Highlights from the 2004 International LTER Meeting in Brazil

Network News Fall 2004, Vol. 17 No. 2

ILTER 2004 Coordinating Committee meeting took place July 7-9, 2004 in Manaus, Amazonia, Brazil. Of 30 Member Networks, 12 were represented at the meeting.

Eun-Shik Kim of the Korean network proposed an ILTER symposium at the August 2005 INTECOL (the International Society for Ecology) meeting in Montreal, to be held in conjunction with the Ecological Society of America annual meeting. The theme of the meeting is “Ecology at Multiple Scales.” For more information about INTECOL see the website: www.intecol.net.

Július Oszlányi, representative from the Slovak Republic, presented information on the ALTER-NET project, which has been funded by the EU for five years, including €750,000 for new proposals. See http://www.alter-net.info/ for more information.

Evandrino Barros gave a presentation on a digital library system constructed for data exchange within the Brazilian ILTER Network. The digital library is based on open technologies for database and web distribution. The library is based on metadata which itself is based on standard Ecological Metadata Language, which is XML based and used by the larger ecological community as a standard. His presentation is available on the meeting Web site (see address below).

Frances Li of the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) gave a background on the current status of U.S. funding for the International LTER Network. Li says the NSF envisions a network in which responsibility and initiative is more widely distributed. This vision was discussed at the 2003 LTER All Scientists meeting (Seattle, Washington, U.S.A.). The goal is to have the ILTER Network become more autonomous with a diversity of funding sources and more active participation by more of the member countries in data management activities, workshops, and international collaborative research. Funding for the newly established U.S. LTER International Committee has been approved for a period of two years. This funding includes a coordinator for the ILTER Network. The current two-year period is seen as a transition while the ILTER Network develops a plan for sustainable funding and staffing of the ILTER coordinator function.

At the meeting, the ILTER Coordinating Committee worked to revise the ILTER policy document, including the ILTER bylaws, to prepare them for a vote for adoption by the Committee. The wording was very difficult and generated much discussion. There was not a quorum present for a vote, and the bylaws will be open for further discussion and final vote. The current version of the ILTER policy document, including the ILTER vision, mission, goals, and bylaws is available on the ILTER website at www.ilternet.edu.

Manuel Maass presented plans for the 2005 Coordinating Committee Meeting. The meeting is now planned for Colima, Mexico at the end of October. The University of Colima has agreed to help host the meeting, located on the Pacific Coast of Mexico.

For complete meeting notes, representatives’ presentations, contact information for attendees, and photos, see http://www.ilternet.edu/meetings/