The Santee Experimental Forest (SEF) is representative of the forested landscape of the lower coastal plain in the southeastern U.S. It was established in 1937 as a 2,468-ha site within the Francis Marion National Forest, on lands that have been used for agriculture and forest products since 1683. The SEF has provided a basis for research in silviculture, forest ecology, hydrology and biogeochemical processes, disturbance ecology, and today serves as a reference system in a rapidly developing wildland urban interface.
Monitoring climatic conditions on the SEF was initiated in 1946, and expanded considerably in the 1960’s to support the establishment of gauged watersheds for hydrologic research on the low-gradient landscape that typifies the region. A description of the monitoring systems and long-term data records on climate and streamflow are available through the SEF data portal.
The system currently connected to the Smart Forest Network is the SEF Headquarters weather station that has records since 1946. An automated station was installed in 1992, logging hourly data including temperature, precipitation, relative humidity, solar radiation, and wind speed; in 1996 the logging interval was changed to 30 minutes, and the system was upgraded in 2017, and the recording interval changed to 15 minutes.