Update on Graduate Student work in the LTER Network

Network News Spring 2007, Vol. 20 No. 1

In December 2006, Chelsea Crenshaw (SEV) completed her 2-year tenure as a LTER graduate student co-chair and John Kominoski (CWT) was elected to replace her. During her tenure, Chelsea helped organize the First LTER Collaborative Graduate Student Symposium (held in April 2005 at AND). She also co-chaired a second student symposium with Amy Burgin (KBS) at the September 2006 All-Scientists Meeting (ASM) at Estes Park, CO. We thank Chelsea for the hard work, dedication, and energy she put in promoting the graduate student community.

To keep the LTER community up to date with the diversity and quality of graduate student work, we provide a few highlights from various LTER sites.

At the second annual Grad Student Symposium held during the ASM in 2006, graduate students held eight workshops covering a variety of topics. One session led by John Kominoski (CWT) and Becky Ball (CWT) and comprising graduate students from eight LTER sites, received funding for a subsequent workshop to examine network-wide trends pertaining to the effects of changes in terrestrial plant communities on ecosystem functions of aquatic ecosystems. Graduate students Heather Adams (ARC), Amy Burgin (KBS), Hongyu Guo (GCE), Stuart Jones (NTL), Evan Kane (BNZ), Terry Loecke (KBS), Wendy Mahaney (KBS), Chelse Prather (LUQ), Todd Robinson (KBS), Dan Sobota (AND), Chris Solomon (NTL) attended the the workshop held from April 19-22, 2007, at KBS.

Ketil Koo-Jakobsen (PIE) has found that anammox is occurring, but at very low rates compared to denitrification, in coastal marshes and that denitrification rates are significantly higher under fertilized conditions.

Joe Thouin (PIE) is studying the influence of dissolved organic carbon and oxygen levels on nitrate dynamics in headwater streams of the Ipswich and Parker Rivers. His data suggest that within these systems oxygen concentrations dominate net ecosystem response (nitrate production vs. uptake), while dissolved organic carbon concentrations influence the magnitude of this response.

Becki Witherow (MCM) received a research grant from the Geological Society of America to study trace element behavior in Taylor Valley lakes and streams.

Karen Cozetto (MCM) received an outreach grant from the University of Colorado-Boulder to work with a non-profit group on stream restoration monitoring activities.

Stu Levenbach (SBC) is one of two new Knauss Fellows from California (California Sea Grant) who joined 42 other winners in Washington, D.C. for a year-long mentoring program in federal marine policy. Stu has been placed with Republican staff on the Senate's Commerce Committee, which includes Olympia Snowe (Maine) and Ted Stevens (Alaska).

Courtney Meier (NWT) attended a post-ASM polyphenol workshop in Corvallis, Oregon, where a group of ecologists and chemists hashed out analytical challenges and experimental goals relevant to questions dealing with the ecological roles of phenolics. The workshop was relevant to his research investigating how low molecular weight and tannin phenolics from leaf litter and roots influence soil carbon and nitrogen turnover in alpine plant communities.