LNO renewal nearly complete

Network News Spring 2009, Vol. 22 No. 1

The renewal of the six-year Cooperative Agreement that supports the LTER Network Office (LNO) is in the final stages of processing at the National Science Foundation (NSF). If all goes smoothly, we hope to have the agreement in place by the time this newsletter goes to press. The Cooperative Agreement will provide funds for activities in four operational areas:

  • Research Synthesis (including Science Council Meetings)
  • Development, Implementation, and Maintenance of Cyberinfrastructure (including further development of the Network Information System)
  • Core Services to the Network and sites (such as facilitation of meetings)
  • Development and Outreach (such as the development of a Network Strategic Communication Plan). 

The scope and priority of activities in each of these operational areas is determined with input from the Executive Board, the National Advisory Board, and LTER standing committees.

The Cooperative Agreement is based on a proposal submitted from the University of New Mexico in March, 2008. After a very successful site visit last September that resulted in a recommendation for full funding, the LNO responded to requests from NSF for adjustments to the proposal budget to match available funds. The Cooperative Agreement will continue LNO operations at current funding levels for the next six years. Additional funding requested in the proposal to support new Decadal Plan activities is still under discussion.

Hard work and careful preparation by LNO staff resulted in this successful renewal of the Cooperative Agreement and the continuation of core services to the LTER Network for another six years. I'd like to extend my appreciation to my colleagues in the LNO for their excellent work and for the many sacrifices that they make in support of the LTER Network. The LNO is dedicated to supporting the collective goals of the LTER Network as effectively as possible. To that end, the Executive Board conducts an annual survey of LTER sites to evaluate the performance of the LNO. This year, the survey will be open to all LTER scientists and students. I look forward to sharing the results of that survey in the next newsletter.