LTER Road Trip: Teaching the Next Generation of Ecologists

Nate Vandiver has now experienced fieldwork first-hand, a memory he can take to his environmental studies courses in college.

Nate Vandiver arrived at the Baltimore Ecosystem Study (BES) offices early on a Friday morning. Pulling on knee-length boots over his long work pants, he helped gather sampling equipment and load it into a van for a day of stream monitoring. Vandiver is a high school senior at the Friends School of Baltimore, and at… Read more »

2017 REU opportunities

NSF funds a large number of research opportunities for undergraduate students through its Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Sites Program. The REU program allows for active research participation by undergraduate students in any of the areas of research funded by the National Science Foundation. Each student is associated with a specific research project, where he/she… Read more »

Baltimore Public Schools to Incorporate BES Science

studnets in field gear and notebooks

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),… Read more »

Art and Humanities LTER Programs Build Empathy for Nature

Winged dancer leaps over a field of milkweed

Do arts and humanities programs at LTER sites further the Network’s mission? Recent research posits that art-humanities-science collaborations generate empathy – and associated emotions like inspiration, awe, and wonder – for the natural world. This empathy then drives society to engage with and care more broadly about nature.

Desert Data Jam Award Winners

The Desert Data Jam is a unique competition that challenges students to make creative projects (such as songs, physical models, children’s stories, infographics, and games) that convey complex ecological data to nonscientists. In this sixth year of the Desert Data Jam, more than 400 students participated. The top five projects from each participating class were… Read more »

Beyond Citizen Science: Local Observations of Climate Change Impacts Guide Vulnerability Research

sled dogs pull supplies over bare patch of ground

Unstable ice. Raging rivers. Fire-scorched landscapes. Deep within Alaska’s Yukon River Basin, residents faced with these obstacles during travel or hunting trips now use camera-enabled GPS units to send photographs to researchers across the state. Scientists at the Bonanza Creek LTER and University of Alaska, Fairbanks are using the images, along with the associated GPS… Read more »

Adventure is Out There: Pokémon and Wildlife Await

You’ve probably heard about Pokémon Go, the recent craze that has captured America and the world. After stealing the hearts of children over a decade ago, Pokémon are back — this time in our smartphones. People of all ages are tracking rare Pokémon, trying to “catch ’em all”. But what about interaction with the world that exists outside of our phones?

At Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve (CDR), in East Bethel MN, community members have graduated beyond virtual quarry. There, they track living animals across the reserve. CDR’s new wildlife tracking citizen science program, the Cedar Creek Wildlife Survey, taps the same vein of enthusiasm as chasing Pokemon. It and other similar programs are making use of people’s passion for tracking and adventure and applying it to local data collection and exploration.

Distributed Graduate Seminar on Ecological Theory and Long Term Research

Following on the Ecological Theory working group at the 2015 All Scientists Meeting, please find attached an updated syllabus for a Fall 2016 distributed graduate seminar. The seminar series will engage scientists from key theoretical fields of ecology to speak about how long term research informs the evolution of that theory. Each week we will… Read more »

“Why STEM?” Teachers find answers in summer field work

Ask any teacher to identify their students’ favorite question. The answer is universal: “Why do I need to learn this?” The Research Experience for Teachers (RET) Program, funded through NSF and LTER, seeks to give teachers the tools to answer this question in ways that excite and engage their students.

PhysFest: the “Un-Meeting”

PhysFest participants measure gas exchange on an annually-burned watershed. On June 5th, 45 plant eco-physiologists traveled to Kansas from all corners of the country to take part in the inaugural PhysFest. This “un-meeting,” held at the Konza Prairie Biological Station and LTER Site and hosted by the Kansas State Plant EcoPhys Lab, aimed to break all… Read more »