Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Alumni Profile: What are you up to now?

Bennet Leon
Summer Research Program '05

Mentors: Audrey Barker-Plotkin
Project: Evolution of pit and mound microtopography 15 years after a simulated hurricane (abstract)
Hometown: Sudbury, MA
College and major: Bates College, class of 2007, Geology

What you miss most about the Summer Research program:
Being around enthusiastic students with similar interests and spending all day in the hemlock forest or simulated hurricane experiment.

What you miss least about the program:
Having Lyme disease--check for ticks!

What about the program has stuck with you:
A better understanding of our dynamic landscape and renewable forest resource.

Have you stayed in touch with other Summer students?

Did your Summer Research experience support or change your school/career plans?
My experience at HF added a unique element to my geology major at Bates and gave me a different perspective on my work with the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife after college. When at Harvard Forest, I did not expect that I would end up studying forest ecology and applied forestry as a graduate student.

What are you up to now?
I am a Masters of Forestry Candidate at the University of Maine School of Forest Resources. I am looking forward to a career as a consulting forester, and possibly seeking a policy role some day concerning the forest resources of New England, the nation, and the world.

Want to see more alumni profiles? Check out our Harvard Forest alumni blog.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Harvard Forest 2012 Summer Research Program Kicks Off!

On May 21st, we welcomed 29 students to the Harvard Forest for our 2012 Summer Research Program. Our students were introduced to Petersham, Massachusetts after flying or driving into the Harvard Forest from all over the world. As one student from Uganda, studying at Grinnell College in Iowa, will work on economically friendly water sanitation techniques for the poor populations of Africa and a group of three from Cornell University, Brown University and Villanova University will study the soil carbon dynamics of the Harvard Forest, research at the forest this summer will be diverse and involved. However, each student brings their own expertise and experience to the the program as our students range from freshmen in college to students at the graduate level. We await the addition of two more students to the group in the beginning of June to study the variation of ragweed pollen in New England and complete our summer community. In the first week, we oriented them on their new home and workplaces, showing our new ant researchers their plots and our new hemlock experts the forests' sites of invading woolly adelgid. As we kick off the summer program, we are already looking forward to the rich summer symposium awaiting us in August.