Staff from both the USDA-Forest Service and the Hubbard Brook Research Foundation are pleased to offer tours of the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest to members of the public and middle- and high-school classes from May through October by appointment. Given the wide range of class levels and subjects, as well as the variety of research performed at Hubbard Brook, we find that working with teachers ahead of time is crucial towards delivering a tour which meets the teacher’s goals for the class. Common tour themes include long-term data collection, acid rain, watersheds, and ecosystem science, though we can tailor the tours to the group’s needs.
We encourage teachers to spend some time at school introducing the HBEF to students before the visit and we are happy to provide you with resources that are perfect for this purpose. We also have several follow-up experiments, data-based lessons and other activities for students to complete once back at school. We feel that time spent learning and talking about Hubbard Brook before and after a tour adds immensely to the educational value of the trip.
An average group’s visit usually lasts for 2 -3 hours and includes an introductory slide show as well as time spent out in the field. Tour stops generally include atmospheric monitoring sites, 1-2 experimental watersheds (and weirs), and a visit to the archives building. Unfortunately, we are not able to offer any fieldwork or data collection in which students can participate. However, we are happy to direct you to resources that would allow you to do so in your schoolyard or community.
We recommend that you contact us to plan your trip as far in advance as possible, as the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest hosts numerous events throughout the year.
Please keep the following in mind when planning your trip:
- The minimum group size is 5 and the maximum group size per Hubbard Brook staff person is 20. We try to accommodate groups larger than this when additional HB staff are available, but this is not always possible.
- In addition to HB staff, groups must be well-chaperoned.
- Visitors must dress appropriately for walking in the woods the day of the visit. Sturdy walking/hiking shoes are mandatory, and rain gear and warm hats are often needed. Open-toed shoes, flip-flops and shorts are not adequate. Visitors who lack appropriate footwear will be asked to stay behind with a chaperone.
- There are no food services available at the HBEF, but students may bring bagged lunches and snacks into the conference room. We request that trash and food are picked up the students before they depart.
- Vehicles taking students into the Experimental Forest will drive on a single lane dirt road. School buses can be accommodated, so long as drivers are comfortable turning around in tight places.
For more information or to schedule a date, please contact Sarah Thorne (firstname.lastname@example.org).