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Open Positions at Harvard Forest

Temporary Indoor/Outdoor Facilities Assistant (13-week position starting mid-April-May or June start possible)


Assist full time woods crew staff as needed on various projects, including but not limited to:

  • Marking boundaries
  • Moving livestock
  • Painting various structures such as wood road gates and research towers
  • Preparing fire wood
  • Assisting with land clearing operations using a brush saw


  • Must have been licensed to drive for at least 2 years.
  • Age:  18 years of age as of start date with a valid driver’s license and clean driving record.
  • Able to lift a minimum of 50 lbs.
  • Comfortable working in any weather conditions either alone or in pairs in wooded locations. 
  • Positive attitude, good work ethic, and responsible work habits with team member mentality required. 
  • Able to prioritize daily tasks.

Terms of employment:

  • 40 hours per week
  • 7:30 am-4 pm M-F
  • $17.00 per hour (non-benefited)                  

Apply by sending cover letter, resume and contact information for 3 work related references to:

HFAPPS@FAS.HARVARD.EDU  (Applications accepted via email only)


No phone calls please.

Research Experience for Teachers (July 2024)

Tree Ring Lab (two positions)

The Tree Ring Lab at Harvard Forest is seeking up to two educators to participate in a NSF funded Research Experience for Teachers ("RETs"). The educators (either formal classroom teachers or informal community educators) will work with members of the Tree Ring Lab to learn the basics of tree coring and sample preparation. They will aid in the creation of a digitized classroom tool kit that seeks to illustrate the numerous stories that trees can tell us about past climates, disturbances, or forest history from multiple perspectives, whichever topic appeals to the winning candidate. The Tree Ring lab is currently focused on the environmental stories that Old Growth forests can tell and aim to incorporate indigenous perspectives on forest stewardship in the region. RETs will present their work at the Harvard Forest Summer Symposium in early August.

This position will include a day or two of somewhat intensive work in the forest, exploring the structure and shape of the trees to infer some of its history (Reading the Forested Landscape), taking notes and pictures or similar, and coring trees. 

Time commitment: July 2024 with limited time in August

Stipend Information: $3,745 (paid in two installments, at the end of July and at the end of August)

Interested candidates should submit a cover letter and resume to Katharine Hinkle, Schoolyard Ecology Program Coordinator,, by Monday, March 18th, 2024.


Assistant Program Coordinator/Resident Advisor

Summer Research Program In Ecology / 13-week position available beginning May 13, 2024

Since 1993, the Harvard Forest Summer Research Program in Ecology has been an integral part of Harvard Forest’s research and education mission. In 2024, 20 undergraduate students will join the Harvard Forest community in researching the effects of natural and human disturbances on forest ecosystems.  The Assistant Program Coordinator works closely with the Summer Program Coordinator to organize the educational components of the program, and to provide the information, advising, support, and management required to create a hospitable academic work environment.

Duties and Responsibilities

Working under the supervision of the Summer Program Coordinator, the Assistant Program Coordinator/Resident Advisor will be responsible for the following duties corresponding to both aspects of the role.

Assistant Program Coordinator

    • Assist with student arrival and orientation (May 19th – 22nd)
    • Inform students of Harvard Forest activities, policies, and expectations
    • Coordinate weekly evening workshops and seminars
    • Work with Summer Program Coordinator to resolve student issues
    • Organize Summer Student Symposium in early August
    • Work on various tasks as needed to facilitate summer research program                                                                                                         

Resident Advisor

    • Responsible for day-to-day activities related to the successful operation of a student residence
    • Hold weekly house meetings
    • Plan, organize, and direct student committees (recycling, social activities, etc.)
    • Advise students on matters concerning community development, conflict resolution and counseling 

Required Skills, Training and Experience

  • Excellent listening, negotiation, organizational, and problem-solving skills
  • Strong communication (verbal and written) and computer skills, comfortable using email and list-serves
  • Capable of performing a variety of tasks simultaneously
  • Work independently with moderate supervision
  • Must have a valid driver’s license
  • Must have completed undergraduate degree as of Spring 2024

Additional Desired Qualifications

  • Experience working with ethnically and culturally diverse population preferred
  • Experience as a Resident Assistant/Advisor preferred
  • Experience in environmental science work a plus, but note that this is an administrative, not research, position

Regretfully we cannot offer visa sponsorship for this position. 

Time Commitment and Compensation

Compensation is $18/hour for 40 hours per week for 13 weeks (May 13 to August 9, 2024); start date is firm and must be on-site.  The assistant has a private room (room and board provided), shared office space with computer, and access to Harvard Forest vehicles. The position requires on-site residence with weeknight and weekend work.


Apply by sending bundled PDF cover letter, resume and contact information for three references to   SUBJECT LINE: ASSISTANT PROGRAM COORDINATOR/RESIDENT ADVISOR. Application review will begin on March 1, 2024; the position will remain open until filled.  Additional information about Harvard Forest and the summer program is available at

No phone calls, please.

Megaplot Field Technicians (eight positions, temporary, summer 2024)


The Harvard Forest (HF) seeks eight talented and enthusiastic individuals to oversee the re-census (sampling and data management) of a large-scale (35 ha) temperate forest plot. Reporting to HF Forest Ecologist Dr. David Orwig, the Field Technicians will work closely with scientists from the Center for Tropical Forest Science (CTFS) ( and the Smithsonian Global Earth Observatory (SIGEO) to help ensure that sampling and data management are consistent with other temperate and tropical forest plots.

Duties and Responsibilities

Crews will work together in pairs to census, tag, paint, and map all woody stems ≥ 1 cm dbh within a portion of the 35-ha forest plot; Crews will also enter field data regularly into a CTFS database. 

Required Education, Experience, and Skills

College background in Botany, Ecology, Forestry, or Biology with 2 years of experience with vegetation sampling required.   Knowledge of temperate New England forest flora and forest dynamics, skill with maps and compass, familiarity with mapping, tablets, and GIS software, and ability to work well with others required.  Successful applicants will have strong interest to work with interdisciplinary science teams and serious interest in environmental research.  Regretfully, we are unable to offer visa sponsorship for staff positions.

Working Conditions

Must have a cheerful attitude while working outdoors under all weather conditions including cold and rainy days and sweltering summer heat with mosquitos, ticks, and black flies. Applicants must be capable of walking/hiking several miles each day carrying field equipment.  Must be able to lift 25 lbs. 

Compensation, Benefits and Application Process

Competitive salary for these 13-week temporary positions is $16.50/hr.   Positions will begin May 13, 2024 for up to 13 weeks. Apply by sending cover letter, resume and contact information for 3 relevant references to, Subject line: Megaplot project. Application review will begin immediately and interviews will begin in mid-February 2024.                                                                                                                                                            

Harvard Forest

Harvard Forest, an internationally recognized center for basic research in forest ecology, is one of 28 Long Term Ecological Research sites across the country sponsored by the National Science Foundation.  The Forest facilities include a research and administrative complex, 4000 acres of land and 14 residential buildings which are located in Petersham, a small town in central Massachusetts. For more information about the Forest, visit our website at:

Project Team Philosophy 

We believe in conducting science with both humility and intellectual rigor. We respect all people and will combat institutional racism and gender bias at every opportunity. We are committed to diversity and inclusion and to fostering a welcoming and stimulating environment so that project participants can develop, grow, and achieve their professional goals.  

The Harvard Forest Community

Harvard Forest is committed to establishing and maintaining a diverse, equitable, and inclusive community. We have a Code of Conduct that clearly outlines expected conduct for members of our community, unacceptable conduct, and pathways for support for those who experience or witness misconduct. We have initiated an ongoing series of staff-wide trainings and formed a standing committee to build competence in DEIB in our workplace, improved physical and digital accessibility of our campus resources, and re-examined and replaced harmful artwork. We are working toward including Indigenous knowledge and communities in our research and education, land use, and public programs, improving field safety for at-risk populations, and diversifying our team of investigators and educators. The aim of this work is to collectively support and implement our mission: the investigation, understanding, and communication of the ways in which physical, biological, and human systems interact to change our Earth, while ensuring that all participants should feel that they are critical parts of the Harvard Forest community—whatever their identity groups. We welcome, recruit, develop, and advance talented staff, students, and visiting scholars from diverse backgrounds, and strive to ensure that all are included in our mission. Harvard Forest is also committed to supporting the work-life balance of its staff.

We particularly encourage applications from members of groups that have been historically underrepresented in the sciences (Black, Indigenous, and people of color, women, individuals with disabilities, veterans, LGBTQ community members) and others who demonstrate the ability to help us achieve our vision of a diverse and inclusive community.


Harvard University does not currently require vaccinations for COVID but strongly encourages folks to follow CDC recommendations including being up to date on vaccines.

EEO Statement

We are an equal opportunity employer, and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, gender identity, sexual orientation, pregnancy and pregnancy-related conditions, or any other characteristic protected by law.