Trends in Long-Term Ecological Research: Opportunities and challenges
Studies in ecology through NSF's Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) network are increasingly recognized as critical to understanding short-term patterns and long-term ecosystem dynamics.Data from these studies are needed, say scientists, to distinguish natural variability in ecosystems from human-caused effects.
Scientists taking part in this session will review how long-term data are synthesized from a variety of ecosystem types for various ecological and social-science problems.An ongoing effort among several federal agencies to synthesize long-term data will be highlighted.
Tues., Aug. 8, 8-10 p.m., Ballroom C, Ballroom Level.
Landscapes and Human Behavior: We like it "green"
At NSF's Central Arizona-Phoenix LTER site, one of 26 such NSF LTER sites, researchers David Casagrande of Western Illinois University and Scott Yabiku of Arizona State University installed residential landscapes near 24 of 152 urban housing units. They wanted to explore how the surrounding landscape affects people's perceptions and behavior. Since human behavior in turn transforms the environment, say the scientists, interaction between people and their environment is important.
In a poster session on urban ecology, Casagrande and Yabiku will present results of their research. They found environmental surroundings play a significant role in human social interaction, either by fostering social contact, or acting as a barrier.The study will run until 2010, but results suggest that people prefer a lush landscape conducive to recreation and social networking over an arid landscape.
Weds, Aug. 9, 5:00-6:30 p.m., Exhibit Hall, Ballroom Level.
Unifying Theories in Community Ecology
A scientific field matures as its theoretical underpinnings consolidate around unified theories. Ecologists Sam Scheiner of NSF and
Contact: Cheryl Dybas
National Science Foundation