The Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) Network s upports
fundamental ecological research that requires long time periods
and large geographical scales. Created in 1980 by the
National Science Foundation (NSF), the Network is a coordinated
network of 26 field sites joined together through the collaborative
effort of more than 1800 scientists and students.
The Network's general mission is to understand ecological
phenomena that occur over long time and broad geographic
scales; to create a legacy of well-designed and documented
ecological experiments; to conduct major syntheses and theoretical
efforts; and to provide information necessary for the identification
and solution of environmental problems.
The LTER network of sites conducts integrated research in
five core areas: pattern and control of primary production;
spatial and temporal distribution of populations selected
to represent trophic structure; pattern and control of organic
matter accumulation in surface soils and sediments; patterns
of inorganic inputs and movements of nutrients through soils
and waters; and patterns, frequency, and effects of disturbance.
The LTER field sites represent a diversity of habitats in
continental North America, the Caribbean , and the Antarctic,
including deserts, estuaries, lakes, prairies, various
forests, alpine and Arctic tundra, urban areas and production
agriculture. This breadth is possible through coordinated
funding from various directorates of the National Science
Foundation (NSF)—Biological Sciences, Geosciences, Polar
Programs, and Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences. Supplemental
funding by the NSF supports the LTER Schoolyard educational
program, international collaborative research, and related
activities at LTER sites.
LTER also supports a Network Office [ http://www.lternet.edu/sites/lno/ ]
whose mission is to coordinate and facilitate information
technology development and implementation across the network,
to facilitate management of the network, to aid efforts in
research synthesis, and to conduct public outreach. The Network
Office is housed in the Biology Department at the University
of New Mexico .
LTER does not solicit proposals, except when new LTER sites
are initiated and does not accept unsolicited proposals from
LTER or non-LTER scientists. For more information and announcements
of opportunity, visit the LTER web page [http://www.lternet.edu/ ].