COVID-19 Update for Researchers

As of March 16, 2020 BRF office staff transitioned to remote work. Forest trails remain open to the public with a skeleton staff to monitor public safety and continue essential maintenance.

Those persons with active research projects in the Forest are encouraged to manage the projects from home. However, if critical measurements, equipment installations or repairs are needed please contact Research Manager, Kate Terlizzi, about the possibility of reaching your site. As long as social distancing recommendations are followed while in the Forest, we will try to grant access where possible. Limited overnight lodging or use of the Science Center can be granted at this time.


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 Research Manager, Kate Terlizzi. An official permit must be obtained before conducting any research at the Forest. Researchers can now also apply for a small grant up to $6,000 from the Black Rock Forest David Redden Conservation Science Fund.

Small Grants

Grants of up to $6000 will be awarded on a competitive basis to fund scientific research conducted within Black Rock Forest, with a particular emphasis on research with applications to the conservation of populations, species, or ecosystems. Applications from graduate students, post-doctoral scholars, and senior researchers are welcomed. Proposals from undergraduate and high school students are accepted if submitted in collaboration with the faculty who will directly supervise their research. Award funds can be used to purchase project supplies and equipment, to pay for processing of samples at external laboratory facilities, as stipends for students or research assistants, and/or to cover transportation or other incidental costs. For guidelines see the box to the right. Applications must contain a cover sheet and must be submitted via email to Research Manager, Katie Terlizzi, by 5 pm EST Friday January 29, 2020.

Research Resources   

Researchers at Black Rock Forest benefit from secure access to a wide variety of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems across the Forest’s 3,914 acres. This includes three ecological reserve areas: Canterbury Brook, 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 600 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.