The Value of, and Challenges for Long Term Ecological Research

Network News Fall 2012, Vol. 25 No. 3
ASM Reports
Presented by Michael P. Nelson, Oregon State University

“A healthy relationship with nature requires ecological knowledge.”

Michael Nelson is the co-founder and co-director of the Conservation Ethics Group, a senior fellow for the Spring Creek Project for Nature, Ideas, and the Written Word, and the Lead Principal Investigator for the H.J. Andrews (AND) Long Term Ecological Research site at Oregon State University.Nelson’s presentation could be viewed as a defense of long term ecological research, forcefully argued through an exploration of several intriguing points about the value and challenges of long term ecological research. He cautioned, however, that not everything that ecologists are interested takes time, for example, spacial distribution of a species. While the value of LTER to science might be relatively easy to demonstrate, he asked, “what about the importance of LTER to society?”  Nelson noted the importance of LTER in providing a “sense of place,” which he described as the point of connection between ecological science and environmental ethics. “It takes time to get to know a place in order to tell its story.”

Watch Dr. Nelson’s presentation of The Value of, and Challenges for Long Term Ecological Research.

By Danielle Stevens (LNO)