Now reading: Andrews Forest children’s book

Network News Summer 2013, Vol. 26 No. 2

“Ellie’s Log: Exploring the Forest Where the Great Tree Fell” is a richly illustrated, seven-chapter book aimed at eight to 12 year olds. The book follows Ellie and her new friend, Ricky, as they explore the H. J. Andrews Experimental Forest (AND) Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) site from late winter to early summer. The descriptions in the book about biodiversity, decomposition, and seasonal change are based on decades of research at the Andrews Forest LTER, and Ellie’s Log is the site’s contribution to the LTER Schoolyard Book Series sponsored by the National Science Foundation.

Andrews Forest LTER scientist Judy Li wrote the book to show how elementary students can participate in field science, and to encourage readers to discover the natural world for themselves.  Wrote one early purchaser, referring to her granddaughter’s response to the book: “Just thought I'd let you know that [my daughter] read two chapters in the "Ellie's Log" book last night. And today she was exploring the backyard and taking down notes in a sketch book. She is inspired!”

Complementing the book is a website,, sponsored by the Oregon State University Valley Library, and a Teacher’s Guide (also available online at website Both suggest ways for children to investigate natural habitats where they live and share their results with “Ellie’s friends”.  A live webcam at the Andrews Forest is featured on the home page of, which also features a photo gallery of plants, animals and landscapes of the Andrews Forest, and links to educational activities such as “Canopy Connections.” A webcam for a Discovery Trail is in progress.

Dr. Li, a stream ecologist and participating scientist at the Andrews Forest LTER, retired from the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife at Oregon State University (OSU), where she was Associate Professor. Her collaborator and the book’s illustrator, M. L. Herring, is a science writer and artist who heads communication at OSU’s College of Agricultural Sciences. 

Ellie’s Log can be purchased from the OSU Press (, your local bookstore, or online at