Current Research

Much of the current research at Black Rock Forest focuses on ecosystem function and advancing fundamental biological knowledge. Focal Consortium research goals include predictive understanding of the future of eastern deciduous forests in relation to individual and interacting effects of urbanization on climate change, biodiversity loss, altered chemical cycles, and the spread of invasive species.

Propose a Study

Scientists from all institutions are welcome to propose and conduct research at Black Rock Forest, or to use the Forest as one location in larger-scale studies. To propose a study, please contact the Consortium’s Executive Director, Dr. William Schuster. An official permit must be obtained before conducting any research at the Forest.

Research Resources   

Researchers at Black Rock Forest benefit from secure access to a wide variety of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems across the Forest’s 3860 acres. This includes three ecological reserve areas: Canterbury Book, Cascade Brook and Mineral Springs Brook. These reserves were established for their pristine nature, outstanding natural resources, and/or sensitive plant and animal populations, and proposals for manipulative research in these reserve areas undergo thorough review to ensure preservation of these values.

Black Rock Forest Consortium maintains a long-term database with records dating from the Forest’s establishment in 1928 as a research station. One series of long-term plots has been regularly monitored since 1930, in forest stands that are now 100 – 130 years old. Many of these historical records are accessible online as part of the Calvin Whitney Stillman Research Archive. In total, more than 500 papers and publications are available from research studies at Black Rock Forest, which are accessible through our Publications directory.  Extensive digital data from the Consortium’s environmental monitoring network are accessible online as well.

The Consortium hosts Research Symposia in odd-numbered years.

Forest researchers have access to laboratory facilities and scientific equipment in the Science Center, Forest Lodge, and Shop area. Researchers benefit from access to Consortium staff, who collectively have decades of experience working in Black Rock Forest, and to a range of on-site lodging options.