Harvard Forest—Changing Forest Research Project
The research project with Harvard Forest's Schoolyard Long-Term Ecological Research Program (LTER) focused on having students actively participate and ask questions like, "How does our forest change over time?" and "What are the impacts of the tree species in our forest having on the climate regarding carbon sequestration?". Through these questions and the year-long field research, Irvington Middle School and High School students learned how to measure the Diameter at Breast Height (DBH) from various tree species; set up ten-by-ten-meter research plots; as well as collect, visualize, and perform data analysis of the research plots for future long-term study of the IWP. Through this work, students gained scientific insights from the research plots, such as how to calculate carbon sequestration, air quality, and water retention across various tree species using i-Tree and Harvard Forest's Schoolyard LTER Database. The information from this project is then shared with the community and the village to create more resilient short-term and long-term management practices. Additionally, this information is looking to develop a year-to-year integrated curriculum of activities that involve various ages and populations from the community in the management and evaluation process for stewarding Irvington Woods Park for future generations to learn and enjoy.