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Brown and OTS will jointly manage new ILTER network secretariat

The International Long Term Ecological Research (ILTER) network has established its first secretariat, to be managed jointly by the Global Environment Program at Brown Universitys Watson Institute for International Studies and by the Organization for Tropical Studies (OTS) in San Jos, Costa Rica. The secretariat will provide organizational support to this international network of environmental monitoring sites, which generates data essential to detecting, interpreting and understanding environmental change.

Founded in 1993 and based on the success of the U.S. Long Term Ecological Research network, ILTER has functioned as a loosely organized association of country-based and regional research networks. Membership in ILTER now includes more than 34 countries; the need for independent long-term environmental research is more urgent than ever. At the 2006 network meeting in Namibia, members voted to establish a secretariat with the purpose of developing an organizational structure and budget to build a sustainable approach to supporting the organization.

Steve Hamburg, the Ittleson Associate Professor of Environmental Studies at Brown, is co-directing the secretariat with Jorge Arturo Jimnez, director of OTS in Costa Rica. Describing the need for long-term monitoring and research, Hamburg says, Theres lots of change occurring as a function of technology, affluence and population growth, but it becomes hard for individuals whether they be researchers or laypeople to understand the nature of that change. Just within our own lifetimes, we see things differently. We perceive a change or we perceive stability, when that is not necessarily what is happening. Even at well-known sites, long-term data is the key to identifying important environmental changes changes
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Contact: Martha Downs
martha_downs@brown.edu
401-863-2752
Brown University
5-Dec-2006


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