An Ecological Observatory
Wind River Field Station is located in south-central Washington state, U.S.A., on the Thornton Taft Munger Research Natural Area adjacent to the Wind River Experimental Forest and the Gifford Pinchot National Forest. Research natural areas are part of a national network of ecological areas designated in perpetuity for research and education and to maintain biological diversity on National Forest System lands. Thornton T. Munger RNA is a prime example of Douglas-fir old-growth forest in the Pacific Northwest. The ecosystem was initiated around 500 years before present with no discernible major disturbances since that time. Tree species composition is slowly shifting from Douglas-fir to western hemlock, western red-cedar, Pacific yew, and Pacific silver fir. Ancient forests are rare, those in existence today can help us make sense of environmental change occurring on planet Earth.
Web Presence Underway
Web presence for the Wind River Field Station is under development and will feature here soon. In addition to providing detailed information on environmental setting and logistics, and summaries of studies in forest structure, composition and function, there will be access to data from long-term environmental monitoring projects spanning below ground to above the tree tops from a centralized database with over 200 user-level data products including microclimate and carbon dioxide exchange.
Wind River Field Station participates in several environmental monitoring networks while providing research and outreach opportunities for professionals, educators, and students in environmental and forest sciences. The program operates under a Special Use Permit singed by USFS Gifford Pinchot National Forest, USFS Pacific Northwest Research Station, and University of Washington and is funded primarily through a Joint Venture Agreement between the USFS Pacific Northwest Research Station and the University of Washington.