Harvard Forest

Duration: 2015 summer program dates are Monday May 23rd to Friday August 5th, 2016

Location: Petersham, MA

Position Title: Summer Research intern

The Harvard Forest Summer Research Program in Ecology is an opportunity for students to participate in on-going research at the Harvard Forest. Harvard Forest research focuses on the effects of natural and human disturbances on forest ecosystems, including global warming, hurricanes, forest harvesting, and invasive organisms. Researchers come from many disciplines, and specific projects center on population and community ecology, paleoecology, land-use history, phenology, biogeochemistry, soil science, and atmosphere-biosphere exchanges. Students participate in ongoing research projects with researchers from Harvard University, University of Massachusetts - Amherst, Clark University, Marine Biological Laboratory, and other collaborators. 

May include field sampling, laboratory studies, data analysis and scientific writing. In addition, students attend weekly seminars given by nationally known scientists and workshops on career and graduate school preparation.

Housing: Housing will be provided

For more information: Harvard Forest

The Harvard Forest Summer Research Program provides a critical opportunity for undergraduates to gain research experience in topics related to ecology, evolution, environmental science, and conservation. An education in these areas is not complete without hands-on immersion in the process of field and/or lab research, data analysis, and presentation of results. Students who participate in the program are better prepared for graduate work and future careers, whether in the life and social sciences, policy, environmental law, or nonprofit sectors. Working directly with experienced researchers/mentors, students will develop independent research skills and gain a deeper understanding of the environmental/ecological fields. Students can also leverage their summer experience to develop senior theses, author professional publications and participate in national conferences in upcoming academic years.

Similar to most REU programs, the Harvard Forest Summer Program receives many more applications than available funded positions. Overall, the pool of students hired will come with a wide variety of experience and educational backgrounds. A small but significant portion of students hired are rising freshman who show an interest in ecology but of course do not have significant course work or experience. The majority of students hired are sophomores and juniors who have a background in relevant science courses.
The most competitive applicants have demonstrated an ability to take initiative and responsibility, whether by work or volunteer experience.

How to Apply: Students must complete both the Havard Forest Application by Feb 6 (which requires letters of reference from two sources, an essay and resume) and the Lyon Net Application system by midnight February 19th.

Compensation: On-site housing provided, Free full meal plan, Travel reimbursement of up to $500 for one round trip to the Forest (federal grant restrictions apply).  Funds are dispersed through Harvard Forest. Because this position is partially funded by the Miller Worley Center, students must still complete the UAF Process


Students in 2015 were supported in all or part by the following funders: National Science Foundation, Mount Holyoke College, Harvard University.

About the Organization:
Harvard Forest was founded in 1907 to serve as, a field laboratory for students, a research center in forestry and related disciplines, including soils, wildlife biology, geography and botany, and a demonstration of practical sustained forestry. From a center comprised of 3,500 acres of land, research facilities, and the Fisher Museum, the scientists, students, and collaborators at the Forest explore topics ranging from conservation and environmental change to land-use history and the ways in which physical, biological and human systems interact to change our earth.
Since 1988, the Harvard Forest has been a Long-Term Ecological Research Site, funded by the National Science Foundation to conduct integrated, long-term studies of forest dynamics. Since 2011, the Harvard Forest has been the Northeast Core site for the National Ecological Observatory Network.