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LTER updates: Symposium highlights, student research awards, and a submitted research proposal

March 21, 2024
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Image shows 2024 graduate students affiliated with Harvard Forest's LTER Program. By Ben Goulet-Scott.

On March 19, Harvard Forest hosted its annual research symposium, entitled Looking Forward with Long-Term Research: New Directions and Graduate Student Research in the Harvard Forest LTER. Hosting nearly 100 individuals in person and over 50 online, this year's event included a variety of presentations that focused on upcoming research directions in Harvard Forest's Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) program. In addition to proposed work, several researchers shared preliminary results that show startling evidence of climate change. 

The event was also a celebration of Harvard Forest's seventh submission for ongoing funding from the National Science Foundation's LTER program, of which Harvard Forest has been a part since 1988. Led by Research Director Jonathan Thompson, the 6-year, $7.2 million grant request incorporated research proposals in a variety of forest ecology topic areas with 28 co-investigators from seven institutions. As one of NSF's longest-running LTER sites, Harvard Forest's temporally robust data collection allows unique perspective on pressing research questions related to forest responses to climate change. 

Numerous graduate students conduct research with data collected through Harvard Forest's LTER program, where research questions include topics ranging from trees' methane outputs to STEM identity in K-12 Schoolyard Ecology participants. Regardless of previous affiliation with the LTER program, students who use Harvard Forest LTER data may be eligible to apply for LTER Student Research Funding. Undergraduates or graduates should apply by May 1, 2024, for consideration. For more information, please visit the LTER Student Research Funding page.

Several of the research talks were recorded; you can watch the recording here and refer to the symposium schedule to help navigate. 

Above: Graduate students pose for a photograph at Harvard Forest's 2024 research symposium. By Ben Goulet-Scott. 

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