The attached MOU between LTER/Regents of the University of New Mexico and the Zones Ateliers (French LTER Network) was signed by representatives of the University of New Mexico October 26, 2012 and formally endorsed by Scott Collins (then Chair of the LTER Network) and representatives of the CNRS Zones Ateliers network at the French Embassy in WA, D.C.  on February 27, 2013.

Participants on the French side included Xavier Morise, Françoise Gaill, Frédéric Doré, Yvan Lagadeuc and on the U.S. side Scott Collins and Mark Ohman.

The following press release was issued:

The Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) Network was created by the National Science Foundation (NSF) in 1980 to conduct research on ecological issues that can last decades and span huge geographical areas.

For more than three decades, the Network has generated rigorous, site-based scientific research that has led to important findings on regional and continental scales.

The Network brings together a multi-disciplinary group of more than 2000 scientists and graduate students. The 26 LTER sites encompass diverse ecosystems in the continental United States, Alaska, Antarctica and islands in the Caribbean and the Pacific—including deserts, estuaries, lakes, oceans, coral reefs, prairies, forests, alpine and Arctic tundra, urban areas, and production agriculture.

The Zone Atelier network (ZA) was created by the French ministry of research in 2000. It is now managed by the National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS)  and its Institute for Ecology and Environment (INEE).  Bringing together 11 ZA sites, the network offers a diversity of socio-ecological systems allowing long-term research on ecology and human-nature interactions. More than 600 collaborators (Researchers, engineer, technicians, graduate students) are involved in the network.

The two Networks’ envision is a society, in which long-term ecological knowledge contributes to the advancement of the health, productivity, and welfare of the global environment, thereby advancing human well-being. This vision underpins common mission, which is to provide the scientific community, policy makers, and society with the knowledge and predictive understanding necessary to conserve, protect, and manage the nation’s ecosystems, their biodiversity, and the services they provide.

By signing this commitment the two networks have agreed to share their knowledge and skills through collaboration among sites and scientists.