Andrews Forest LTER

Andrews Research Experience for Teachers (RET) fellow Kurt Cox shows teachers the field investigations he does with students at the H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest

Key Research Findings:

Scientists at Andrews have created innovative programs that bring together scientists and writers, artists, philosophers and other humanists, leading to new programs such as Long-Term Ecological Reflections, emulated widely. The blending of science and humanities is helping to transform the way we relate to and understand the natural world.
The results of Andrews' research has sometimes been in conflict with contemporary forest and stream management policies and practices. By working with policymakers and managers to develop new, science-based policies and management plans, Andrews' scientists have helped to transform the roles that forest scientists play in society.
Andrews' scientists revealed the importance of dead trees to diversifying animal habitat and sustaining the flow of vital nutrients in forests and streams by tracking how fallen and standing deadwood changes as forests age. These studies profoundly influenced forest management by prioritizing the retention of dead wood in forests and streams.


The Andrews Forest is situated in the western Cascade Range of Oregon in the 15,800-acre (6400-ha) drainage basin of Lookout Creek, a tributary of Blue River and the McKenzie River. Elevation ranges from 1350 feet (410 m) to 5340 feet (1630 m). Broadly representative of the rugged mountainous landscape of the Pacific Northwest, the Andrews Forest contains excellent examples of the region's conifer forests and associated wildlife and stream ecosystems.

The research program has been diverse throughout the history of the Forest, with the dominant themes changing over the years. Today, several dozen university and federal scientists use this LTER site as a common meeting ground, working together to gain basic understanding of ecosystems and to apply this new knowledge in management policy.

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The H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest was established by the U.S. Forest Service in 1948. Over the more than 60 years since its inception, it has had a rich and diverse research history, with major research foci changing over time.

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Research Topics:

Successional changes in ecosystems; forest-stream interactions; population dynamics of forest stands; patterns and rates of decomposition; disturbance regimes in forest landscapes.

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