H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest LTER

HJA Reference Stand 12  Photographed by Al Levno
HJA Reference Stand 12
Photographed by Al Levno

Program/project name: Long-Term Ecological Reflections

Brief description of program/project development and components: Since its inception in 2002, the program has grown to include these elements:

  • Two writers-in-residence programs (one by invitation, one by application) totaling about 6 one-to-two week residencies per year.a
  • Roughly annual field symposia of ca. 20 participants in weekend workshops at Andrews Forest or other venues on topics such as The Meaning of Watershed Health and New Metaphors for Restoration of Forests and Watersheds.
  • The Blue River Writers Gathering. Held every other year in autumn, this weekend gathering of environmental writers at the Andrews Forest grows a sense of community and shared work.

Relationship with core science, education, cultural programs at the site: This humanities work links to the science and education programs by: 1. modeling many aspects of the humanities program on the model for long-term science (visiting long-term study plots, collecting and posting field data, placing published work in the bibliographic database); 2. incorporating journaling in on-site middle school science programs; 3. using creative writing products in various communications; 4. humanities work using findings from science is a form of science journalism and outreach.

System for sharing and archiving outcomes: Many of the residencies and field symposia have concluded with public events, such as readings, lectures, classroom presentations, and other public performances.  Written material, both raw notes (in a few cases) and published works, are posted in the Forest Log.

Other program elements: In addition to the Reflections program, the Andrews Forest LTER program has been very involved in environmental history for many years and in many respects:

  • The history of the land in terms of geology, geomorphology, fire history, and other disturbance processes. The history of occupation and use of the land by native people (e.g., camping, travel) and Euro peoples (e.g., homesteading, traveling, mining, sheepgrazing, fire lookouts, logging, forest tending, road construction, fire suppression, research) (e.g., Burke 1979*).
  • The history of the community of scientists and land managers working in and associated with the Andrews Forest (Luoma 1999/2006, Geier 2007).
  • The roles of the Andrews Forest research and management partnership programs in changes in forest management and policy in the Pacific Northwest and more broadly are characterized in many books and other publications concerning changes in forestry in the 1980s to 2000.

Through the efforts of Kathleen Dean Moore and the Spring Creek Program, the Andrews Forest also has a component of environmental humanities, including the biannual Blue River Gatherings of environmental philosophers, the first of which germinated the seed of an idea leading to the book Moral Ground: Ethical Action for a Planet in Peril (Moore and Nelson 2010).  Moore has also taught “field” course in environmental humanities, including literature, in the forest.

The Andrews Reflections program has also been involved in activities at Mount St. Helens.


The Spring Creek Project at Oregon State University.