Ten-Year Review of the National Science Foundation Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) Program
I am pleased to release the Ten-Year Review of the National Science Foundation Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) Program. The report was commissioned by the Biological Sciences Directorate. and prepared by a special committee comprised of ten leading scientists from the United States and three other countries. At a time when stresses on the environment and demands for a more amenable and sustainable environment are undergoing sharp simultaneous increases, it is of great importance to provide better understanding of the structure and function of the ecological systems upon which humankind depends. It is toward that broad goal that the LTER Network has been directed and dedicated. This evaluation study was specifically directed toward appraising the first decade of performance of LTER from the perspectives of both the individual research projects and the Network as a whole. As such, this study and its report provide an example of accountability in the arena of federally supported research. The special committee was also asked to identify opportunities for change and development to assist in planning for the future of LTER.