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Harvard Forest Symposium Abstract 2014

  • Title: Our Changing Forests; How do Forests Grow and Change Over Time?
  • Primary Author: Pamela Snow (Harvard Forest)
  • Abstract:

    Project Development Team:

    Edward Faison, Highstead; Emery Boose, Harvard Forest; Pamela Snow, Harvard Forest; David Foster, Harvard Forest; David Orwig, Harvard Forest; Clarisse Hart, Harvard Forest; Brian Donahue, Brandeis University; Brian Hall, Harvard Forest; John O’Keefe, Harvard Forest


    Briana Brown, Brookline High School; Melanie McCracken, Groton-Dunstable High School; Nicholas Kostich, Oakmont High School; Bill Van Valkenburg, Gardner High School; Wayne Kerminski, Mohawk High School

    Harvard Forest and Highstead staffs are supporting Middle School and High School teachers and their students engaging in field investigations just outside of their schools. Students are studying how forests grow and change over time in response to different environments and land use; and how forest composition and growth respond to future natural and human-caused disturbances.

    Using a plot study protocol developed by project staff, students collect data on tree species; tree diameter; and field site characteristics; and calculate carbon storage estimates for each plot. This research connects to Harvard Forest Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) studies related to land use change, forest dynamics, and carbon uptake. It is closely related to the work that Ed Faison is coordinating for the Wildlands and Woodlands Stewardship Science Initiative.

    Emery Boose, Information Manager at Harvard Forest, has developed an online database for posting and analyzing project data. Project data are available for sharing with other participating schools, and the public. Students may compare the dynamics of their local woodlands to those of other participating schools in different locations, and/or those with different land-use histories.

    Six teachers in schools spread along the route 2 corridor from metro-Boston to the foothills of the Berkshires piloted this study with their students this year. We expect to be expanding participation in this project beginning in August of this year, as a new cohort of teachers will be introduced to the project at the Harvard Forest Schoolyard Ecology Summer Institute for Teachers. We hope to provide a project coach to help set up each new field site. Students will collect data in September and October; and submit data online by the end of 2014.

    See our webpages for more information:

  • Research Category: Group Projects