Short Stories About Long Term Research is a blog created by graduate students involved in long term ecological research as a way to share our research experiences with each other and the public. The graduate students that follow and contribute to this site come from a variety of specialized fields, so our goal is to try and communicate with everyone the science behind our research, what our research involves, and some of the fun experiences we’ve had doing research along the way – all in everyday, understandable language. If you are at all interested in what it’s like to do research science on an everyday basis in dramatically different conditions, from the freezing Antarctic to the windswept Rocky Mountains or out on a ship in the Pacific Ocean, then this blog is for you.
What is long term ecological research, you might be wondering? Well, scientific research requires funding (i.e. money) and so the vast majority of scientific research revolves around funding cycles which are typically less than 3 years. This amount of time is not nearly sufficient to study changes in ecosystems that often take place on the order of decades or even longer. The advantage of having long-term research sites located throughout the US, and internationally, is that it allows scientists to monitor changes in different ecosystems over much longer time scales (think 10+ years!), giving us much more insight into what is happening to the flora, fauna, and atmosphere around us as the world changes.
The creators and current editors of the blog are Ali Freibott, Christie Yorke, and Stella Swanson. If you are an LTER graduate student who wants to contribute to the blog, please contact us! Also, if you have any questions, comments, or just want to tell us how much you love this blog, feel free to send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We can’t guarantee rapid responses since we all have day jobs, but we’ll try and get back to you as quickly as we can.