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Summer Research Program in Ecology Welcomes 20 Students in its 31st Year

June 5, 2024
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Interns participating in the 2024 Summer Research Program in Ecology stand outside on Harvard Forest's campus.

Harvard Forest has commenced its 31st annual Summer Research Program in Ecology (SRPE), welcoming 20 students from 13 colleges nationwide. Research inquiries are guided by 25 researchers from institutions such as Harvard Forest, UMass Amherst, and the City University of New York - Hunter.

 Four primary research projects include numerous sub-projects that interns collaboratively advance with mentors. They include:

  • Hemlock, Oak, and the Insects of Doom
    • Forest Composition and Structure
    • Seedling Demography
    • Cascading Impacts of Hemlock LossImage shows research interns and mentors meeting to discuss carbon tracking research.
    • Assessment of Wood Quality
  • Impacts of Forest Fragmentation
    • Living on the Edge
    • Thirsty Roots in Wide-Open Spaces
    • Brown Food Web
  • Tracking Carbon from Soils to Sky
    • Methane - Upland and Wetland Soils
    • Methane - Living Trees
    • Long-Term Soil Nutrient and Gas Cycling
    • Hemlock Decline and Plant-Soil Feedbacks
  • Landscape Ecology
    • Analyzing Ground Mounted Solar
    • Modeling Climate Change Impacts


The fully immersive residential program spans 11 weeks, offering interns hands-on research experience and a variety of educational and community-building programs. Harvard Forest’s SRPE is led by Ben Goulet-Scott, Higher Education & Laboratory Coordinator at Harvard Forest, with substantial support from Teressa Alexander, Assistant Coordinator and Resident Advisor. Funding for the program comes from a variety of sources, including significant support from the National Science Foundation’s Research Experiences for Undergraduates program.

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