Grad Students Get Teaching Publication With LTER Data

Network News Fall 2005, Vol. 18 No. 2

Graduate students at Cedar Creek and Konza are authors of several TIEE (Teaching Issues and Experiments in Ecology) "Data Sets". In the process, these students have learned a good deal about inquiry teaching and added a peer-reviewed Ecological Society of America (ESA) electronic publication to their vitas. TIEE ( is funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and designed to help busy ecology faculty improve their teaching.

TIEE's LTER data sets include Microsoft Excel files with data representative of the site that help undergraduate and graduate students learn ecological concepts, and about ecology as a science. In Joe Fargione and Dave Tilman's data set, Effects of Plant Biodiversity on Ecosystem Productivity within a Savannah Grassland Community, students work with seven years of data to examine effects of diversity on productivity. And in Jesse Nipper and John Blair's Comparing the Influence of Precipitation, Fire, and Topography on Plant Productivity in the Tallgrass Prairie students examine the interactive effects of fire frequency, topography and inter-annual variation in precipitation on the annual productivity of grasses and forbs. There are also data sets from the Arctic and North Temperate Lakes sites.

Please email Charlene D'Avanzo ( with questions about writing an LTER data set for TIEE. Our evaluation shows that TIEE is widely used and very highly valued by ecology faculty. TIEE can also be used to meet criterion 2 in NSF proposals.