By Haley Dunleavy It’s a beautiful August day in the Arctic. The sun, now finally rising and setting after months of circling the sky, warms my face; neon yellows, pinks, reds, and greens of fall foliage speckle across the tundra, and most importantly, the previously incessant mosquitos have died off. I’m standing on a single-planked… Read more »
In 2016 and 2017, blogger and photographer Erika Zambello launched a road trip to visit as many LTER sites as possible. Follow her travels through the LTER Road Trip StoryMap or peruse the stories below.
See more of Erika’s work at E. Zambello Writing and Photography.
By Erin Winslow Every day, third-year Ph.D. student Dana Cook zips up her Patagonia shorty wetsuit and puts on her bucket hat for a full day out on the lagoon of Moorea’s southern tip. Boat necessities include a GPS, inner tube floaty, underwater slate and pencil, a watch, and a sleeve of Sao crackers. She… Read more »
By Natasha Griffin The lake ice crunches beneath my boots with each tentative step I take. Realistically, I know there’s not much danger here—I’m standing atop Lake Bonney, one of the permanently frozen lakes of Antarctica’s McMurdo Dry Valleys. The ice underfoot is at least a few meters thick, creating a sturdy barrier between me… Read more »
In 2015, a group of undergraduates from the University of Wisconsin, Madison launched boats into Lake Mendota at the edge of campus, ready to put lessons from the classrooms to the test in hands-on field research activities. As they moved through research protocols, a student brought a metal pole from the soft bottom to the… Read more »
The North Temperate Lakes LTER vegetation survey team leapt out of their research boat, wetsuits and dive gear ready to go. The survey site bordered the opposite side of Trout Lake, a straight shot from the research facility and student dorms. Two bald eagles, native to this part of Northern Wisconsin, appeared disgruntled at our… Read more »
Hundreds of people rimmed Crystal Lake in Northern Wisconsin on a hot afternoon. I stood along the shoreline with Noah Lottig from the North Temperate Lakes (NTL) LTER, watching the flocking gulls surround swimmers wading in and out of the sandy edge. The lake looked beautiful, clear and surrounded by dark green trees and patches… Read more »
In a grassy clearing between crop hectares at the Kellogg Biological Station LTER, Dr. Nick Haddad, Principle Investigator, stares into the dark recesses of a bee box, set a few feet off the ground. The research team places the bees here while they’re still in cocoons. When they hatch, the bees gather fluorescent yellow, powdered… Read more »
Blue grama grass, golden stems meeting dead undergrowth beneath, completely surrounded Dr. Jen Rudgers in the Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge (NWR). The meadow stretched as far as the eye could see, eventually meeting a dense slope of creosote shrubland, surrounded by bronze mountains in central New Mexico. The cool of early morning had already given… Read more »
My second morning at the Niwot Ridge LTER dawned warm but windier than the day before, and I zipped up a red jacket over my long sleeves and jeans. Ashley Whipple, a graduate student, met me at the office building, and we trundled into one of the two SUVs shuttling up to the field site… Read more »
My rental car clock read 7:30 a.m., but the parking lot at Niwot Ridge Long Term Experimental Research Site (LTER) was already buzzing with activity. Young people slammed rear car doors and packed backpacks, filled water bottles, and slathered on sunscreen. Inside the main building, a new cohort of young ecologists listened to a safety… Read more »