This volume explores the challenges of sustaining long-term ecological research through a historical analysis of the Long Term Ecological Research Program created by the U.S. National Science Foundation in 1980. The book examines reasons for the creation of the Program, an overview of its 40-year history, and in-depth historical analysis of selected sites. Themes explored include the broader impact of this program on society, including its relevance to environmental policy and understanding global climate change, the challenge of extending ecosystem ecology into urban environments, and links to creative arts and humanities projects. A major theme is the evolution of a new type of network science, involving comparative studies, innovation in information management, creation of socio-ecological frameworks, development of governance structures, and formation of an International Long Term Ecological Research Network with worldwide reach. The book's themes will interest historians, philosophers and social scientists interested in ecological and environmental sciences, as well as researchers across many disciplines who are involved in long-term ecological research.
List of Abbreviations
1 Introduction / Sharon E. Kingsland and Robert B. Waide
Part I. Background and General Overview of the LTER program
2 The Origins, Early Aspects, and Development of the Long Term Ecological Research Program / Sharon E. Kingsland, Jerry F. Franklin, and Robert B. Waide
3 Long-term Dynamics of the LTER Program: Evolving Definitions and Composition / Julia Jones and Michael Paul Nelson
4 Sustaining Long-term Ecological Research: Perspectives from Inside the LTER Program / Merryl Alber, John Blair, Charles Driscoll, Hugh Ducklow, Timothy Fahey, William R. Fraser, John E. Hobbie, David M. Karl, Sharon E. Kingsland, Alan Knapp, Edward Rastetter, Timothy Seastedt, Gaius Shaver, and Robert B. Waide
Part II. An In-depth Perspective on Selected Sites: History, Foundations, and Partnerships
5 The Luquillo Experimental Forest: A Neotropical Example of the Interaction between Forest Conservation and Long-term Ecological Research / Ariel E. Lugo
6 Ecological Theory and Practice in Two Arid and Semi-arid Ecosystems: A Tale of Two LTER Sites / Debra P.C. Peters
7 Cold War Origins of Long-term Ecological Research in Alaska / Sharon E. Kingsland
Part III. Experiments in Broadening the Social Significance of LTER
8 How LTER Site Communities Can Address Major Environmental Challenges / Frederick J. Swanson, David R. Foster, Charles T. Driscoll, Jonathan R. Thompson, and Lindsey E. Rustad
9 Seeing the Invisible Present and Place: From Years to Centuries with Lake Ice from Wisconsin to the Northern Hemisphere / John J. Magnuson
10 Evolution of Social-Ecological Research in the LTER Network and the Baltimore Ecosystem Study / J. Morgan Grove and Steward T.A. Pickett
11 Integration of the Arts and Humanities with Environmental Science in the LTER Network / Mary Beth Leigh, Michael Paul Nelson, Lissy Goralnik, and Frederick J. Swanson
Part IV. The Importance of Community in the Evolution of a Research Network
12 History of Comparative Research and Synthesis in the LTER Network / John J. Magnuson and Robert B. Waide
13 A Retrospective of Information Management in the Long Term Ecological Research Program / Susan G. Stafford
14 Network Level Science, Social-Ecological Research, and the LTER Planning Process / Scott L. Collins
15 Evolving Governance in the U.S. Long Term Ecological Research Network / Ann Zimmerman and Peter M. Groffman
16 Understanding the Fundamental Principles of Ecosystems through a Global Network of Long-term Ecological Research Sites / Robert B. Waide and Kristin Vanderbilt
Robert B. Waide is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Biology at the University of New Mexico. As Senior Scientist at the Center for Energy and Environment Research (University of Puerto Rico), he was one of the founding Lead Principal Investigators (with Ariel Lugo) of the Luquillo Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) project from 1988–1997. He was Executive Director of the LTER Network Office in Albuquerque, New Mexico, from 1997–2016 and in this role, he was a member of the LTER Executive Board, Science Council, and most of the LTER standing committees. He continues his association with the LTER Network as a scientist with the Luquillo LTER and as a member of the Environmental Data Initiative. Books that he has published include Ecological Gradient Analyses in a Tropical Landscape (2013); A Caribbean Forest Tapestry: The Multidimensional Nature of Disturbance and Response (2012); and The Food Web of a Tropical Rain Forest (1996).
Sharon E. Kingsland is Professor Emeritus in the Department of History of Science and Technology at the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. She has been writing about the history of ecology and related sciences for over forty years and has published two books on the history of ecology: Modeling Nature: Episodes in the History of Population Ecology (2nd ed., 1995), and The Evolution of American Ecology, 1890–2000 (2005). She continues her interests in the history of ecological science and is currently writing a book on the history of physiological ecology.