The Center recently received a Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF). The grant, which emphasizes the societal relevance of ecology and ecosystem science, provides opportunities for both a research mentorship and an outreach partnership with an outside organization. For the next three years, eight undergraduate students from colleges and universities around the United States will spend the summer at the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest in the White Mountain National Forest. The students will work with two research mentors on projects in the major areas of ecosystem research at Hubbard Brook—animal ecology, biogeochemistry, hydrology and soils, and forest vegetation. Students will conduct a research project with their mentors and gain exposure to the full spectrum of ecosystem research at Hubbard Brook.
Students will also participate in a science communication project that will serve an outside organization. Working with a regional organization like a non-profit, local government, or public agency, students and their mentors will create a needed product to communicate ecosystem concepts to a broad audience. A weekly workshop examining successful science communication strategies will aid in development of the final product.
The Hubbard Brook REU will operate in partnership with the Hubbard Brook Research Foundation (HBRF), the Hubbard Brook Ecosystem Study, and the U.S. Forest Service. CFE’s Assistant Professor of Hydrology Kevin McGuire is leading the project and Associate Professor of Science Education Mary Ann McGarry is overseeing the science communication components. Geoff Wilson, educator and facilities manager for HBRF, will coordinate the activities and oversee the daily aspects of the REU. HBES scientists from a variety of institutions are serving as mentors.