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Harvard Forest Symposium Abstract 2014

  • Title: Education & Outreach: 2013
  • Primary Author: Clarisse Hart (Harvard Forest)
  • Additional Authors: Kathy Fallon Lambert (Harvard Forest); David Foster (Harvard Forest); Manisha Patel (Harvard Forest)
  • Abstract:


    Harvard Forest’s new biennial report features research and education highlights from 2013 and has been widely distributed to stakeholders, students, and the public. Copies are available online and in the Fisher Museum.

    In December 2013, HFR released its “Changes to the Land” report—a high-impact, multi-year synthesis product of LTER IV and V, led by Jonathan Thompson, Kathy Fallon Lambert, and David Foster, with additional funding from the Smithsonian and private foundations--to the public, media, and government and NGO stakeholders in events at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and the Springfield Science Museum. On the web: On Twitter: #LandChanges.

    Ongoing effort toward media visibility has boosted the presence of Harvard Forest’s long-term research in the news, including multiple features in the Boston Globe, New York Times, NSF Science Nation, Science, Nature, regional NPR and TV stations, and elsewhere in 2013, highlighting LTER research, art, and education programs.


    The HFR Summer Research Program for undergraduates continues to attract a strong and diverse cohort. Out of an applicant pool of 583 students, our Summer Research Program brought 26 undergraduates to the Forest to conduct 11 weeks of mentored research in 2013. A staggering 732 students completed applications for the 2014 summer program; 22 were selected.

    At the LTER Network level, HFR education leaders have spearheaded efforts to increase diversity in LTER-based summer research experiences. With input from LNO leadership and the LTER Diversity and Higher Education working groups, Clarisse Hart and Manisha Patel distributed a network-wide survey to assess the experiences of LTER summer program alumni, drawing responses from 150 students at 14 sites.

    The HFR Summer Research Program proctors worked in conjunction with the Outreach Manager in summer 2013 to pursue a number of outreach activities for HFR’s undergraduate research community, including: an REU student blog (, social networking (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn), a program alumni contact database, a gathering at ESA’s annual meeting (40 attendees this year), and communications workshops for REU students.

    Guided, in-depth tours of Harvard Forest LTER research areas for university and K-12 courses and conservation/forestry professional groups drew attendance by more than 1,000 students, faculty, and members of the public in 2013. The tours are led by HFR education staff, PIs and co-Is, and graduate students. Nearly 1,000 more visitors self-guided themselves through the research trail system using interpretive signs and a trail brochure newly updated in Winter 2013.

    Courses and academic programs held in 2013 at HFR for Harvard students include a spring Freshman Seminar: “Research at the Harvard Forest: Global Change Ecology-Forests, Ecosystem Function, the Future,” and “Reading and Conserving the New England Landscape.” These field-oriented courses center on instruction from a variety of HFR co-PIs, who take students to the field to observe and discuss the many facets of long-term ecological research.

    The Harvard Forest weekly seminar series continues to be streamed live online and virtually “attended” by a growing number of students, PIs, and conservation/forestry professionals (the latter receive professional development credits for attendance).


    In February 2013, Clarisse Hart led a major cross-site LTER art exhibition, “Ecological Reflections,” at NSF Headquarters—featuring paintings, sculpture, essays, installations, video projects, poetry, and photographs by 39 artists and writers from 11 LTER sites (7 artists from Harvard Forest). A subset of the artwork traveled to the ESA annual meeting in Minneapolis.

    In December 2013, Harvard Forest hosted the initial meeting of the Northeast Science and Policy Consortium, co-organized by Kathy Fallon Lambert at HFR and David Sleeper at HBR, to organize its first regional synthesis projects that will connect long-term research to environmental policy.


    Senior ecologist Aaron Ellison's Field Guide to the Ants of New England won the 2013 International Book Award in General Science from USA Book News, as well as a 2013 New England Society (NES) Book Award.

    A list of 100 Influential Papers published by the British Ecological Society for its centennial celebration includes Harvard Forest director David Foster's 1992 study, "Land use history (1730-1990) and vegetation dynamics in central New-England USA" among the honorees.

    Photographs of HFR LTER field research by 2011 artist-in-residence John Hirsch won the 2013 Grand Prize for Photo Portfolio in the Maine Media Workshop’s “Spirit of Place” contest. More than 3,800 images were submitted to the competition from artists around the world.

  • Research Category: Conservation and Management, Regional Studies