In 2020, the LTER program turns 40. A program of this length is rare for NSF and requires regular review, to ensure that we are maximizing this precious investment.

The LTER Executive Board has appointed a small committee to develop a self-study document that provides a brief but thorough introduction to the LTER Network, its influence, and achievements. The committee will work in collaboration with the Science Council, standing and ad hoc committees, and the Network Communications Office and Environmental Data Initiative to develop a document grounded in evidence of past accomplishments and with a clear vision of the potential as we move forward into our 5th decade.

The committee’s initial charge is to develop the self study document–identifying information requests from sites, shaping a synthesis, and organizing the content of Science Council meeting in 2019, which will revolve around the self-study. We expect the work of the committee to last 12 to 18 months, from October 2018 to December 2019.