The role of woody detritus in biogeochemical cycles
Fire, a year after
LTER leadership changes
News and Events
Real Circle of Life
The Andrews Forest, nutrient cycling, and the 200-year decomposition study are featured in PBS's "Real Circle of Life". Read more...
Research from the Long-Term Ecological Research network, which includes the Andrews Forest LTER, provides a unique perspective on how our ecosystems are responding to climate change, now, and perhaps into the future. Read more...
A Bilingual Children's Book
Graduate student Christopher Cousins was awarded the Bullitt Environmental Award for his work in connecting his research on amphibians with outreach to Latino youth. Cousins, with the help of his advisor, Tiffany Garcia, and others, is writing a bilingual children's book about frogs, salamanders, and their habitat in the Pacific Northwest. Read more...
Leadership Changes for the LTER
The Andrews Forest LTER program welcomes Posy Busby, Brooke Penaluna, and Catalina Segura as incoming co-PIs on the LTER grant. Read more...
Old-growth forest as temperature refugia
Old-growth forests, such as those found within the HJ Andrews Experimental Forest Long-Term Ecological Research site, may offer temperature refugia for animals in a warming climate. Read more...
Mineral stabilization of soil carbon
Mineral stabilization of soil carbon is suppressed by live roots, outweighing influences from litter quality or quantity. Read more...
The role of woody detritus in biogeochemical cycles
The 200-year log decomposition study was designed for researchers to study carbon and nutrient cycling of dead wood in forests. The study has also sparked insights and musings of writers and artists. Read more...
Marie Tosa is using "next generation natural history" to study western spotted skunk and to survey the biodiversity of numerous taxa including vegetation, fungus, invertebrates, birds, and mammals. Marie hopes that her research will inform how we can best manage federal forests and extract resources while also prioritizing biodiversity. Read more...
Willamette National Forest Update
The 2020 Holiday Farm Fires were historic, creating opportunities to study a dynamic in moist, west-side Cascade forests that had not occurred for a century. Cheryl Friesen became the point person to handle the inquiries, even as she juggled cleaning up her homesite destroyed by the fire. Read more...
The aftermath of the 2020 Holiday Farm Fire has attracted writers and artists who want to wrestle with the tensions among tragedy, stark beauty, and hope in the fire-blackened landscape. Read more...
Letter from the Leadership
Scientists continue to provide stunning information about the fate of the world impacted by climate change: our world is changing in ways that far exceed the natural rate of variability. The harms caused by climate change will disproportionately impact future generations and those historically marginalized. It’s difficult to watch developed countries who are responsible for this reality continue to do so little to address it. It’s tempting to call this wildly immoral negligence.
In the LTER network we’ve studied our ecosystem for decades and the message is clear from all 28 sites: climate change is impacting every single part of our ecosystems, causing a great unraveling of global ecological support networks. A funny thing happens when researchers spend decades studying ecosystems, they begin to fall in love with them. When combined with what we know about the Andrews Forest, does our love for it carry a moral obligation as well? Does this obligation apply also to the entire LTER network, and perhaps to all environmental scientists who know about and care for some part of the more than human world? If so, what does that knowledge and love demand of us, in this place and at this time?
It is not obvious that merely providing information about how our ecosystems are being impacted by climate change is enough to fulfill our moral obligation to those systems, any more than describing the process of a friend dying from COVID is enough to demonstrate care for that friend.
What does it mean to love and care for the Andrews Forest? Perhaps it means you share the forests’ story not only in scientific publications, but publicly. Perhaps it means sharing not only what we learned about the forest, but what we learn from the forest as well. Perhaps it means abstracting outward: to learn the story of the Andrews Forest is to realize that all old-growth forests, all forests, indeed all ecosystems also have story and are also worthy of love. Perhaps it means speaking truth to political power and industries of destruction. Perhaps it means realizing that responding to the challenge of the climate crisis requires all dimensions of the human imagination, requiring deep collaborations between scientists, writers, philosophers, artists, and beyond. Perhaps it means realizing, too, that to fight the climate crisis is to fight racial and social injustice. In sum, it means anything but business as usual.
Our love and our knowledge create a new kind of work for us in the face of climate change. Beyond the work of revealing and explaining our ecosystems, we are called also to do the work of caretakers for those ecosystems.
Support the Andrews Forest
Long-term Ecological Research, Reflections, and outreach cannot happen without broad support. By donating to the Andrews Forest Program, you are supporting research, creative reflection, and education about forests, streams, watersheds, and our engagement with the land.
Photos by Lina DiGregorio and Mark Schulze /Andrews Forest LTER
This material is based upon work supported by the HJ Andrews Experimental Forest and Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) program, administered cooperatively by the USDA Forest Service Pacific Northwest Research Station, Oregon State University, and the Willamette National Forest. This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under the LTER Grants: LTER8 DEB-2025755 (2020-2026) and LTER7 DEB-1440409 (2012-2020). Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in the material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation or the US Forest Service.
The Andrews Forest Newsletter is a semi-annual publication of the Andrews Forest Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) program.