please review the full description of the research facilities, site description and any associated fees that are related to it.

Working on Bucky in the Canopy

For more information contact the Site Manager.  In addition, specific fees for these services can be found at User Fee Schedule.

If you will be doing field research, please review the Field Research Checklist and Field Safety Basics

Research Policies

Please review the Harvard Forest research policies before requesting use of facilities. 

Information Management

Harvard Forest provides facilities for long-term archiving and online access to scientific data through its Data Archive.  All researchers must submit copies of data and relevant documents for long-term archiving at the Forest.   For more information contact Emery Boose, Information Manager.  Researchers must adhere to policies for the submission of research data and metadata. 

Meeting Facilities

Meeting space for small to large groups, with AV capabilities is available.  Contact Laurie Chiasson, Meeting Coordinator  with questions.  Fees for this service can be found in the User Fee Schedule.

Housing and Accommodations

Limited short and long-term housing is available for visiting researchers and staff.  To request reservations, researchers must have a completed and approved RPA.  Learn more about the surrounding area and staying in Petersham.  Contact Laurie Chiasson, Housing Coordinator with questions.  

Working in the GreenhouseResearch Project Application (RPA)

Use the Research Project Application to submit a request to initiate a new project or to detail the annual update regarding ongoing research projects. Contact Audrey Barker Plotkin if you have any questions related to the Research Project Application process. 

All research conducted at the Harvard Forest is subject to general standards and policies of scientific conduct as well as specific policies on non-discrimination, safety, ethics, and substance abuse that govern Harvard University workplaces.