Where We Work
WHRC researchers have field sites around the globe, including in the Amazon and cerrado of South America, the Congo Basin and East Africa, the high latitudes of North America and Eurasia, and across the United States. In addition, our scientists integrate satellite and remote sensing technologies to map and monitor forests, biomass, habitats, environmental change, and other ecosystems and services throughout the globe.
This interactive map highlights examples of ongoing research initiatives. Please check this page often as we will feature new projects and locations regularly.
Education & Capacity Building: Pan-Tropical Mapping of Forest Cover and Above-Ground Carbon Stock
An integral part of the Woods Hole Research Center’s Pan-tropical Mapping Initiative is the transfer of knowledge and skills about forest and carbon mapping to those countries that are increasingly engaged in international efforts to slow deforestation. Through on-the-ground field work and collaborations, these countries are able to better evaluate alternative options for management of their forest resources. Through workshops, a visiting scholars program, and other related activities, new maps are being produced, assessed, disseminated and discussed with various stakeholders within countries - including representatives from government, civil society, indigenous and traditional forest communities, and the private sector.
Ecosystem Studies & Management: South America
Projects include: Sustainability in Amazon Fishery Resources, Conserving Biodiversity and Sustainably Managing the Lower Amazon Floodplain Regional Ecosystem through a Regional Co-Management System, Community Forestry and Sustainable Livelihoods along Brazil’s Tapajós River, Feedbacks between Water and Deforestation in Tropical South America, Linking Land-Use Change to Economic Drivers and Biophysical Limitations of Agricultural Expansion in the Brazilian Cerrado, Promoting Good Land Stewardship through the Registry of Social-Environmental Responsibility, Understanding Fire in the Brazilian Amazon, Understanding the Influence of Agricultural Expansion on the Water, Energy, and Climate Cycles in the Brazilian Amazon
Ecosystem Studies & Management: High Latitudes
Projects include: An Arctic Solution to Global Warming, Boreal Forest & Arctic Tundra Dynamics, Fire and Carbon Sequestration in Boreal North America
Mapping and Monitoring: Contiguous United States
Projects include: Losing Open Space in Southern Maine, Land Use and Land Cover in the Chesapeake Bay, Land Use Change in Southeastern Massachusetts, Losing Cape Cod, Modeling Land Cover Change in the Chesapeake Bay, National Biomass and Carbon Dataset.
Mapping and Monitoring: Pantropical
Projects include: Distribution of Above-Ground Biomass in the Tropical Region of Africa,Monitoring Land Cover and Land Use in Central Africa, Pan-tropical Forest Cover Mapped with Cloud-Free Radar Imaging,Pan-tropical Forest Carbon Mapped with Satellite and Field Observations,Serving as a Resource: Datasets for Amazonia and the Cerrado, National Level Carbon Stock Dataset.
Ecosystem Studies & Management: Examining Human Impacts on Glaciers
China's glaciers comprise approximately 50 per cent of the total in Asia and 15 per cent of the World's ice fields and are thinning at an alarming rate. Further investigations are needed on glaciers and ice sheets around the globe to investigate whether just like modern humans, microbes at the base of aquatic foodwebs are supporting their energetic needs by utilizing previously sequestered and highly aged sources of organic carbon.
Projects include: Examining Challenges Raised by Excesses and Deficiencies of Reactive Nitrogen, Investigating the Changing Arctic, Building the Global Rivers Observatory, Understanding the Global Carbon Cycle.
Ecosystem Studies & Management: Contiguous United States
Projects include: Measurements of Greenhouse Gases in an Agricultural Field in North Dakota, Understanding the Forest Carbon Cycle in Harvard Forest, Understanding Human Impacts on the Chesapeake Bay, Studying Carbon Sequestration in Howland Forest.
Mapping & Monitoring: Remote Sensing Tools in Boreal Regions
As part of ongoing projects in the boreal and arctic tundra region, Woods Hole Research Center scientists and their collaborators are examining a number of different satellite vegetation products across a wide range of burned areas and assess them in the context of interannual variability in carbon sequestration by vegetative regrowth.
Education & Capacity Building: The Polaris Project
Understanding the environmental changes happening in the Arctic is central to understanding global climate change. Russia has the largest share of the Arctic, by far, yet few western scientists and students have the chance to work in the Siberian Arctic. The Polaris Project provides just that opportunity by training future leaders in arctic research and education, and informing the public about the impacts of climate change.
Education & Capacity Building: Brazil Research Experience for Falmouth Teachers: Land Use, Carbon Cycle, and Water in the Amazon
The Woods Hole Research Center conducts major field experiments in the transitional forest on the edge of the Amazon rainforest, at the Fazenda Tanguro, a private soy ranch in eastern Mato Grosso state in Brazil. There, Center researchers and collaborators are studying how fire, land use change, and deforestation affect the ecological health in these forests. Through this work, scientists are learning how to predict the impacts of current trends in land use and climate change, and how those impacts are altering forests throughout the southern Amazon.
Public Policy and Economics: Natural Resources and the Rural Poor Project
The Woods Hole Research Center was part of a multidisciplinary effort to assess the role of natural resources in mitigating system shocks in extremely poor households. As part of this endeavor, we examined resource protection plans for parks and protected areas to assess strategies to maximize the benefits of resource utilization for all stakeholders. We focused on two regions of the Rift Valley of Southeastern Africa—Central Mozambique and the border area of Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo—where poverty is ubiquitous and where natural resources play a vital role in household subsistence and decision strategies.
Public Policy and Economics: Addressing Greenhouse Gas Emissions Through the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI)
The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) is a multi-state plan to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from electric power plants over 10 states of the northeast from Maine to Maryland. The RGGI region covers 130,000 sq miles, is 60% forested, is 17% farmland, and has a population of about 50 million. The region emits about 10% of all US GHGs and has a $2.4 trillion economy that comprises about 19% of the US economy.
Public Policy and Economics: The Brazilian Amazon Negotiation Toolbox for the Economics of REDD (BANTER)
Brazil is leading the way in adopting policies to reduce deforestation and taking on ambitious reduction targets. A central element of a strategy to reduce deforestation is understanding the distribution, at the sub-national level, of benefits and costs of REDD policies. Quantitative economic analysis can provide useful insights on the effectiveness, efficiency, and fairness of REDD strategies. The Brazilian Amazon Negotiation Toolbox for the Economics of REDD (BANTER) is a spreadsheet-based economic tool that helps examine the economic and environmental effects in the Brazilian Amazon of different REDD mechanism designs.