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Syracuse University among partners in newly formed Hubbard Brook Consortium supporting ecosystem science

May 29, 2008

Kelly Homan Rodoski
315 443 5381

Kelly Homan Rodoski

Syracuse University is among five institutions that have 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 other charter members of the Hubbard Brook Consortium are Dartmouth College, Plymouth State 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.

"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," says David Sleeper, executive director of the Hubbard Brook Research Foundation. "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."

"Hubbard Brook is an important research site for several Syracuse faculty members and graduate students, including Professor Charles Driscoll, recently elected to the National Academy of Engineering," says Ben Ware, vice president for research and dean of the Graduate School at Syracuse University. "The Hubbard Brook Consortium will help to attract future generations of high-caliber scientists devoted to understanding a range of threats to forest ecosystems."

As part of its inaugural program, 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:

  • Bénédicte Bachelot, a student at AgroParisTech in Paris, will do research on vegetation response to elevated levels of aluminum in forest soils, working with Linda Pardo from the U.S. Forest Service.
  • Shelly Garber, a sophomore at Plymouth State University in Plymouth, N.H., will study land-use effects on the biodiversity of bird populations, working with Steven Hamburg from Brown University.
  • Priscillia Semaoune, a student at Pierre and Marie Curie University in Paris, 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 Pardo.
  • Ian Wheat, a junior at Dartmouth College, in Hanover, N.H., will do research on the ecosystem effects of tree declines, working with Tim Fahey of Cornell University and John Battles of the University of California, Berkeley.

The Hubbard Brook Research Foundation (HBRF), with offices and facilities in Hanover, Thornton, and Woodstock, N.H., is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization with a mission to promote the understanding and stewardship of ecosystems through scientific research, long-term monitoring and education. Founded in 1993, HBRF works to sustain and enhance the Hubbard Brook Ecosystem Study, in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service, the National Science Foundation's LTER program and many colleges, universities and other research institutions.

The Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest, an 8,000-acre site located within the White Mountain National Forest in Thornton, N.H., 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 on Hubbard Brook, contact Judy Brown at (603) 653-0390 ext. 102 or

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