Introducing The New LTER Network Office

Network News Spring 1998, Vol. 11 No. 1
Network News

Profiles of the People who Put it All Together

Louise Williams

Administrative Assistant

Louise was born and raised in Milwaukee and attended the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She married and raised three children. After her husband passed away, she attended Spencerian College and studied court reporting. She then combined family life with that of a free-lance court reporter, working out of her home until her youngest child was in high school.

The family moved from Milwaukee to Albuquerque in 1974, where Louise continued free-lance court reporting, eventually forming her own court-reporting firm.

Louise left court reporting and began working at the University of New Mexico in 1991 in the School of Medicine.

She was Administrative Assistant to the Chairman of the Department of Surgery before transferring to the Biology Department in the spring of 1997 to work at the LTER Network Office. Louise thinks scientists are really cool and are so much easier to get along with than lawyers and doctors. She enjoys learning new things and is fascinated by the work that is being done at the LTER sites.

Patricia Sprott

Publications and Information Specialist

A native of the San Francisco Bay Area, Patty studied English at the University of Florida. After several years as a magazine writer and editor, she returned to school to study environmental science at Florida International University in Miami. There she discovered that she loved field work but feared alligators and oversized flying insects.

High and dry in Albuquerque, she did free-lance writing and edited journals in the English Department at the University of New Mexico before the Network Office came to town. 'In this position I can combine my love for communication with my interest in environmental research. In a word -- it's a dream.' Talk to Patty about your ideas for electronic and print publishing, as well as skiing, mountain biking, rock climbing and backpacking.

James W. Brunt

Associate Director for Information Management

After a brief stint in the private sector, James rejoined the Network to coordinate the development of the Network Information System, thus continuing a long history with LTER. Beginning as a student technician at the Jornada LTER at NMSU in 1984, he completed a B.S. in Botany and Chemistry there in 1986 and went on to complete a Masters degree in Ecology and Experimental Statistics in 1988. James got his first exposure to data management there while a GRA on the Science Workbench project. In 1989 he went to work for the Sevilleta LTER project as their data manager where he stayed until 1996. While at Sevilleta he was very active in the LTER data management group and international data management efforts'developing training courses and symposia. He has published a number of articles and co-edited a book on data management and ecological informatics and is working on another collaborative book project on ecological data. He has served as a reviewer and panel member for the National Science Foundation, USDA Forest Service, and DOE.

A native of New Mexico, James lives in Albuquerque with his wife, Mariel, and their new son, Will.

John Vande Castle

Associate Director for Technology

John moved from the LTER Network Office in Seattle to his new position as research associate professor in the Biology Department at the University of New Mexico. His research interests focus on spatial and temporal ecosystem dynamics. With a background in terrestrial and aquatic biology as well as computer science and remote sensing, John's main focus in the LTER program is coordinating technology development. This includes integrating new methods and techniques into ecological research, such as new instrumentation, computer applications, information resources and remote sensing techniques.

Christine French

International Programs

Chris says she is an easterner by circumstance, but a westerner by preference. After growing up in Wilmington, Delaware, she worked her way westward as a student at the University of Toronto and the University of Arizona, where she received a B.S.

in zoology in 1970. During her graduate studies in aquatic ecology at the University of California at Santa Barbara, a short break after her MA to work in the Environmental Sciences Program Office at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC, turned into a career and a twenty five year stay in Washington. During that time, she has been active in the local chapters of the ESA, as Secretary-Treasurer, and the Association of Women in Science as Chapter membership chair.

Since 1975, Chris has been a program manager in the Division of International Programs (INT) at the National Science Foundation, working first with the Latin American regional portfolio and later with Western European programs. She was sent by INT to the International LTER workshop that was held in association with the All-Scientists Meeting in 1993, which planted the seed of the idea that she some day might find a way to work with the LTER Network. It took three years, but she finally was able to arrange an 'outbound IPA' assignment from NSF to work on a variety of international initiatives with the Network Office.

Whether she is at the Network Office in Albuquerque, at NSF in Virginia, or anywhere else in the world for that matter, Chris hopes you will contact her if you have any questions or ideas for international research or education.

Robert Waide

Executive Director

A native of Chicago, Bob received an undergraduate degree in Biology from the University of Illinois and advanced degrees in Zoology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His Master's thesis dealt with the ecology of bird communities in rain forest and human-altered habitats in Colombia. He then initiated a doctoral study of the ecological relationships among tropical resident and north temperate migrant birds in the state of Campeche, Mexico.

During a post-doctoral appointment in the Section of Birds at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Pittsburgh, he conducted a study of the foraging and breeding ecology of Myiarchus flycatchers on Cozumel Island.

In 1980, he joined the Terrestrial Ecology Division of the Center for Energy and Environment Research in San Juan, Puerto Rico. He served as Director of the Division (subsequently renamed the Institute for Tropical Ecosystem Studies) from 1982- 1997, and attained the rank of tenured Professor in the School of Natural Sciences of the University of Puerto Rico. He was Principal Investigator of the Luquillo Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) project from 1988 through 1997. He also served as Director of the Puerto Rico Center for Research Excellence in Science and Technology (CREST) from 1995 to 1997.

Bob has served as a reviewer and panel member for the National Science Foundation and as a member of the Advisory Committee for the La Selva Biological Station of the Organization for Tropical Studies. In addition, he has been a peer reviewer for Ecology, The Auk, The Condor, Wilson Bulletin, and the National Geographic Society. His research interests include the structure and dynamics of trophic webs, maintenance of biodiversity, longterm population dynamics of birds, and the influence of natural and anthropogenic disturbance on tropical forest ecosystems. He is author of more than 40 scientific publications and a book. He and his wife, Valli, have two children, Valiangelic and Dayanara.