The necessity of intersite research has driven the LTER mandate since intersite workshops in the early 1980’s. Since then the LTER data managers have been focusing on facilitating this research. Recently, the maturation of environmental information management, and advances in technology provide an impetus to accomplish more effectively the long-standing goal of facilitating intersite research (Stafford, et al. 1994). Although computers have come a long way, the fundamentals of managing research information and developing an appropriate system for management have remained relatively stable. What has changed drastically in the last decade is researcher and community expectations. With the explosion of Internet connectivity and the birth of the World-Wide Web (WWW), scientists, administrators, and the general public have come to expect greater access to the products of valuable research dollars. The LTER research network has a wealth of long-term data that are being collected by LTER investigators. With the publication of the LTER Catalog of Core Data Sets in 1990, this resource became more widely known within the ecological research community.
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