The Marcell Experimental Forest (MEF) is one of few watersheds studies around the world where research is focused on northern peatland ecosystems. Located along the southern edge of the boreal forest biome in north-central Minnesota, the site was established in 1962 as a center of watershed research in the Lakes States. The six research watersheds and numerous other sites in uplands, peatlands, and lakes have primarily been used in studies of reference conditions and effects of environmental disturbance on water yield, solute budgets, mercury cycling, and peatland trace gas emissions.
Stream flow, temperature, and electrical conductivity are measured in one watershed every 15 minutes. Meteorological data, including air temperature, precipitation amount, relative humidity, wind speed, photosynthetically active radiation, and snow depth are measured every 15 minutes. Soil moisture and air temperature are measured at two locations under the forest canopy. A web cam view of the forest surrounding the met station is taken every day.