Site Administration

Primary and ultimate responsibility and authority for administering the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest on this federal property is, by law, the Chief of the USDA Forest Service who in turn delegates authority to the Director of the Northeastern Research Station.

Because this land was (prior to the establishment of the HBEF) and still is part of the White Mountain National Forest (administered by the Supervisor and Regional Forester), certain responsibilities such as administering timber sales, construction and maintenance of roads, and fire protection are retained by the White Mountain National Forest. The forests of the Experimental Forest are not included in the timber base for the National Forest; thus timber on the Experimental Forest can only be removed for research purposes and with the approval of the Station Director.

Acknowledging the above responsibilities and without diluting them, the Forest Service shares in the management of long-term ecological research at the HBEF with research institutions, recognizing the need for all parties to commit funds, personnel, and equipment to attain common long-term objectives in research and education.

Principal investigators representing cooperating institutions constitute the Scientific Coordinating Committee (SCC). They are responsible for the planning, direction and management of the research programs at the HBEF. Because of the remote location of the Forest, general supervision of the HBEF, as in the past, continues under the Forest Service principal investigator, the Project Leader, as delegated by the Director of the Northeastern Research Station.

Operation of the Hubbard Brook Ecosystem Study
Long-term research at the HBEF is conducted jointly by the USDA Forest Service Northeastern Research Station and cooperating institutions. Each of these parties cooperates to plan, develop, and utilize the HBEF as a center for research and demonstration.

Although the HBEF is the center for most activities, particularly those research studies involving manipulations or processes, other research areas in the White Mountain National Forest are available for non-manipulative research and observation. For example, the Bowl Research Natural Area, established in 1939, and administered jointly by the Director of the Northeastern Research Station and the Supervisor of the White Mountain National Forest, is also available for non-manipulative research.

The development and management of the HBEF are guided by the following objectives:
1. To provide landscape space for conducting basic and applied research in natural and manipulated environments. This includes setting policy that permits making space administratively available and providing reasonable means of access to sites.
2. To establish a system for making available information on biogeochemistry, climate, soils, vegetation, streamflow, animal behavior, and other important environmental parameters; and to facilitate long-term collection of ecological and biogeochemical data. Included in this activity are the collection and preservation of samples (e.g., soil, vegetation, etc.) for future examination and comparison with current samples. This information is supportive and essential for many studies and is vital in determining long-term trends.
3. To make available support facilities and space for on-site accommodation of scientists, technicians and student researchers, as funds, space, and personnel permit.
4. To strive to maintain a congenial spirit of cooperation among all researchers and users of the HBEF. Past experience and productivity at Hubbard Brook show that research accomplishments of the research team in large measure stem from individual research freedom coupled with a willingness to share data and to consider the needs of fellow researchers.
5. To promote the integration of the findings of individuals into a better understanding of the ecosystem as a whole.

Hubbard Brook Governance
At the center of the Hubbard Brook governance structure is the "Committee of Scientists" (COS), which consists of principal investigators conducting research in the HBEF. The membership of the COS is reviewed at three-year intervals. There are currently over 50 members of the HBES COS. The Scientific Coordinating Committee (SCC) provides leadership for the COS, overseeing a series of committees, providing vision and scientific leadership to the research program, fostering integration and synthesis across diverse projects, encouraging new scientists to work at the sites, enhancing diversity among the scientific community, and promoting interactions and communication among HBES scientists. The SCC has eight members, four of which are elected by the COS. Other members include one of the two HBR LTER principal investigators (chosen amongst themselves), the USFS Lead Scientist for the Hubbard Brook Project, the Executive Director of the HBRF, and a non-voting external advisor, a scientist not associated with the HBES, chosen and invited by the other SCC members.

The Research Approval Committee (RAC) is advisory to the USFS Project Leader, who bears ultimate responsibility for research activities at the HBEF. This committee evaluates and approves proposed projects, facilitates coordination and prevents conflicts among different research projects at the site. Anyone wishing to conduct research at HBEF must submit a brief proposal to the RAC (proposals are accepted three times per year). The Information Oversight Committee (IOC) is responsible for the content of the HBR web site (, data management and maintenance of the HBES data, sample and document archives. The Education and Outreach Committee (EOC) facilitates links between HBES research and learning groups ranging from K - 12 to local residents to management and policy communities. Other ad hoc committees are designated as the need arises.

site admin  
Hubbard Brook Governance structure.  

Hubbard Brook Research Foundation
As the size and scope of the HBES has increased, so has its complexity. With more than 100 researchers (including senior scientists, visiting scientists, post-doctoral associates, and graduate and undergraduate students) currently working at Hubbard Brook, considerable coordination is required. These researchers are from about a dozen different institutions and obtain funding from state and federal agencies, industry and private foundations. The size, diversity, multi-institutional nature, and broad, ongoing long-term research program of the HBES require a practical strategy and structure to insure the maintenance and continuity of leadership and program. Toward this end, in 1993 the HBRF was established to provide the organizational framework to foster sustained oversight and new initiatives of the HBES.

The HBRF provides an organizational framework to foster new initiatives and sustained oversight of the HBES through close interaction with the Committee of Scientists (see Hubbard Brook Governance Structure above). The challenges of the Hubbard Brook Foundation include, but are not restricted to: (1) raising, receiving and disbursing funds to support research and/or facilities of the HBES; (2) providing continuity for the scientific leadership of the HBES by appointing new or replacement members of the SCC; (3) facilitating the maintenance of long-term records and experiments of environmental change; (4) fostering new initiatives particularly the integration of scientific research at Hubbard Brook with comparable policy and social research to develop systems of sustained ecosystem management; and (5) facilitating and promoting public awareness of the research at Hubbard Brook and its implications for society.