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Media Advisory 09-003
National Science Foundation Forum to Address Ecological Connectivity and Climate in a Changing World

Photo of the Canyonlands National Park which endured extreme wind erosion during the 2001 drought.

Scientists are researching the effects of drought at several LTER sites in the U.S. West.
Credit and Larger Version

February 5, 2009

On Thursday, Feb. 26, 2009, the National Science Foundation (NSF) will host its 8th annual Mini-Symposium on Long-Term Ecological Research, or LTER.

This year's forum focuses on ecological connectivity and climate.

We live in an increasingly connected world. In an ecological context, connectivity is defined as the transfer of organisms and materials by wind, water, humans and animals among interconnected locations.

In this symposium, LTER scientists will discuss new thinking about ecological systems, and about sampling strategies to account for changes on local, regional, continental and global scales.

A connectivity framework is helping LTER scientists address such phenomena as increasing frequency of floods, widespread drought, emergence and re-emergence of infectious diseases, the spread of invasive species and magnification of pollutants in ecosystems.

The focus of the symposium will be on how this connectivity framework is helpful for addressing climate change and its effects on sea level rise, the transport of air and water pollutants and increasing agricultural pests.

Analysis of these effects over the next 10 to 30 years will be aided, scientists believe, by a new framework for coupled social and ecological science currently being developed by the LTER Network and by increased collaboration with environmental observatories in the U.S. and around the world.

The symposium will feature talks on such topics as:

  • ecological connectivity in a changing world
  • the coastal nexus of environments: where land and sea interact
  • the airshed: connecting air, land and water
  • hydrologic connectivity, climate change and nutrient delivery to waters from lakes to the sea
  • connectivity and species change
  • how dust shapes ecosystems
  • biofuels and biodiversity: linking landscape change and ecosystem services
Who:LTER Scientists
What:Mini-Symposium on results of long-term ecological research
When:Thursday, February 26, 2009, 8:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.
Where:National Science Foundation, 4201 Wilson Blvd., Room 110, Arlington, VA 22230

Background

NSF's LTER Network comprises 26 sites located primarily in the U.S., but with a geographic span from the Arctic and Antarctic to the tropics. The sites represent Earth's major ecosystems, and include grasslands, forests, tundra, urban areas, agricultural systems, freshwater lakes, coastal estuaries and salt marshes, coral reefs, coastal zones and the open sea.

Please see the detailed agenda.

-NSF-

Media Contacts
Cheryl Dybas, NSF, (703) 292-7734, cdybas@nsf.gov

Related Websites
LTER Network: http://www.lternet.edu
NSF Directorate for Biological Sciences: http://www.nsf.gov/bio
NSF Directorate for Geosciences: http://www.nsf.gov/dir/index.jsp?org=GEO
NSF Office of Polar Programs: http://www.nsf.gov/dir/index.jsp?org=OPP
NSF Directorate for Social, Behavioral & Economic Sciences: http://www.nsf.gov/dir/index.jsp?org=SBE

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. In fiscal year (FY) 2014, its budget is $7.2 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and other institutions. Each year, NSF receives about 50,000 competitive requests for funding, and makes about 11,500 new funding awards. NSF also awards about $593 million in professional and service contracts yearly.

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Photo of a scientist studying the organisms that make up a coral reef.
A scientist at the Moorea Coral Reef LTER site studies the organisms that make up a coral reef.
Credit and Larger Version



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