Smithsonian Global

Smithsonian Tree Banding Project in Gabon

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Ecologists examine a tree in the Rabi plot in Gabon



Long-Term Research

The Smithsonian’s Tree Banding Project, a citizen science program targeted at elementary and secondary schools, is a global observatory that collects data on tree growth. Funded by a Microsoft Partners in Learning grant, the Smithsonian worked with schools to set up simple, inexpensive metal bands called dendrometers to monitor, collect data and relay information about the schools’ local trees. In 2013, with the help of Hervé Memiaghe, a Gabonese forest ecologist who traveled to the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC) to learn to use dendrometers in his research, two middle schools in Gabon, Africa joined other schools around the globe to contribute to the project. Investing new stakeholders in this research helps build capacity for science in Gabon and deepens knowledge of global and local climate patterns for use in future research. 



Geoffrey “Jess” Parker  

Jess oversees the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC) forest-monitoring plot in Edgewater, MD. The forest ecology research he directs at SERC helps to create a baseline for judging how climate change affects temperate forests globally.

Hervé Roland Memiaghe  

Hervé Memiaghe is a Gabonese ecologist with a deep interest in sustainable development and forest conservation.