LTER Grads blog about science

Network News Spring 2013, Vol. 26 No. 1
Network News

In September 2012, hundreds of graduate students from across the Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) Network came together to collaborate and learn from one another and from other researchers from across a wide variety of disciplines, backgrounds, and study areas at the LTER All Scientists Meeting in Estes Park, CO. The students reveled in the rare opportunity to interact with each other in a more social environment, rather than the purely scientific climes to which they are accustomed at their stations. They discussed the many facets of their research and shared stories about fieldwork, as well as their role in fostering collaboration among students at various LTER sites.

It was at ASM that the LTER student blog was born. Borrowing from a blog crafted by students at the Florida Coastal Everglades LTER program called Wading Through Research, students at the meeting launched their own network-wide blog called LTER: Desert to Tropics, Mountains to Coasts.  The LTER student blog is primarily a forum where students can share stories and pictures from the field and discuss research and life as students affiliated with LTER.

We hope that the blog posts will help students of all ages, seasoned researchers, and society as a whole get a sense of the important role that graduate students play in the LTER network and the scientific community in general. To date, the blogs have received thousands of views, with visitors treated to such interesting topics as  “camping in the McMurdo Dry Valleys of Antarctica,” “life at sea for 30 days,” “the ‘pristine’ grassland,” “antelopes versus field equipment,”  “the joys of boating and flying through the swamp,” “and the ecology of your ‘backyard’.” Over time we expect the blog to grow by encompassing more students from more sites and disciplines in our never ending efforts to engage and educate society about the importance of science and long-term research.