The National Science Foundation (NSF) has selected the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis at the University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB) as the site for the first national Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) network communications office (NCO).

“The LTER program faces new challenges as it enters its fourth decade: the increasing multi-disciplinarity of ecological research, increased value of synthesizing heterogeneous data, and rapid changes in the needs for, and modes of, science communication, among others,” said James Olds, NSF assistant director for Biological Sciences.

The NCO is conceived as an integrated set of activities in three areas–communication and outreach, synthesis research, and education and training–that build on NCEAS’ longstanding relationship with LTER scientists, leverage existing staff capacity and infrastructure, and take advantage of UCSB’s considerable strengths and resources in ecology, environmental science and management, science education, and environmental communication and media.

“These sites are doing important work that’s relevant for natural resource management, environmental restoration, climate change adaptation, public health and many other important areas,” said Frank Davis, principal investigator for the $3.5 million NSF grant.

The value of long-term data extends beyond use at any individual site, so the LTER Network makes data collected by all LTER sites accessible to other investigators.

NSF press release