Howland Research Forest logo (2018)

Welcome to the Howland Research Forest

Established in 1986 through a partnership between the University of Maine and International Paper Company, the Howland Research Forest is a forest ecosystem research site in central Maine, representing a low-elevation conifer/northern hardwood transitional forest dominated by spruce and hemlock. In 2007, the Howland Research Forest was purchased by the Northeast Wilderness Trust.

Home to the second-longest flux record in the United States (20+ years, since 1996), the Howland Research Forest is a founding member site of the Ameriflux network. Flux data from three towers at the Howland Research Forest is currently shared with this network.

Collaborations between the USDA Forest Service, NASA, NOAA, EPA, the US Department of Energy, Woodwell Climate Research Center, and the University of Maine have maintained an active research program in carbon and nutrient cycling, remote sensing, climate change, and more.

We are also working with Woodwell Climate Research Center, Arizona State University, Emory University, and San Diego State University on an innovative, multi-scale, and cross-disciplinary study to identify the conditions and mechanisms driving methane sink/source activity across soil moisture gradients in northern forests. More information on this project can be read here.
Interested in collaborating with us? Send an email to to reach us.

If you plan to do research in Howland Forest, please fill out our application form and someone from our team will contact you.


Red spruce (Picea rubens), the dominant overstory species in the Howland Research Forest

Howland Research Forest's overstory consists of approximately 90% coniferous and 10% deciduous species.

Main Tower

West Tower

East Tower (Harvest Site)

NASA Research Plot, established in 1989

Clintonia borealis (bluebead lily), a common understory plant species at Howland

Cypripedium acaule (pink lady slipper), a common orchid species at Howland