Forest Ecosystems In A Changing World


A Field Guide to the Fernow: An artistic exploration of life on the Fernow Expreimental Forest.

Click here for your copy.
Be patient, it's a 6 MB PDF file.

This endeavor uses the written and visual arts to engage members of the public with the Fernow Experimental Forest, as well as familiarize them with the wealth of life that has been the focus of 80 years of scientific investigation. The arts can also instill a deeper understanding about the long-term research underway on the Fernow, and help the public “know its forest.” It may also help researchers reconnect with the sense of wonder that originally started them on their journey as scientists.


Call For Contest Entries

Poets, prose writers, visual artists, and photographers of all ages and experience levels, enter your work in the “Field Guide to the Fernow” contest!


Submit up to 200 words exploring, describing, explaining and/or reflecting on a single species of plant or animal that resides for at least some of its life in the Fernow Experimental Forest. Scientific or biological information about the species must be included.

Visual artists & photographers:

Submit an image depicting a species of plant or animal that resides for at least some of its life in the Fernow.

The title of each piece should consist of the species’ common and scientific names. You may submit as many entries as you like.

Deadline is July 31, 2015

Contest Details:

Written and visual artists, submit your work by email attachment as a .doc, .docx, .pdf, or .jpg as appropriate to You may also direct questions to the same address.

All entries should be submitted no later than July 31, 2015.

Entries will be reviewed by a panel of qualified judges. Winners in two categories (written and visual) will receive a cash prize (up to $100), but all entries will be considered for inclusion in the guide, which will be made available both electronically and in hard copy at the Fernow Headquarters in Parsons. There is no entry fee.

Contest Kick-off Event (see flyer when available):

We encourage all writers and artists to attend the Contest Kick-off Event, to be held in May at the Fernow Experimental Forest. Stay tuned for the exact date and time for this years event.

Participants will gather by noon in front of the US Forest Service Timber and Watershed Laboratory in the Nursery Bottom, Parsons, WV. The Timber & Watershed Laboratory is located on FR50 off of U.S. Route 219 just east of Parsons, WV (see map or Fernow Travelers Guide).

The event will include guided walks into the Fernow, and will give you a chance to learn about and view many of the species that make the Fernow home.

Contest Resources:

The following resources may be helpful in selecting your species of interest and in understanding some of the scientific activities underway at the Fernow.

A list of plants & animals on the Fernow Experimental Forest

A virtual tour of the Fernow Experimental Forest