Theme: The Many Faces of Synthesis
Dates: June 10-14, 2024
Location: Fairbanks, AK; accommodations in UAF dorms

View from the bluff toward the Tanana River, Bonanza Creek Experimental Forest near Fairbanks, Alaska

NSF has identified synthesis and broadening participation as the priorities for the LTER Network in this decade. But “synthesis” covers a lot of ground. For the 2024 Science Council meeting, we’d like to spend our time together to:

  1. Identify the most exciting opportunities to use LTER research (alone or with other sources of information) to develop new ecological insight, make predictions, or generate actionable advice through synthesis-focused approaches.
  2. Based on how those opportunities emerge and coalesce, identify some promising organizational structures and approaches that could improve our ability to surface and support future synthesis at both site and network levels.

Inviting a second participant

Each site can invite one participant (in addition to the Lead PI) whose expenses will be paid by the LTER Network Office. Given the theme of the meeting, this should be an individual who is involved in synthesis, but it may be someone from your site, from a partner organization that contributes to synthesis, or a user of your synthesized product. Sites may also invite additional participants whose expenses they will cover, but we must have a count of participants by January 15, 2024 and names and contact information for all participants by February 15, 2024. Please start identifying your second participant now.

Lightning talks

Each site will present a 5-minute lightning talk focusing on new and emerging synthetic research, including existing work that could expand or inspire as well as potential new research. Where there is agreement across multiple sites, sites can combine their 5-minute time slots to do a deeper dive. If your presentation focuses on existing work, please add a slide with at least one synthesis/cross-site question that your site or group would be poised to address should opportunities come available.

Please take some time between now and June to surface and highlight relevant activities at your site.

Breakout Sessions

The LTER Network Office will solicit proposals for breakout session topics. Topics should be relevant to the synthesis theme, but all topics need not be relevant to all sites. Successful proposers agree to take responsibility for (and only for) managing the breakout session, identifying a notetaker, reporting back at the Science Council Meeting and writing a brief report (<1 page) on the session and any outcomes.

Lead PI Meeting Focus

How to encourage and find support for synthesis (both within and among sites).

Schedule and Participants

The exact schedule in the draft agenda below may change over the next 9 months, but we will respect this overall timetable.

  • June 10: travel day – We’ll need a count for dinner once you’ve made travel plans
  • June 11: full day for all participants
  • June 12: full day for all participants
  • June 13:
    • 8:30 am-10 am: Business Meeting. All are welcome; Lead PIs are expected. 
    • 10:30 am-12:30 am: PI Meeting. Lead PIs and successors only.
    • 1:30-3:30 pm: Executive Board Meeting. Executive Board Members (including Committee Reps to the Executive Board) are expected.
  • Those not participating in business meetings may plan to depart at any time on June 13
  • Most flights out of Fairbanks leave late in the day, so PIs and Executive Board participants may also be able to leave on June 13, but Executive Board participants should not plan on a flight that departs before 6 pm.