Welcome to the Hubbard Brook Ecosystem Study

At the 8,000-acre Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest in New Hampshire, long-term studies of air, water, soils, plants, and animals have produced major discoveries about human and natural disturbances to the forested landscape of the northeastern United States. In a collaborative research project spanning nearly six decades, scientists have discovered the existence and origins of acid rain; unlocked the mysteries of lead, salt, and nitrogen pollution in streams and lakes; and charted the rise and fall of bird populations because of climate change and other threats. Research findings at Hubbard Brook provide the raw material for education and policy-outreach programs that deliver authentic data to students, policymakers, and members of the public who care deeply about our natural world. Hubbard Brook is much more than an ecological field station in New Hampshire—it represents a new paradigm of “ecosystem thinking” that has changed the way we understand how nature works.

The Hubbard Brook Ecosystem Study is a unique public-private partnership involving the USDA Forest Service, the National Science Foundation’s Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) program, the Hubbard Brook Research Foundation, and scientists from scores of research institutions throughout the country.


News and Highlights

Thanks to climate change and wetter weather, forest soils are absorbing less methane

Farming, energy production, and landfills produce methane, a potent greenhouse gas. Forests can remove methane from the atmosphere through the activity of soil bacteria. But increasing precipitation – a symptom of climate change – is making it harder for forest soils to trap greenhouse gases, creating a feedback loop that exacerbates global warming.

HBRF creates a new Advisory Council

On May 10, 2018, the Hubbard Brook Research Foundation convened a Hubbard Brook Roundtable at Pierce Lab to kick off the first cohort of a new Adivsory Council. The HBRF Advisory Council is designed to serve as an ongoing listening post for the scientists, staff, and trustees at Hubbard Brook. The purpose of the Advisory Council is to serve four goals:

On the 20th Anniversary of the 1998 Ice Storm, What Do We Know Now That We Didn’t Back Then?

Hubbard Brook’s intensive study of a past natural disaster is preparing us for future extreme weather.

It’s not uncommon for technical staff at the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest to encounter obstacles during New Hampshire’s harsh winter months. But what greeted forestry technician Amey Bailey when she snowmobiled into the forest one Monday morning 20 years ago was far beyond any of the usual challenges.