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NEON Sampling Boundaries
Tower Airshed Boundary
This map depicts the spatial layout of this field site. Please note that some locations may have moved over time due to logistics, safety and science requirements.
This map was updated on January 28, 2019
Construction Status for this Site
The Harvard Forest site is spread across 49 km 2 of land and is the core NEON site for the Northeast region. Representative habitats at Harvard Forest include northern, transition, and central forests; marshes, swamps, and conifer-dominated bogs; and forest plantations.
NEON's meteorological/flux tower and tower sampling plots are located on land owned by Harvard Forest - Harvard University, LTER an forest with a rich history of scientific research.
The distributed sampling plots are located along the edge of the Quabbin reservoir which is managed by the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Water Supply Protection. For access to the area along the Quabbin, visitors must be accompanied by a NEON project employee.
Total data products planned for this site: 119
Site Host & Access Site Host:
Harvard University; LTER; Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Water Supply Protection
Is additional non-NEON research allowed at this site?:
Yes, non-NEON research activities are allowed in this area. Researchers must obtain their own permits with the site host(s).
Site Characteristics Latitude/Longitude:42.5369, -72.17266 Elevation:351 m Mean Annual Temperature:8C/46.4F Mean Annual Precipitation:967 mm Dominant NLCD Classes:
Connecticut Valley Belt schist. Lower Devonian.
USGS HUC: h01080204
Dominant Phenology Species:
Quercus rubra, Acer rubrum, Aralia nudicaulis
Mean Canopy Height:
The mean canopy height is 26'.
Coarse, loamy over sandy or sandy, skeletal, mixed, semiactive, frigid. Oxyaquic Dystrudepts.
The dominant wind direction is northwest.
Site history & management
Since its inception in 1907, research and education have been the focus of Harvard Forest: the original purpose was to develop a field laboratory for students, a research center in forestry and related disciplines, and a demonstration of practical sustained forestry. Since 1988, Harvard Forest has been a Long-Term Ecological Research site, funded by the National Science Foundation to conduct integrated, long-term studies of forest dynamics.
Data Collection Types
Airborne Remote Sensing Surveys
Remote sensing surveys of this field site collect lidar, spectrometer and high-resolution RGB camera data.
The flux/meteorological tower at this site is 127’ with 6 measurement levels. The tower top extends above the vegetation canopy to allow sensors mounted at the top and along the tower to capture the full profile of atmospheric conditions from the top of the vegetation canopy to the ground. The tower collects physical and chemical properties of atmosphere-related processes, such as humidity, wind, and net ecosystem gas exchange. Precipitation data are collected by a tipping bucket at the top of the tower, a Double Fence Intercomparison Reference (DFIR) near the tower, and a series of throughfalls located in the soil array.
This site has one phenocam on the top of the flux tower and one near the bottom of the tower.
Soil Sensor Measurements
This site has five soil plots placed in an array within the airshed of the flux tower. The following measurements may be collected at the soil surface in each soil plot:
Photosynthetically Active Radiation (PAR) at soil surface
Soil heat flux
The following measurements are collected at multiple depths in each soil plot:
Field ecologists collect the following types of observational data at this site:
Other Domain 01 Field Sites
Core Aquatic | Wadeable Stream | Massachusetts
Distance: 9 mi.
Relocatable Terrestrial | New Hampshire
Distance: 115 mi.
Colocated Research Organizations
Field Operations Office
166 Boulder Drive, Suite 101
Fitchburg, MA 01420