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Division of Environmental Biology

Long-Term Ecological Research Program Description  (LTER)

This program has been archived.
Name Email Phone Room
Nancy  J. Huntly (703) 292-9064  635N  
Matthew  D. Kane (703) 292-7186   


PD 05-7381

Important Information for Proposers

A revised version of the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG) (NSF 16-1), is effective for proposals submitted, or due, on or after January 25, 2016. Please be advised that, depending on the specified due date, the guidelines contained in NSF 16-1 may apply to proposals submitted in response to this funding opportunity.




Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) supports fundamental ecological research that requires long time periods and large spatial scales. This program supports a coordinated network of more than two dozen field sites []. The general mission of LTER is to understand ecological phenomena that occur over long temporal and broad spatial scales; to create a legacy of well-designed and documented ecological experiments; to conduct major syntheses and theoretical efforts; and to provide information necessary for the identification and solution of environmental problems. The LTER network of sites conducts integrated research in five core areas: pattern and control of primary production; spatial and temporal distribution of populations selected to represent trophic structure; pattern and control of organic matter accumulation in surface soils and sediments; patterns of inorganic inputs and movements of nutrients through soils and waters; and patterns, frequency, and effects of disturbance. LTER also supports a Network Office [], whose mission is to coordinate and facilitate information technology development and implementation across the network, to facilitate management of the network, to aid efforts in research synthesis, and to conduct public outreach. LTER field sites represent a diversity of habitats in continental North America, the Caribbean, Pacific Ocean, and the Antarctic, including coral reefs, deserts, estuaries, lakes, prairies, various forests, alpine and Arctic tundra, urban areas and production agriculture. This breadth is possible through coordinated funding from Biological Sciences, Geosciences, Polar Programs, and Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences. Supplemental funding supports the LTER Schoolyard educational program, international collaborative research, and related activities at LTER sites.

LTER does not solicit proposals, except when new LTER sites are initiated and does not accept unsolicited proposals from LTER or non-LTER PIs. For more information and announcements of opportunity, visit the LTER web page [].

Addressing the Ecological Challenges of the 21st Century - video clip

LTER Current Findings

LTER Brochure: Translating Science for Society Broader Impacts of NSF's LTER Program

General LTER Network Brochure

Schoolyard LTER

"The Lost Seal" - a children's book

What Has Been Funded (Recent Awards Made Through This Program, with Abstracts)