ILTER holds annual meeting in Israel

Network News Fall 2010, Vol. 23 No. 2

The 2010 International LTER (ILTER) Coordinating Committee meeting took place from August 30 to September 3 at the Jacob Blaustein Institute for Desert Research in Sede Boqer, Israel. The meeting included a science workshop the first two days, featuring presentations on topics ranging from the ecosystem services delivered by 11 sites in the UK to European Biodiversity Observation Network’s (EBONE) research at Israel LTER sites.

The ILTER science agenda currently focuses on ecosystem services, and several countries are participating in a collaborative research project on this topic led by Patrick Bourgeron (NWT), chair of the ILTER Science Committee. Other ILTER projects include:

  • Organize citizen panels via a web-based discussion forum to study socio-ecological interactions and assess how citizen attitudes towards environmental issues vary between ILTER countries (led by Finland)
  • Monitor the ILTER Network and analyze the results to investigate how effectively the network is functioning (led by Spain and Mexico)
  • Link in situ biodiversity data with net primary productivity (NPP) data from satellites to test hypotheses of the Group on Earth Observations Biodiversity Observation Network (GEO BON) program (led by UK)
  • Study the flows of ecosystem services up and down mountains in the North American region (led by USA)
  • Further develop the ILTER site database, (led by Mexico)

Notable highlights from the ILTER business meeting, which was held following the science meeting, were:

  • Portugal’s status as a member of the ILTER network was confirmed
  • Sweden presented a new proposal for LTER-Sweden, which would have 11 LTER and one Long Term Socioecological Research (LTSER) site, and was also accepted as a formal member
  • ILTER Information Management Committee chair Kristin Vanderbilt (SEV) reported on the implementation of an
  • ILTER metadata catalog based on Ecological Metadata Language (EML) and regional Metacat databases to store the metadata
  • The ILTER Public Policy Committee reported that it has developed a new ILTER logo and website (, and will be developing a new communications strategy and implementation plan in the coming year

ILTER reported strong links with other programs, which include the Global Earth Observations System of Systems (GEOSS); the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) International Hydrological Program (IHP); the International Human Dimensions Program on Global Environmental Change (IHDP) Global Land Project; and the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) Climate Change Adaptation Network.

US LTER International Committee changes

The US LTER International Committee, the LTER body charged with liaising with ILTER, had some membership turnover this year. The 10-person committee now comprises:

  • Co-chairs Patrick Bourgeron (NWT) and Kristin Vanderbilt (SEV)
  • Chris Madden (FCE)
  • William McDowell (LUQ)
  • Charles Redman (CAP)
  • Rinku Roy Chowdhury (FCE)
  • Sieglinde Snapp (KBS)
  • Jim Tang (HFR)
  • Tiffany Troxler (FCE)
  • Robert Waide (LUQ/LNO)
  • Kate Lajtha (AND)
  • David Hartnett (KNZ)

continuing to share their international experience as ex-officio members.