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Harvard Forest Research Project 2022

  • Title: Tram Installation and Instrumentation for Semi-Continuous Monitoring of Canopy Microclimate, Physiology, and Structure
  • Principal investigator: Emery Boose (
  • Institution: Harvard Forest
  • Primary contact: Mark VanScoy (
  • Team members: Xingjian Chen; Paul Siqueira; Mark VanScoy
  • Abstract:

    We designed and installed that tram as a new measurement infrastructure that enables remote monitoring of the forest and ecosystem physiology, microclimate, and structure. This exciting and unprecedented new tool allows us to move beyond snapshot, point sampling and facilitate a wide range of important questions to be explored about spatial and temporal variability in ecosystem function and structure.

    The 50 m long motorized tramway is suspended between two fixed points above the clear cut below the HF fire tower. The tramway vehicle is outfitted with sensors that measure light, humidity, moisture, and other important forest attributes. This prototype will inform future work to provide an unprecedented view of how the environment and ecosystem properties vary spatially and over time.