Available Data

Long-term Data

During the 1930s and 40s, Duke scientists such as Drs. Korstian, Coile, Oosting, and Billings pioneered research in the fields of forestry and ecology with their work in Duke Forest.  These early researchers were meticulous record keepers who permanently marked their sample areas.  Data from their inventories and permanent sample plots continue to provide a long-term scientific record that illustrates changes in the forest ecosystem.  The availability of this comprehensive database, along with the Duke Forest collection of maps and silvicultural records, has established the Forest as an ideal site for long-term ecological research.  Click here for more information.

GIS Data

Much of the Forest’s spatial data are also available in a geographic information system (GIS) format and can be downloaded by special request.  Contact the Office of the Duke Forest to discuss your specific needs (dukeforest@duke.edu, 919-613-8013).

The Duke Forest GIS database includes the following shapefiles and raster images:

    • Property boundaries
    • Political boundaries/tax parcels
    • Forest covertypes (1931 to 2009)
    • Forest management activities (1931 to present)
    • Creeks/streams
    • Topography
    • Soils
    • Public and forest roads
    • Foot trails
    • Natural Heritage Areas
    • Long-term research plots
    • Research towers and other forest infrastructure
    • Aerial photos (true-color, color infrared, black-and-white)
    • Historical/archaeological sites


Available maps include information regarding topography, soil types, stand management operations (1931 to present), boundaries, and covertype maps.

Management Records

Detailed records of management activities dating back to 1931 are available in paper format.  Most management-related maps have also been converted to a GIS shapefile format.

Aerial Photographs

The aerial photo collection spans from 1937 through 1997.  Early photos are black & white, while more recent photos are available in color infrared.  Use of aerial photography in mapping is made simple via NC One Map, a public service providing comprehensive discovery and access to North Carolina’s geospatial data resources.  The Duke Forest database contains the following aerials: Available photos >

Weather Data

Currently, there are two weather stations collecting data on the Duke Forest, both located in the Blackwood Division in Orange County.  Data can be downloaded from these stations, dating back to 2000.

NOAA – Climate Reference Network

US Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, National Interagency Fire Center – RAW Station – Maintained by NC Forest Service

Species Lists

The Forest maintains several annotated lists of plant and animal species found within the Forest’s boundaries. Some of these may be found in our Forest Environment section (see plants and wildlife).

Clark Lab Data

Long-term data on soil moisture for all of the Clark Lab plots in the Duke Forest is available at the Clark Lab website.

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