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.

News from the NCO: 2016 Autumn

Santa Barbara shoreline and wharf header

November 2, 2016

Synthesis

The LTER-NCO received nineteen proposals for Synthesis Working Groups in the October call for proposals. The review committee meets in late November and selections will be announced in December.

Meanwhile, the Metacommunities Working Group got started with a bang, hosting a very successful workshop at ESA and their first meeting at the LTER-NCO in September.

Mark your calendars

The NSF mini-symposium is scheduled for March 21, 2017. Keep an eye on the web site for topics and speakers.

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.

Communications Trainings

By popular demand, the NCO is hosting a discussion of video abstracts and video shorts on November 17, 2016. Pre-registration is required and background reading is recommended.

Through a collaboration with SciFund Challenge, the NCO is offering an 8 week online, interactive course in science communications fundamentals: Telling the Right Story, for the Right People, at the Right Time. The course will run from January 8-March 4, 2017.

Meetings and Outreach

ILTER: Almost 50 US LTER researchers were among the 300 delegates at ILTER’s first open science meeting,  held October 9-13 in Kruger National Park, South Africa. Meeting highlights included workshops on uncertainty in long-term research, distributed experiments, and visits to the many long-term sites operated by SANParks and SAEON.

AGU Meeting: LTER researchers will present over 100 talks and posters at the American Geophysical Union meeting, December 12-16.  Find a list of LTER-related talks on the LTERNET web site. Did we miss yours? Drop a line to nco-comm@lternet.edu to add it. And next year, be sure to include “LTER” somewhere in your affiliation or abstract!

OBFS Annual Meeting: Matt Jones presented at the Organization of Biological Field Stations Annual Meeting Sept 21-25 in Sitka, Alaska on behalf of the LTER-NCO and the Network. He encountered strong interest in developing collaborative working group proposals.

NCO Personnel Update

The NCO welcomes our new Education Lead, Sam Norlin. He’ll continue as Project Director for  the Raising Educational Achievement through Cultural Heritage (REACH Up) Project at University of Alaska-Fairbanks while devoting 30% of his time to stewarding the LTER Network education effort.

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

News from the NCO, issued quarterly, provides regular organizational updates to LTER-associated personnel.

LTER Mailing List Reference

Quick! Which email lists reaches site administrators and which reaches site PI’s? The NCO has recently updated the major centrally-managed email lists and added this handy reference page to the web site.  

Open Positions

Conferences and Special Issues

LTER is partnering with ESA to get out the word about their annual Life Discovery Conference, which highlights leading science, curriculum design, implementation, and data exploration for high school and undergraduate education. Proposals for short presentations and hands-on workshops are being accepted until December 15, 2016

Science of the Total Environment is planning a special issue on detecting and explaining natural and anthropogenic changes by making use of large extent, long-term ecological research facilities of the international long-term ecosystem research (ILTER) network.

They are particularly interested in regional or global studies. To inquire about contributing a manuscript, email peter.haase@senckenberg.de by December 1, 2016, with: Name of author(s), institute, country, indicative title, abstract.

ESA invites proposals for Workshops, Special Sessions, Field Trips, and Ignite Sessions for the 2017 Annual Meeting in Portland, Oregon. The meeting theme is “Linking biodiversity, material cycling and ecosystem services in a changing world.”

News from the NCO: 2016 Summer

stearnswharf-cropped-nco-newsSummer 2016

Dear PIs and Site Managers,

It was great to see so many of you in Santa Barbara for the LTER Science Council meeting. I hope you enjoyed our lovely city and began to get a sense of where the office is heading. I certainly got a much better feeling for the interests and energy of our wide-ranging network.

Within-network communication is a particular challenge for such a distributed organization. The email you are reading is the first of what I expect to be quarterly updates on the progress and plans that are taking shape at the NCO. Much of the enclosed information is available on the lternet web site, but I’ll use this forum to call out the most current and relevant information for your attention, particularly while we work to upgrade the existing web site.

Please feel free to share this information with other site personnel as you see fit. And don’t hesitate to reach out with questions, suggestions, or news.

Cheers,

Marty Downs
LTER Lead Communications Officer
805-893-7549
downs@nceas.ucsb.edu

Synthesis

Three Synthesis Working Groups were selected out of 24 submissions. Congratulations to:

  • Adam Wymore (LUQ) and Sujay Kaushal (BES) — Stream elemental cycling: Global patterns in stream energy and nutrient cycling
  • Eric R. Sokol (MCM), Christopher M. Swan (BES), Nathan I. Wisnoski (AND) — A synthesis to identify how metacommunity dynamics mediate community responses to disturbance across the ecosystems represented in the LTER network
  • Kimberly J. La Pierre (KNZ/CDR/SGS), Meghan L. Avolio (KNZ), Kevin R. Wilcox (KNZ/SGS) — Integrating plant community and ecosystem responses to chronic global change drivers: Toward an explanation of patterns and improved global predictions

A new RFP will be released by the end of July, with a deadline in the first week of October. A few provocative topics emerged from the science council meeting in May and we expect other great ideas to bubble up from ESA and summer fieldwork.

Science Council

The LTER science council had a successful 3-day meeting, May 17-19, 2016. Details of the discussions and presentations are available on the Intranet.

Site Presentations  |  EB discussions  |  Science Council notes

ILTER

The first open science meeting of the international LTER Network (ILTER) will be held October 9-13 in Kruger National Park, South Africa. Twenty-two LTER researchers received funding through the NCO to present their work and cultivate global connections.

NCO Web Site Launched

A new web site lays out the nuts and bolts of who’s who at the NCO and how we intend to operate. We’ve also established a set of generic e-mail addresses for NCO functions:

nco@lternet.edu for general NCO-related questions
nco-comm@lternet.edu for communications-related questions and story ideas
nco-education@lternet.edu for education-related issues and questions
nco-synthesis@lternet.edu for synthesis working group questions
proposals@lternet.edu for proposal submissions and RFP-related questions
nco-training@lternet.edu for the training function at the NCO
nco-travel@lternet.edu  for NCO-related travel arrangements and reimbursements

NCO Personnel Update

NCO Executive Director Frank Davis handed off the NCEAS leadership baton to Ben Halpern on July 1—freeing up time for more research, teaching, and LTER.

At the end of July, we say goodbye to LTER Travel Coordinator Jordan Halland. Sad as we are to see her go, she’s off on a great adventure to travel and teach English in France. The new travel coordinator, Ana Peters, will begin work July 27. After that date, you can reach her at peters@nceas.ucsb.edu or nco-travel@lternet.edu.

Many of you are hearing from our summer fellows. Recent Bren School graduate Terra Alpaugh is working on a variety of LTER projects, including an update of the interactive map. Nicole Poletto is working on education projects, including the RET information-share and improved marketing for the LTER Schoolyard Book Series.

Ecological Society of America Meeting

The NCO and the Environmental Data Initiative (EDI) will be sharing exhibition booth #426 at ESA. Stop by; say hello; tell us what’s happening at your site.

LTER researchers will present almost 150 talks and posters at the Ecological Society of America meeting next month.  Find a list of LTER-related talks on the LTERNET web site. Did we miss yours? Drop a line to alpaugh@nceas.ucsb.edu to add it. And next year, be sure to include “LTER” somewhere in your affiliation or abstract!

LNO-NCO and NIMO-PASTA-EDI Transition

The NCO now houses and operates all of the non-data web sites for lternet.edu, including the main www.lternet.edu web site, as well as additional web servers for managing the personnel and site databases, the image gallery, the Information Management Committee site, the intranet and document archive, newsletter sites (databits, news), sites for the all scientists meetings (asm2015 and others), and various other ancillary sites.

The LTER data portal and NIS is being supported by the PASTA-Plus team at the University of New Mexico. The proposed Network Information Management Office (NIMO) has joined forces with PASTA-Plus and been transformed into a data outreach, curation, and training organization (Environmental Data Initiative  or EDI) that will help address the information management needs of LTER, LTREB, OBFS, and MacroSystems Biology researchers.

Don’t understand who’s handling what aspects of  LTER communications and information management? The truth is, we’re still working some of that out, but we’ll try to keep you updated as we move forward.

LTER Road Trip

Photographer-writer Erika Zambello will be blogging her way around the Network over the next year. Starting with the Southeastern sites, she is visiting all of the LTER sites in the lower 48 states to write, photograph and produce short videos. Her plan is to hit the Northeastern sites in the fall, the Western sites in the winter, and circle back to the Midwest in spring and summer of 2017.

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