The public engagement with science (PES) Working Group provides a mechanism for strong reciprocal connection between the proposed (PES) research and practice within the LTER Network. The Working Group brings together site leaders (scientists) and PES-related staff (outreach professionals) from ~7–9 sites across the network, including the 3 case study sites, for regular gatherings on Zoom. These gatherings focus on the progress of the project and PES-related interests among participants.

The PES Working Group provides a mechanism for LTER leaders to inform and co-interpret the PES research activities described above, opening explicit opportunities for carrying this research into practice and for practice to inform research (Peterman et al. 2021). The Working Group also builds the long term capacity of the LTER Network to advance PES practice.

Working with PES Working Group participants broadens the contexts of the three case study sites. Non-case study sites participating in the Working Group receive up to $5,000 per site to implement a PES seed project. Eligible project are defined by needs at individual sites, and might include, for example:

  • bringing in a PES training opportunity such as the STEM Ambassadors Program,
  • bringing in a facilitator for a PES strategy planning session, or
  • hosting a PES event such as an open-house or roundtable dialogue.