The SPRUCE experimental infrastructure provides new opportunities for independently funded researchers to address their own science questions covering a variety of disciplines that are not represented by the core research group. To that end we encourage researchers from other agencies, laboratories and universities to consider how they might be able to use SPRUCE or associated footprints within the Marcell Experimental Forest to advance our understanding of boreal ecosystem structure and function, and organism vulnerability associated with environmental and climate change.
A SPRUCE coordinating panel for vetting new research ideas (e.g., the SPRUCE Research Managers and the Technical Task leads with external input as needed or provided through DOE review) are queried periodically to assess collaborator research ideas. This "panel" serves as the decision-making body for major operational considerations throughout the duration of the SPRUCE experimental activity and evaluates task overlap, appropriateness, and the availability of space within SPRUCE needed for proposed research activities. New collaborators would normally be expected to find funding for their own research activities. Local logistical support and participation of SPRUCE project staff in sampling or the selection of sites within and around the experimental plots would be expected.
All collaborators must agree to abide by the SPRUCE data policy, experimental protocols, and the safety rules established by ORNL and the USDA Forest Service.