We invite posts that primarily detail ecology being done at Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) but are open to posting blogs on topical subjects to the ecological community at-large. Blogs post monthly or bi-weekly. We invite folks to submit posts at any time so that we can schedule accordingly!

Please see the submission guidelines below for details on how to submit a post. Feel free to email the LTER Communications Coordinator Gabe at delarosa@nceas.ucsb.edu with any questions.

Objective – By using broadly accessible and informal scientific language, the SSALTER blog platform broadcasts the excellent and diverse research of LTER graduate students across the network community and to public audiences.

Facilitators – The blog is organized and moderated by the LTER graduate student committee (GSC) and features writers from the greater LTER graduate community, regardless of committee status. While the blog was historically initiated by student representatives at the CCE, MCR, and SBC, we now aim to integrate writing and participation from all LTER sites.

Contributors We invite all LTER graduate students, postdocs, and undergraduate researchers (as co-authors with a graduate student mentor) to contribute to the blog.  

Audience – Content should be oriented to a non-scientific audience. Although SSALTER will be shared within the LTER network community, the blog’s distribution through broader public media channels may also incorporate those with limited to no science background. Consequently, materials and language should be accessible and adjusted with audience diversity in mind. 

Social media – Our blog content may be shared on a variety of LTER platforms, including the community instagram, the monthly newsletter, and network’s Twitter. By broadcasting the work of our graduate students to wider audiences, we hope to bolster the network community and raise awareness of the great work being performed by all LTER associates. Consequently, this blog is not meant to replace outreach tools you might already be using, such as a personal or LTER site blog, Instagram, Twitter, etc. In fact, if you do have a science outreach platform, please include that information in your submission and we will provide a link in the SSALTER post.

Content moderators – Submissions will be managed by several graduate student content moderators volunteering on the LTER graduate student committee (GSC) with assistance from network office liaisons. These students help maintain the SSALTER platform by coordinating with authors and calls for submission, editing text, and formatting web content.

Call for submissions – Calls for submissions will be coordinated at the LTER Graduate Student Committee (GSC) level, with site representatives serving as liaisons for communication to their respective student communities. All LTER sites will be split into three groups. Each quarter of the academic year (fall, winter, spring), a group will be asked to organize a post from their LTER. This post can be from the site representative specifically or from a member of their broader site’s early career community (other graduate student, postdoc, or undergraduate, see “Contributors” above). Following the call, sites will be asked to submit to the content moderators a post within six weeks. Posts will be edited, formatted, and posted in two week intervals on the SSALTER blog. 

We welcome any SSALTER submissions at all times, and new posts do not need to be part of a call for submissions. 

Content submission requirements:

    1. A short bio (2-3 sentences) of you and co-authors (if applicable), picture(s) optional but recommended. Include your university, graduate program, LTER site affiliation, and what your research focuses on. If you have a personal science social media or blog platform you can include your handle or website link.
    2. Blog post text, aim for around 500–1000 words maximum. We recommend the use of headers to break up sections, focus content, and enhance readability. They don’t have to be formal scholarly titles, but fun and descriptive. 
  • Visual aids (photos, diagrams, etc.) Please try to include at a bare minimum one visual aid per blog post. The inclusion of relevant visuals is an excellent way to engage audiences and break up blocks of text. Please submit files separately (not embedded in a document) so we can post them in higher quality on the blog platform. If you are republishing an image from the internet, please see this guide as to how to find images you can legally republish. Please include CAPTION and PHOTOGRAPHER CREDIT with any photos or figures.
  • A post title and any important keywords you would like to be tagged. 

Blog email – please send completed post materials to delarosa@nceas.ucsb.edu