Because LTER sites are able to maintain a persistent presence in the community over many years, researchers and education specialists are able to develop long-lasting relationships with local and regional educators and their students. Working in partnership with teachers and university faculty, they develop science curriculum materials that draw on the sites’ extensive data resources, provide immersive research experiences for teachers and undergraduate students, and give many curious young minds their first chance to poke around in nature and start finding their own answers.
The education program at each LTER site is tailored to fit the needs and opportunities at that site, but there are a few common themes — especially graduate and undergraduate education, data literacy, science and art programs, and engagement with users of LTER science such as land managers and environmental planners.
The activities by site table provides an overview to help visitors find more information about education and outreach related activities at each site.
The LTER Network Office supports site-based education programs by overseeing the Education Digital Library on the LTER web site and the Schoolyard LTER book series. The Network Office assists with the coordination of cross-site education programs, such as cross-site research experience for teachers (RET) and research experience for undergraduates (REU) programs.
The Network Office also serves as a first point of contact for the broader research and education community, facilitating opportunities to build partnerships and participate in national-scale projects.