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January 15, 2021

Applications Open for 2021 Summer Research Program (virtual)

Summer Research Program students stand in the woods looking at a row of orange mushrooms on a log

Applications are open for the 2021 Harvard Forest Summer Research Program, which will be virtual and run from May 24 to August 6.

Undergraduates from all colleges and universities in the U.S. and territories are eligible to apply; applicants must be U.S. citizens or resident aliens. 

Program participants join a community of fellow students, mentors, and researchers, gaining experience in the

December 17, 2020

Documentary Features 30 Years of HF Long-Term Ecological Research

A dozen Harvard Forest scientists and a film crew stand in the snowy woods

A new documentary by Amy Li (Harvard College '20, Harvard Forest wintersession fellow '19) features 30 years of transformative science in the Harvard Forest Long-Term Ecological Research Program, begun in 1988 and sustaining several of the world's longest-running forest climate change experiments.

Interviews by the program's founding and contemporary scientists, plus educators, research fellows, and students - interspersed by

December 17, 2020

Ecological Society of America Features Summer Program Alum Tiffany Carey

Tiffany Carey stands smiling on a city street

A new video by the SEEDS Program of the Ecological Society of America highlights the environmental career trajectory of Tiffany Carey, who participated in the Harvard Forest Summer Research Program in 2012 and is now Habitat and Education Coordinator at the National Wildlife Federation Great Lakes Regional Center in Detroit. "I always try to find careers - whether I'm at the National

December 17, 2020

Old-Growth Study Reconstructs Southern NH Forests

Historical image of old-growth trees at Pisgah Forest in NH

A new study in The Journal of the Torrey Botanical Society employs field data collected by Harvard graduate students nearly 100 years ago, providing a unique opportunity to reconstruct how forests in the region looked before Europeans arrived.

The work characterizes the composition, size distribution, recruitment history, and biomass conditions of old-growth forests in southern New England, centered on the

November 18, 2020

December 15 Webinar to Highlight Benefits of Forest Conservation

View from Lions Head in Connecticut, part of the Appalachian Trail, showing a mosaic of hills, forests, and farms in autumn. Photo by John Burk.

“Saying Yes to Wildlands AND Woodlands” will feature leaders representing wilderness conservation and responsible forestry, discussing how both strategies can work together to address the climate crisis.

The subject of forest conservation will be center stage in a webinar on December 15 from 4-5:30 featuring Bob Perschel, Executive Director of the New England Forestry Foundation (NEFF), and Jon Leibowitz,

October 30, 2020

Study: China’s Most Important Trees Are Hiding in Plain Sight

Long-term forest study plot in China. Photo by Xiujuan Qiao.

In ecosystems around the globe, the danger of being a common or widespread species is the tendency to be overlooked by conservation efforts that prioritize rarity. In forests, the most common species can be essential to ecosystem structure and function, which crumble with the decline of these pivotal trees, known collectively as foundation species.

In an effort to identify forest foundation

September 3, 2020

New Grant: Redefining the Ecological Memory of Forest Disturbance

Dr. Zhen-ju Chen, Dr. David Orwig, and student Mel Paduani core a large northern red oak tree in an old-growth forest

A new, 4-year grant from the National Science Foundation to HF Senior Ecologists Neil Pederson and Dave Orwig will support an unprecedented inquiry into 600 years of tree growth data from 35 old-growth forest study sites in the Northeast. The research will test the sensitivity of Northeast forest ecosystems to extreme climate events such as drought or late-spring frosts.

Preliminary evidence

August 27, 2020

New Interim Harvard Forest Director Took Reins July 1; Retiring Director Leaves 30-Year Legacy

Missy Holbrook shows students a white pine tree in the forest in winter

Noel Michele Holbrook, an accomplished plant physiologist and the Charles Bullard Professor of Forestry at Harvard University, became the eighth director of the Harvard Forest on July 1, 2020. The role is an interim position, with a future search for a permanent director pending.

Retiring director David R. Foster has assumed a new position of Senior Conservationist at

August 27, 2020

2020-2021 Bullard Fellows Announced

A scientist sits on the forest floor, writing data on a clipboard

We are pleased to announce the Harvard Forest Charles Bullard Fellows for 2020-2021. The mission of the Bullard Fellowship Program is to support advanced research and study by individuals who show promise of making an important contribution--either as scholars or administrators--to forestry and forest-related subjects, from biology to earth sciences, economics, politics, law, and the arts and humanities. 

August 4, 2020

Study: In a Warming World, New England’s Trees Are Storing More Carbon

Senior ecologist Audrey Barker Plotkin works with student researchers Collette Yee and Kate Eisen to measure trees in a long-term Harvard Forest study plot. Photo by Moshe Roberts.

A new study in Ecological Monographs synthesizes hundreds of thousands of carbon observations collected over the last quarter century at the Harvard Forest, following the complex stream of carbon through the forest's air, soil, plants, and water. The scope of the study - as well as its consistency of results - is unprecedented. 

The study reveals that the rate at

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