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Hubbard Brook Research Foundation’s Environmental Literacy Program

[photo:] Hubbard Brook Experimentl ForestOne of the Northern Research Station’s primary partnerships supporting efforts in the area of environmental literacy is with the Hubbard Brook Research Foundation (HBRF).  The Hubbard Brook Research Foundation (HBRF) is a nonprofit organization established in 1993 to support the work of scientists at the Hubbard Brook Ecosystem Study in central New Hampshire.  The HBRF has a mission to promote understanding and stewardship of ecosystems through scientific research, long term monitoring and education. 

The HBRF Environmental Literacy Program uses a multifaceted approach to promote the use of ecological knowledge in informed decision-making for a sustainable future: we develop Hubbard Brook-based educational materials, provide professional development for teachers, and work in partnership with schools local to the Hubbard Brook and Bartlett Experimental Forests.The Northern Research Station and Northeasten Area State & Private Forestry are lead partners with the HBRF in these efforts.   


The Forest Service has partnered with many organizations to make the Hubbard Brook Research Foundation Environmental Literacy Program a success.

2 NRS professional support staff part time,
and 2 at HBRF
Active National Forests Involved
Annual Budget (approximate)



In partnership with the Northern Research Station and Northeastern Area State and Private Forestry, HBRF Environmental Literacy Program is creating innovative science inquiry programs for middle and high school students and educators using data sets and real life examples from the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest.   


The partnership between the Hubbard Brook Research Foundation and the USDA Forest Service has: 

  • Reached 300 teachers in person since 2007, through workshops, institutes, and a Research Experience for Teachers (RET) program.
  • Sustained partnerships with 10 local schools, reaching appromately 200 students per year with their environmental literacy program.
  • Developed, in partnership with teachers, over 40 educational resources including modules, lessons, and slideshows for grades 7-12, available to all on the HBRF website.
  • Built relationships between teachers and active scientists in order to deepen understanding of the processes involved in ecological research.
  • Fostered scientific inquiry in the grade 7-12 classroom via rapport with and support for teachers participating in the Research Experience for Teachers program.

Lessons Learned

The NRS partnership with the Hubbard Brook Research Foundation for increasing environmental literacy is demonstrating that making science relevant and using real world data increases student interest and learning. 

[photo:] David Sleeper, Executive Director, Hubbard Brook Research Foundation and Pala“HBRF's Environmental Literacy Program (ELP) represents an exciting collaboration with the U.S. Forest Service Northern Research Station. The three arms of ELP -- teacher professional development, curriculum creation, and long-term partnerships with local schools -- draw on the long-term data sets gathered at Hubbard Brook. Thus cutting-edge science helps teachers and administrators conform to educational standards while also teaching students real-world lessons about our forest resources”
--David Sleeper, Executive Director, Hubbard Brook Research Foundation

Partner Organizations

Last Modified: July 31, 2019