OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

Forest research gets good report card

08/24/1999

CORVALLIS - A federal review panel recently commended the combination of applied and fundamental ecological research being done at the H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest.

University and federal agency scientists at this Cascade Range forest near Blue River, Ore., study forests, soils, and streams as part of the nation's Long Term Ecological Research, or LTER program, and this summer were reviewed by a panel of the National Science Foundation, the program's main funding agency.

The panel commended the work on the ecological links between forests and streams, and for the usefulness of its science in helping to solve forest management problems.

"It was a good report card," says Art McKee, director of the research program. "They were full of praise, and we're satisfied that we're mostly on track. I was pleased that they felt we strike a good balance between basic and applied science, and that we've developed a good relationship with resource managers."

The H.J. Andrews is administered jointly by Oregon State University and the U.S.D.A. Forest Service. It is one of 21 long-term ecological research centers sponsored by the National Science Foundation in the United States, and the site of several influential studies on the workings of the temperate conifer forests of the Pacific Northwest.

About 40 scientists from 13 OSU departments are on the team, conducting research on forest geology, soils, streams, trees and other plants, wildlife, fungi, and insects, as well as the social and economic aspects of forest management.

The positive review should assure that the Andrews program will continue to be funded, officials say. The NSF provides about $600,000 a year in funding, the Forest Service about $500,000, and OSU provides about $100,000 in direct funding and another $250,000 in the form of faculty salary for research, McKee said.