Report on the Workshop “Powerful new molecular tools in soil microbial ecology: insights and utility for long-term studies”, 2006 Long-term Ecological Research (LTER) All Scientists Meeting, Estes Park, Colorado, September 20-23, 2006. Workshop organizers: Richard Boone, University of Alaska Fairbanks; David Myrold and Stephanie Boyle, Oregon State University; Mary Beth Leigh, University of Alaska Fairbanks; and Christopher Schadt, Oak Ridge National Laboratory.