Jonathan Thompson

Senior Ecologist, Harvard Forest, Harvard University

Dr. Jonathan Thompson is a Senior Ecologist at the Harvard Forest, a department of Harvard University. His research focuses on long-term and broad-scale changes in forest ecosystems, with an emphasis on quantifying how land use - including harvest, conversion, and land protection - affects forest ecosystem processes and services. He is the Principal Investigator for the Harvard Forest Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) program, sponsored by the National Science Foundation and involving more than 100 scientists and students investigating the dynamics of the New England landscape. He also leads the New England Landscape Futures project, which collaborates with diverse stakeholders from throughout the region to build and evaluate scenarios that show how land-use choices and climate change could shape the landscape over the next 50 years. Thompson holds a PhD in Forest Ecology (2008) and a MS in Forest Policy (2004) from Oregon State University. 

Long term forest carbon dynamics: How site scale research informs regional climate mitigation policy

For more than 30 years, the Harvard Forest has used sustained observation, global change experiments, and synthetic science to understand patterns and drivers of carbon fluxes between the forest, the soil, and the atmosphere. This information provides valuable context as policy makers look to eastern temperate forests as a natural climate solution. We show how LTER data is integrated into policy and discuss opportunities for additional LTER science too help address the climate crisis.


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