I paused at the top of Coweeta Hydrologic Lab’s transect #327, peering down, down, down at the slope beneath me. Katie Bower, a research technician at Coweeta, and two summer interns had already started down the narrow pathway, accustomed to its slippery leaf layer and sharp contours.
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.
During their week out at the University of Georgia Marine Institute on Sapelo Island, teachers divide their time between assisting with research in outdoor settings alongside GCE scientists and graduate students and discussing the implementation of the information and experiences into their own teaching settings.
When most people think of the Florida Everglades, they picture alligators hiding amongst labyrinths of marsh grass, the famous boardwalks of the Anhinga Trail, or the tightly clustered mangrove trees that border both the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. Yet, few are aware that Everglades National Park also hosts critically important ecological research sites, where scientists from the Florida Coastal Everglades (FCE) Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) station learn about the inner workings of this incredible ecosystem, as well as how it’s responding to human activities.
The path to the beach was steep, partially eroded by the wind and rain on this Pacific Ocean-facing cliff in Santa Barbara. Carefully holding my camera, I scampered down as gracefully as I could after Kyle Emery and Nick Schooler, two PhD students at the University of Santa Barbara. From the top of the cliff,… Read more »
Two undergraduate students bent over shiny metal trays loaded with wrack from the nearby beaches at the Santa Barbara Coastal Long Term Ecological Research site (SBC LTER). Bright lights lit up their tweezers as they sifted through vegetation and detritus, searching for specific creatures: beach hoppers, beetles, flies, and isopods, as well as different species… Read more »
Tucked into an absolutely beautiful piece of the UC Santa Barbara campus, the Research Experience and Education Facility (REEF) sits at the edge of both the Pacific Ocean and the UCSB Lagoon. Inside, tanks full of marine creatures—including one with tropical species characteristic of a research site in French Polynesia—sit bubbling away while student interns… Read more »
Flowers bloomed in the mountain desert outside of Phoenix, Arizona, and I leapt out of the car near the Central-Arizona Phoenix Long Term Ecological Research (CAP LTER) site’s research plots. At first, it was the saguaro cacti that completely arrested my attention. Tall and thick, the giant cacti reached to the sky like hands; the… Read more »
When you think of Phoenix, Arizona, a lush wetland is probably not the first thing that comes to mind. If you’re like me, you imagine soaring desert mountains dotted with saguaro cactus, a hot valley in colors of stone, now glittering with lights from downtown. Yet, there I was, knee deep in mud in the… Read more »
Envisioning Data at Hubbard Brook It’s not every day that you walk into a forest and find musical instruments set up carefully next to a gurgling stream. Yet melding art and science together is a regular part of the day-to-day operations at the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest. Imagine the way that scientific data is normally… Read more »
Visiting DroughtNet The canopy of the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest glowed in the afternoon light. Sun filtered through the leaves, forming a patterned roof over the forest floor. I walked with Hubbard Brook team leader, Dr. Lindsey Rustad, past several research plots and up a small hill. Peeking at us through the tree trunks was… Read more »