Wildlands & Woodlands Website

Highstead works to inspire curiosity and build knowledge about plants and wooded landscapes in order to enhance life, preserve nature, and advance sound stewardship practices.


David R. Foster

President, Board of Highstead Foundation, Inc.

About > People > David R. Foster



David is an ecologist and author of Thoreau’s Country – Journey through a Transformed Landscape, Forests in Time – The Environmental Consequences of 1000 years of Change in New England, and Wildland and Woodlands: A Vision for the New England Landscape.  He has been a faculty member in Biology at Harvard since 1983 and Director of the Harvard Forest, the University’s 3500-acre ecological laboratory and classroom since 1990.  David is the Principal Investigator for the Harvard Forest Long Term Ecological Research program, sponsored by the National Science Foundation and involving more than 100 scientists investigating the dynamics of New England landscape as a consequence of climate change, human activity, and natural processes.

David has conducted studies in the boreal forests of Labrador, Sweden, and Norway and the forests of Puerto Rico, the Yucatan, and Patagonia in addition to his primary research on landscape dynamics in New England.  He serves on the boards of Trustees of Reservations and Choate School in addition to Highstead.  In 2010 David and colleagues developed Wildlands and Woodlands – A Vision for the New England Landscape, which lays out an ambitious plan for the protection and conservation of forest and farmland across the region. 

David can be reached at drfoster@fas.harvard.edu.