Thursday, August 18, 2016

H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest


Date of Visit: August 18th, 2016
Type of Event: Study Tour
Topic: Long term data collection in forestry research
Location: Western Cascade Range, Blue River, OR
Host: Mark Schulze
International Fellows: Ana de Miguel (Spain), Karishmaa Pai (India), Rebecca Hsu (Taiwan),  Yu Lei (China),
WFI Staff: Chandalin Bennett/ Sr. Programs Manager, Shadia Duery / International Fellowship Manager

The H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest: A Great Example of Forestry Research

This day we visited H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest. Mark Schulze the director gave us an introduction to the organization and showed us the different long term data collection stations.

The H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest:
  • Established in 1948
  • Area covers Lookout Creek entire basin (15,800-acre/ 6,400-ha)
  • Elevation ranges between 1,350 and 5,340 feet (410 to 1,630 m)
  • Managed in partnership between the US Forest Service and Oregon State University
  • Funded by The National Science Foundation (NSF) (US$ 300k per year)
  • One of 26 Long-Term Ecological Research Stations and one of 81 USDAExperimental Forests
According to the Mark Shulze's introduction,  H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest research focuses on Pacific Northwest tree species like -Douglas-fir as well as over 500 vascular plants. Besides species richness,  H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest has various types of geo-ecological systems that researches.

Over the decades many different types of research has been conducted at H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest. Current research includes watershed dynamics, forest development, carbon dynamics, remote sensing and landscape ecology. Research findings support American forestry.

In addition to research projects, H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest has an education program. This education program is meant help deepen the understanding of forestry science for people from different backgrounds and ages. This program's goals are:
  • Promote understanding on how ecosystems function
  • Foster the next generation of scientists, natural resource managers, and informed citizen leaders
  • Create programs that help capture scientists and natural resource managers while they are in their K-12 years
The H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest is equipped with high tech equipment to meet long and short term research needs.

Chinese Fellow's Reflection:

China also counts with experimental forests for long term research and the government allocates great importance to them. And thus experimental forests are great in numbers in China, experimental forests like H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest are rare. The main issue that limits research is the lack of data sharing that enables unnecessary research replica that hinders research advancements. 

Some take home lessons from H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest to bring back to China:
  • Reduce the numbers of ecological station to maximize utilization of resources 
  • Establish a data sharing system
  • Allocate importance to research and also to science education
  • Build a network of Long-Term Ecological Research or Experimental Forests

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