News from the LTER-NCO: Late summer update

Santa Barbara shoreline and wharf header

August 30, 2017

It’s hard to believe the summer is almost gone and the academic year is starting. It was great to see such a strong LTER presence at the ESA Meetings—with a synthesis symposium, an urban LTER symposium, and over 150 talks and posters from across the Network.

The NCO has several important updates to share with the LTER community and site leadership teams that should not wait until the next scheduled News from the LTER-NCO.

LTER All Scientists’ Meeting

At the Network Communications Office, we’ve been working behind the scenes to confirm a date, location, and funding for the 2018 All-Scientists’ Meeting, which will be held:

September 30-October 4, 2018
Asilomar Conference Grounds, Pacific Grove, California

This is a change to the date I announced earlier in the News from the LTER-NCO newsletter. My sincere apologies to those who may have made plans based on the earlier date.

We will be able to fund travel, lodging, and registration for up to 7 people per LTER site, with an emphasis on early-career and under-represented researchers, plus information and education managers. I’ll be contacting Site PI’s later this fall to ask for your list. Meanwhile, please note the dates on your calendars and start brainstorming ideas for talks, synthesis groups, and workshops. We only get to gather the Network every 3 years; let’s make the most of it! If you have ideas for top-notch plenary speakers, please contact Marty Downs or Frank Davis until the planning committee is fully assembled.

New LTER logo

Logos redesigns can be difficult. It’s extraordinarily hard to capture the essence of an organization (particularly one as diverse as the LTER Network) in a single image, but it was time for an update. Working with a professional design team, the Network Communications Office developed several options for the LTER Executive Board to consider and also sought input from across the LTER community. We received over 280 responses to our survey, many with thoughtful and insightful comments.

In the end, we didn’t choose any one of the logos offered in the survey. Rather, we tried to incorporate the intent of the most frequent types of response. The LTER community wanted a logo that felt as warm and inviting as we try to be; that incorporated elements of both science and time; that said ecological research, not technological research…and that had a certain individuality and uniqueness.

The new LTER Network logo—as approved by the LTER executive board and NSF—is shown below. We truly appreciate all the thoughtful and constructive input from the Network. The NCO will begin incorporating it into materials and web sites gradually, with the major shift happening later this fall.

LTER logo 2017

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 opportunities@lternet.edu or visit our opportunities page.

Conferences and Special Issues

The Fall Meeting of the American Geosciences Union will be 11-15 December, 2017 in New Orleans.

The LTER Network Communications Office is gathering a listing of talks and papers, so please include LTER or Long-Term Ecological Research in your affiliation or abstract if at all possible. We’re also working with NSF Public Affairs to bring media attention to some of our most newsworthy stories. To give us a heads-up about your newsworthy paper, contact downs@nceas.ucsb.edu.

Newsletters

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:

July LTER Science Update Newsletter

July LTER Science Update Newsletter

In July, the Science Update Newsletter covers:

  • How does culture affect the process of ecological homogenization in residential landscapes?
  • Is interior Alaska headed toward a landscape of shrubs and grasses?
  • Could the threat of predators serve as a safe and effective form of pest control?
  • How do sharks eating from the same territory reduce competition?
  • As alpine environments shift from mosses and lichens to plants—how does the change affect soil microbes?

Subscribe to stay up to date on the latest news on long-term science from across the country, and please share with colleagues and stakeholders.

News from the NCO: 2017 Summer

Santa Barbara shoreline and wharf header

July 15, 2016

Governance Update

The LTER Science Council and Executive Board met at Hubbard Brook, May 16-19, where they welcomed representatives of three new LTER sites, discussed some great science, and made a few key decisions:

  • LTER bylaws have been revised to refer to the Network Communications Office (NCO), rather than the LTER Network Office (LNO) and to clarify the relationships among the LTER Executive Board, the Science Council, the Network Communications Office, and the Environmental Data Initiative (EDI).
  • The Director of the LTER Network Communications Office will hold a voting seat on the LTER Executive Board and the Director of the Environmental Data Initiative will hold an ex officio seat on the LTER Executive Board. The Information Management and Education and Outreach Committees will continue to hold non-voting seats on the LTER Executive Board and the LTER Science Council.
  • The Science Council approved a recommendation by the Executive Board to update the LTER data access policy to reflect the movement towards open and unrestricted access to data. When no specific access policy is specified for a data set, the LTER data portal will now default to  a Creative Commons license requiring attribution (CC BY 4.0).
  • We appreciate the service of  Anne Giblin (PIE), Gary Lovett (HBR), and Sherrie Johnson (AND), who rotated off the Executive Board, and welcome new (and returning) EB members: Katherine Suding (NWT), David Foster (HFR), and Jess Zimmerman (LUQ).
  • The LTER Information Management Committee is meeting before the Earth Science Information Partners (ESIP) Annual Meeting in Bloomington, Indiana, July 24.

Synthesis Activities

In addition to the five synthesis working groups currently underway, the LTER Science Council is working on products emerging from the 2017 and 2018 Science Council meetings.

  • Peter Groffman is pulling together a set of papers from each site on LTER Futures for a special issue of Ecosphere.
  • A team led by Evelyn Gaiser is organizing a manuscript that will elaborate a framework for understanding humans as an integral part of ecosystems.

LTER at the Ecological Society of America (ESA) Meeting

A listing of talks and posters being presented at ESA will be available shortly. Meanwhile please plan on joining us for:

The NCO is organizing three workshops at ESA, and will be promoting REU opportunities at the Diversity Luncheon, but will not have a booth this year. Workshops:

Communications Trainings

Curriculum materials from the NCO’s  8-week online, interactive course in science communications are now available online at  Telling the Right Story, for the Right People, at the Right Time

Save the Dates

  • The 2018 Science Council/Executive Board Meeting will be hosted by the Northern Temperate Lakes LTER. Madison, here we come!
    • May 15: Executive Board
    • May 16 & 17: Science Council
    • May 18 (a.m.): PI Meeting
  • Tentative dates for the 2018 All-Scientists Meeting are September 9-13th, 2018 at Asilomar Conference Grounds.
  • Can’t keep track of key LTER dates? The NCO maintains a calendar with key committee and Network-wide meetings.

NCO Personnel Update

After 22 years of dedication to improving the availability and usability of environmental data, Mark Schildhauer is retiring from the the day-to-day management of NCEAS computing, but he’ll continue to apply his talents to a variety of special projects.

Open Positions

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

Conferences and Special Issues

Abstracts for the Fall 2018 American Geophysical Union (AGU) Meeting are due August 2 (July 26 for early submission). Please include LTER or Long-Term Ecological Research in your abstract to help us find and promote your talk.

Also, consider submitting an abstract to Public Affairs session 013: How Does Your Geoscience Research Matter and Can You Explain How it Matters to the Public?

Newsletters

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:

 

May/June LTER Science Update Newsletter

May/June LTER Science Update Newsletter

In May and June, the Science Update Newsletter covers:

  • laboratory findings, by Santa Barbara Coastal LTER and other researchers, that show the sensitivity of sea urchin fertilization success to ocean acidification, published in Ecology and Evolution;
  • public preferences of cultural ecosystem services, amassed by researchers at Coweeta LTER;
  • from Luquillo LTER, long-term patterns of arthropod abundance and diversity in response to repeated hurricane disturbances;
  • in Ecosystems, benefits of capitalizing on big data in ecosystem science.

Subscribe to stay up to date on the latest news on long-term science from across the country, and please share with colleagues and stakeholders.

Symposium: Discovering the Nature of Ecosystem Change

Synopsis

Even as sea-level rise, drought, and fire increase pressures on some ecological systems, others are benefitting from protection and restoration efforts. But some changes are not reversible. Long-term research employs observations of past changes, together with long-running experiments and modeling to understand the processes responsible for sustaining ecological functions. Drawing on concrete examples and new ecological theory, five researchers from across the Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) Network describe science that can help discern which changes may allow for recovery and which are more likely to irreversibly transform ecological systems. Posters describing ongoing LTER research and samples of the LTER children’s book series will be on display throughout the morning. To attend, please RSVP to Cheryl Dybas, NSF Public Affairs (cdybas@nsf.gov), at least 24 hours in advance.

View the Full Agenda   View the Presentations

Learn more about the talks:

Speakers

February LTER Science Update Newsletter

In February, the Science Update Newsletter covers:

  • an KBS-LTER paper in the Journal of Soil and Water Conservation on collaborative solutions to nitrogen runoff;
  • a CCE-LTER paper in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on organic carbon sequestration at mesoscale ocean fronts;
  • a BNZ-LTER study, published in Forest Ecology and Management, on the the influence of hare population cycles on recruitment of white spruce;
  • a BES-LTER study, published in FEMS Microbiology, on nutrient cycling rates in urban streams;
  • A synthesis paper, published in Ecological Monographs, on how the duration of a stress can matter as much as the intensity in driving regime shift.

Subscribe to stay up to date on the latest news on long-term science from across the country, and please share with colleagues and stakeholders.

News from the NCO: 2017 Winter

Stearns Wharf in Santa Barbara

January 18, 2017

Synthesis

The review committee recommended two Synthesis Working Group proposals for funding in the current round. Congratulations to Forest Isbell, Jane M. Cowles, and Laura Dee who will lead Scaling-up productivity responses to changes in biodiversity and Lauren Hallett, Daniel Reuman, Katharine Suding for Synthesizing Population and community synchrony to understand drivers of ecological stability across LTER sites

Mark your calendars

The NSF mini-symposium is scheduled for March 21, 2017. The list of speakers is available at lternet.edu. We are still seeking a few posters to complement the featured talks. Please contact Marty Downs if you have a story you think NSF should see.

The annual Executive Board meeting is scheduled for May 16, 2017 at Hubbard Brook LTER. The Science Council meeting will follow on May 17th, 18th, and 19th. The theme is “disturbance” with a focus on the use and value of long-term data. The steering committee includes Frank Davis, Michael Nelson, Gary Lovett and Evelyn Gaiser.

An online, interactive workshop on science communication fundamentals, “Telling the Right Story to the Right People, at the Right Time,” is underway now. If you are interested in being notified directly about future communications trainings and resources, please sign up for the communications interest list.

The NCO has two workshops accepted for ESA 2017 in Portland, OR. Marty will lead a workshop on quick and inexpensive video production. Sam and the education committee will lead a lunch-time workshop on using the Next Generation Science Standards EQuIP rubric to spark collaborative lesson generation between educators and scientists. We’ll let you know when registration is open.

Meetings and Outreach

The annual Life Discovery Conference, which ESA helps organize, highlights leading science, curriculum design, implementation, and data exploration efforts for high school and undergraduate education. Presentations are no longer being accepted, but it’s still a great place to connect with educators and education-focused colleagues.

For the upcoming ASLO Aquatic Sciences meeting, the NCO is summarizing and promoting LTER-related talks and posters, as we have for ESA and AGU in the past. If you haven’t already let us know about your talk or poster, please do.

Abstracts are due soon for presentations at the 2017 Ecological Society of America Meeting in Portland Oregon. The submission deadline is Thursday, February 23 at 5:00 p.m. Eastern time. Remember to include LTER in your title or abstract so we can find and promote your talk!

From the Committees

The Information Management Committee has a new training working group, working on identifying unmet training needs and developing new resources. The web site improvement and redesign (WIRED) working group is assessing and refreshing the information managers web site.

The Education and Outreach Committee is working on the application of a new rubric to guide the design of classroom resources. Talk with Sam Norlin or Steven McGee if you’re interested. This summer’s long-distance information share among Research-Experience-for-Teachers participants, organized by Kara Haas and others, offered a sense of community and inspiration for teachers working at LTER sites. Marty Downs and Jill Haukos are working on a redraft of a resource guide for Education and Outreach managers.

The Diversity Committee was established as a standing committee at the 2016 Science Council meeting, tasked with developing diversity-related resources and approaches for use across the Network. Current chair is Alan Berkowitz.

LTER Newsletter Reminder

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 Network scientists. Please share and encourage your colleagues to subscribe.

News from the NCO, issued quarterly, provides regular organizational updates to all LTER-associated personnel. If you have news items from your committee that you would like to have included, please drop me a line.

January Science Update Newsletter

LTER Science UPdate Newsletter, January 2017In January, the Science Update Newsletter covers:

  • an MCR-LTER paper in Marine Biology on genetic variation in responses to ocean acidity and warming;
  • a CWT-LTER paper in Global Change Biology on subsidies to net ecosystem carbon uptake through cold air drainage;
  • a BNZ-LTER study, published in Climate Change, on the role of access to in determining availability of subsistence resources in Arctic communities;
  • a JRN-LTER study, published in Ecohydrology, on climate variability as a determinant of alternative stable states;
  • A paper out of GLEON, published in Inland Waters, on the importance of physical parameters for modeling lake productivity, as demonstrated through automated depth profile sampling.

Subscribe to stay up to date on the latest news on long-term science from across the country, and please share with colleagues and stakeholders.

Telling The Right Story, For The Right People, At The Right Time

Telling the Right Story, for the Right People, at the Right Time

Telling the Right Story, for the Right People, at the Right Time

January 8-March 4, 2017

Trying to set priorities for communicating your sites’ work? Or developing your first professional profile as you search for a job? Building a global reputation or breaking into a new area of research?

At times it helps to think of writing as carpentryCome join your LTER colleagues for 8 weeks of interactive online training in effective science communication.

Establishing communications goals, making careful choices about audience, and developing a compelling story arc are fundamental to effective communication—no matter the medium. The purpose of this interactive online class is to help participants develop strategic frameworks for science communication that address these universal elements so that they can coordinate outreach efforts and maximize their impact.

Ecologist Julian Hadley Speaks To NPR Reporter About Carbon Sequestration. Credit: Harvard Forest LTER

Ecologist Julian Hadley Speaks To NPR Reporter About Carbon Sequestration. Credit: Harvard Forest LTER

Specific outreach methods, such as public presentations, video, blogging, and social media will be touched on throughout the course, but will not be covered in depth. The priorities that emerge from this course will help guide future NCO training efforts.

This online class stretches over eight weeks and consists of four two-week modules, specifically designed to encourage interaction between course participants. The expected time commitment is five to eight hours per module.

Course modules, developed for LTER in collaboration with SciFund Challenge, include:

  • Understanding your audience. Participants identify the goals of their outreach efforts, select a target audience, and investigate their interests and concerns. (January 8-21, 2017)
  • katherine-siegel-poster-session2Developing your central message. By crafting a message that is specific to their audience’s interests, participants improve their ability to capture and hold the attention of that audience. (January 22-February 4, 2017)
  • Creating your story arc. Stories provide context for science and make the core message more memorable and engaging. In this module, we will explore the established tools of narrative: character, setting, action, suspense, and resolution and apply them to the central message developed in the second module. (February 5-18, 2017)
  • Honing your outreach strategy. In this module, participants will develop an outreach plan that is strategic, sustainable, and measurable. (February 19-March 4, 2017)

In the course of each module, participants will:

  1. Review written resources the course web site (days 1-5).
  2. Complete specific exercises related to their own communications goals and plans (days 3-10).
  3. Review and offer feedback to colleagues within a private online community (days 7-12)
  4. Discuss and get feedback on plan elements with instructors and a small groups of participants via videoconference (days 10-14).

There is no charge for the course, which is available to all members of the LTER community. Participation is limited to 50 individuals. The first offering is scheduled for January 8-March 4, 2017. 

Registration deadline: December 15

December Science Update Newsletter

science update, December 2016In December, the Science Update Newsletter covers:

  • an Ecosphere paper on demystifying governance for ecologists with links to several LTER sites and scientists,
  • a Wetlands paper on the sensitivity of ecosystem productivity to intermittent low temperature events in the Florida Everglades,
  • a study on the relationship of total N, total P and leaf area index in temperate grassland (building on a similar study in arctic tundra), published in Oecologia
  • a synthesis of ecology under lake ice, published in Ecology Letters, and
  • announcement of the 2017 Synthesis Working Groups.

Subscribe to stay up to date on the latest news on long-term science from across the country, and please share with colleagues and stakeholders.

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