PSU Joins Consortium to Support Hubbard Brook Ecosystem

June 4th, 2008 by Adam

PLYMOUTH, N.H.-Plymouth State University has joined with the Hubbard Brook Research Foundation to form a consortium to support research, education, and policy initiatives at the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest in central New Hampshire, the site of one of the longest running and most comprehensive ecosystem studies in the world.

The five charter members of the Hubbard Brook Consortium are Dartmouth College, Plymouth State University, Syracuse University, the U.S. Forest Service’s Northern Research Station, and Wellesley College.

Hubbard Brook is perhaps best known as the place where acid rain was discovered in North America in the mid-1960s. For the past 45 years, hundreds of scientists representing dozens of research institutions have been part of the Hubbard Brook Ecosystem Study, a world-renowned scientific enterprise that investigates the patterns and processes governing forest ecosystems.

“We believe the Hubbard Brook Consortium will build on an already robust partnership between Plymouth State University and the Hubbard Brook research community,” said Sara Jayne Steen, President of Plymouth State University. “PSU currently shares staff members and other resources with the U.S. Forest Service and the Hubbard Brook Research Foundation, and we co-administer a new Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program funded by the National Science Foundation. Over time, the Hubbard Brook Consortium will help communicate the important messages of ecosystem science to larger and more diverse audiences.”

According to David Sleeper, Executive Director of the Hubbard Brook Research Foundation, “A key objective of the Hubbard Brook Consortium will be to attract new generations of students to ecosystem science, including students from minority and other underrepresented populations in the field of ecology. We also hope to bring international students to the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest. In this way, the Consortium will help ensure a bright future for the study of vital forested ecosystems.”

As part of its inaugural program in 2008, the Hubbard Brook Consortium has awarded grants to four students to travel to Hubbard Brook this summer to perform individual research projects, working with senior scientists:

Shelly Garber, a sophomore at Plymouth State University in Plymouth, NH, will study land-use effects on the biodiversity of bird populations, working with Dr. Steven Hamburg from Brown University.

Bénédicte Bachelot, a student at AgroParisTech in Paris, France, will do research on vegetation response to elevated levels of aluminum in forest soils, working with Dr. Linda Pardo from the U.S. Forest Service.

Priscillia Semaoune, a student at Pierre and Marie Curie University in Paris, France, will study plant-soil interactions with a focus on stable isotopes. This will be her first visit to the United States and she will work with the Forest Service’s Dr. Pardo.

Ian Wheat, a junior at Dartmouth College, in Hanover, NH, will do research on the ecosystem effects of tree declines, working with Dr. Tim Fahey, Cornell University, and Dr. John Battles, University of California/Berkeley.

The Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest, an 8,000-acre site located within the White Mountain National Forest in Thornton, NH, is administered by the U.S. Forest Service. Hubbard Brook is part of the National Science Foundation’s Long-term Ecological Research (LTER) network, which comprises 26 research sites.

Scientific experiments and data gathering at Hubbard Brook have informed policies and management practices affecting some of the nation’s most vexing environmental problems, including acid rain, clear cutting and other destructive forestry practices, and pollution from lead, nitrogen, and road salt. Increasingly, Hubbard Brook scientists are turning their attention to the study of forest carbon and the effects of climate change on the plants, animals, and biogeochemical processes of northeastern temperate forests.

For more information about this release, contact Bruce Lyndes, PSU Media Relations Mgr., (603) 535-2775 or Bruce Lyndes

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