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Inside the forest


Book cover for Ellie's LogA newly published children’s book offers insights into the processes being studied at the HJ Andrews Experimental Forest.

The Oregon State University Press, which was founded more than 50 years ago, is publishing its first book aimed at children.

“Ellie’s Log: Exploring the Forest Where the Great Tree Fell” continues the press’ tradition of publications about Pacific Northwest forests and natural history. But this seven-chapter book is aimed at eight- to 12-year-olds.

It tells the story of two children exploring an old-growth forest in the Oregon Cascades – specifically the H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest, a long-term ecological research (LTER) site of the National Science Foundation for more than 50 years.

“A common theme in many of the books we’ve published is the importance of getting people out into nature and learning about our region’s flora and fauna,” said Faye Chadwell, the Donald and Delpha Campbell University Librarian and director of the OSU Press. “By combining elements of science and storytelling, ‘Ellie’s Log’ will, we hope, capture the attention of younger readers and encourage them to observe the natural world in new ways.”

Written by Judith Li, an emeritus faculty member in OSU’s Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, the book focuses on the children’s discovery of the forest’s natural wonders and processes. The narrative, which ranges from the forest’s biodiversity to seasonal change – is based on Li’s experience as stream ecologist at H.J. Andrews.

She said she wrote Ellie’s Log to “inspire children to explore nature, to observe, and to begin thinking like scientists.” The book, vividly illustrated by illustrator and science communicator M.L. Herring, also of OSU, is part of the LTER’s national Schoolyard Book series.

A learning website,, developed in collaboration with OSU Libraries, and an online teacher’s guide, complement the book. Both provide ways for children to investigate natural habitats where they live and share their results with “Ellie’s friends.”

Ellie’s Log can be ordered from the OSU Press at:


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