Forests are essential for providing critical ecosystem services such as carbon storage and the preservation of global biodiversity. Forests, however, are under severe threat, from changing climate, anthropogenic land use change, and invasive species. It has never been more urgent to understand and predict how forests will function in the face of global change.
The continued advancement of forest science, however, depends on training the next generation of scholars, highlighting the importance of integrating research with transformative educational opportunities for students.
In collaboration with the Smithsonian Institution’s Forest Global Earth Observatory (ForestGEO), a global network that spans 72 sites in 27 countries, the Temple Ambler Field Station is establishing the Temple Forest Observatory as a platform for inquiry-based education and long-term forest research.
This initiative will provide detailed and publicly available data on forest dynamics as well as hands-on opportunities for students to engage in forest science. This collaboration prioritizes the recruitment, training, and mentorship of students from under-represented populations in science to contribute to a national effort to diversify the sciences and harness the full potential of the next generation.
The Temple Forest Observatory, established in partnership with the Ambler Arboretum, will produce georeferenced maps of woody plants in two 4-hectare research plots, in an older growth and a secondary forest, providing a resource for advanced study of ecosystems, geospatial patterns, and more.
Temple Ambler Field Station data will be made publicly available through data repositories, and researchers are welcome to use the Temple Forest Observatory as a platform for their own investigations. To explore ForestGEO data from sites around the world, please visit the ForestGEO data portal.
Internships are offered each semester to participate in Temple Forest Observatory research and training. We particularly encourage applicants from populations under-represented in science. The Field Station sponsors undergraduate interns through Temple University College of Science and Technology’s Undergraduate Research Program and Science Scholars Program. Undergraduates from other colleges are welcome to apply for credit-bearing internships experiences and should contact the Field Station for more information.
Courses and Educational Materials
Temple Ambler Field Station staff are developing publicly available course modules and educational materials to help instructors integrate forest science activities and data into their courses. Course instructors are encouraged to contact the Field Station for more information.