Monday, May 20, 2013

A windy winter workshop at the Sevilleta

Amber Churchill is a PhD student working at the Niwot Ridge LTER in Colorado. During her master’s work she conducted research at Bonanza Creek LTER, and her introduction to ecology was through an REU position at Harvard Forest. Having seen these northern LTER sites, she was most excited to experience a desert/grassland system at the Sevilleta LTER for the WEWoG meeting.

Winter ecology working group (WEWoG) meeting at Sevilleta LTER
Day 1: Arrival and introductions
Participants of the winter ecology working group, organized at the All-Scientist Meeting in September 2012 and funded to meet again via a synthesis grant from the LTER Network Office,, gathered in March for the first of two meetings in preparation for a cross site comparison looking at the ecological effects of winter at LTER sites across the US. Our group came from diverse backgrounds, ranging from statisticians to plant ecologists, and included one post doc and nine graduate students. Things started off quickly with a fabulous dinner, and then sharing background information about our respective LTER sites in the context of a paper on winter ecology that inspired our thinking on the subject (Kreyling, 2010). As the wind whistled around us (and the sand storms made for a hazy sunset) we started our schedule for the weekend.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Fostering cross-site interaction and collaboration.

CCE-MCR-SBC LTER Graduate Symposium held in at La Jolla, CA
by: Daniel K. Okamoto, Santa Barbara Coastal LTER

Socio-emotive interactions can yield high-powered collaborations in ecology [1].  Specifically, organic formation of collaboration or sharing of ideas between scientists often takes place over a casual meal or a drink that can fertilize unrealized and potentially powerful growth of shared ideas. 

For graduate students yet to make a name for themselves, initiation of such networking requires a forum and the provision of time and space for social and scientific interaction.    To provide a forum for imbibing interaction and the sharing of research, the CCE LTER hosted the SBC and MCR graduate students for a full day graduate symposium on marine LTER research at Scripps Institute of Oceanography in La Jolla, CA.  Participants included nearly all affiliated graduate students from three universities on March 16, 2013.   Geographic coverage of research included Antarctica, Moorea (French Polynesia), and Southern California marine ecosystems and universities represented included UC San Diego, UC Santa Barbara, and CSU Northridge.