National Science Foundation Forum to Address Ecological Connectivity and Climate in a Changing World
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:
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.
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) 2017, its budget is $7.5 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and other institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 48,000 competitive proposals for funding and makes about 12,000 new funding awards.
Useful NSF Web Sites: