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Santa Barbara shoreline and wharf header

December 18, 2017

News from the NCO is a forum for sharing news and activities from the Network Communications Office and from across LTER Network. This is our water cooler. If you have personnel changes, new grants, cross-Network activities that might interest your LTER colleagues, please send them along to

The NCO and NCEAS have been feeling the effects of the Thomas fire, which continues to burn in the hills around Santa Barbara. Smoke and power outages have forced most NCEAS personnel to work from alternate locations, but the fire is now 45% contained and the fight seems to have turned a corner Sunday. Thanks from all here for your thoughts and good wishes.

Save these dates

  • 2018 NSF-LTER Symposium
    April 19, 2018 – NSF Headquarters, 2415 Eisenhower Avenue, Alexandria, Virginia
  • 2018 LTER Executive Board Meeting
    May 15, 2018 – Madison, WI
  • 2018 Science Council Meeting
    May 16-17, 2018 – Madison, WI
  • 2018 Lead PI Meeting
    May 18, 2018 – Madison, WI
  • 2018 LTER All Scientists Meeting
    September 30-October 4, 2018 – Asilomar Conference Grounds, Pacific Grove, California

2018 synthesis webinar series

Wondering what all those LTER synthesis working groups have been busy doing? The NCO is hosting a spring webinar series, featuring each of the current synthesis working groups. Webinars will be on Zoom, at 11 am PST. Additional details to follow, but save these dates:

  • January 11 – Discussion of team science (Stephanie Hampton) and series introduction (Jenn Caselle)
  • February 8 – Communities to Ecosystems: Integrating plant community and ecosystem responses to chronic global change drivers (Avolio, Wilcox)
  • March 8 – Stream elemental cycling: Global patterns in stream energy and nutrient cycling (Wymore, Kaushal)
  • April 12 – Scaling-Up Productivity Responses to Changes in Biodiversity (Isbell, Cowles, Dee)
  • May 10 – Metacommunity mediated responses to ecosystem disturbance (Wisnoski, Sokol, Swan)
  • June 7 – Synthesizing population and community synchrony to understand drivers of ecological stability across LTER sites (Hallett, Reumann, Suding)

New LTER website coming soon

The LTER Network Communications Office is working with New Directions in Computing to develop a new website for the Network. Features include more and better-quality images, with easy-to-update LTER site profile pages and image galleries. Education and research content has been expanded and updated. Integration between the main web site, image galleries, and intranet will be improved, making it simpler to use gallery images and documents on web pages and to navigate between formerly separate sites. An events calendar with i-cal integration will be available, as well as more fluid integration with  social media and newsletters.

Baltimore Public Schools to incorporate BES science

The Baltimore Ecosystem Study will be incorporating LTER data into Baltimore Public Schools chemistry curriculum. The newly designed Integrating Chemistry and Earth science (ICE) unit infuses Earth science into chemistry at the high school level; it will be taught to every student taking chemistry this year. ICE aligns with the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), adopted by the state of Maryland in 2013, which are designed to help students practice ‘real science’ and explore connections across scientific disciplines.

Open Positions

Several key positions are opening up around the Network. Please circulate these announcements to qualified candidates:

To learn about LTER Network-related job openings as they arise, email downs@nceas.ucsb requesting to join or visit our opportunities page.

Research Experience for Undergraduates and Internships

Please share REU program announcements or individual REU opportunities with the LTER Network Office as they arise.

NEON wants your input

The National Ecological Observatory Network is gathering feedback from its stakeholder community to better understand its needs and to optimize use of the Observatory as it transitions from construction to initial operations. Please take 5 minutes to provide your feedback HERE before January 31. A report from this effort will be developed and shared with NEON stakeholders, and the information will be used in its strategic planning process.

Interested participants will be entered into a drawing to win one of five $25 cash prizes. The survey averages 5-7 minutes to complete. All of your responses are completely anonymous. If you have any questions about this survey, you may contact Alycia Crall, the NEON Project evaluator.

Conferences, Special Issues and other Opportunities

The Powell Center seeks projects that address development and testing of important Earth system science ideas and theories using existing data, cutting-edge analysis of Earth system information, and use of sound science in policy and management decisions. Working Group Proposal submission deadline is January 31, 2018.

The global ILTER and its East Asia Pacific (EAP) Network will conduct a one-week joint conference from 15-19 October 2018 in Taichung City, Taiwan.  The topic is Resilience of Social-Ecological Systems in natural and in human-dominated landscapes. The meeting will be hosted by the Taiwan Agricultural Research Institute, Tunghai University, TERN (Taiwan Ecological Research Network).  For more information, please see the featured news item on the ILTER website:

The Fall Meeting of the American Geophysical Union was held December 11-15 in New Orleans. The LTER Network Communications Office compiled a list of LTER-related talks, which was also circulated through a National Science Foundation news Release. Highlights included a day-long symposium on Arctic vulnerability and resilience; a session on the water-energy-society nexus in urban systems; artificial ice storms and hurricanes; and several sessions on drought and precipitation manipulations.


LTER Science update, issued monthly, provides brief, accessible summaries of recent science from across the Network. It is designed to inform partners, educators, and the broader ecological community as well as LTER Network scientists. Please share and encourage your colleagues to subscribe.

News from the NCO, issued quarterly, provides regular organizational updates to LTER-associated personnel.

From related organizations:

  • The LTER data repository is now the Environmental Data Initiative, serving LTER as well as a broader community of environmental biologists. Visit the EDI website and subscribe to the bi-monthly newsletter to stay up-to-date on their training webinars and in-person training opportunities.
  • Critical Zone Observatory Network offers an occasional newsletter with news on Network research, education, and meeting activities.
  • The International LTER Network maintains an email list and a twitter presence. Check out their new web site at
  • Sign up for NEON’s monthly newsletter to learn more about the National Ecological Observatory Network and data collections rapidly coming online.