Participating Sites

Central Arizona Program

Monica Elser

Central Arizona ProgramThe Central Arizona-Phoenix Long–Term Ecological Research (CAP LTER) project focuses on an arid land ecosystem research profoundly influenced by human activities. Ecology Explorers, the K-12 education outreach component of CAP LTER, provides students and teachers in the Phoenix metropolitan area an opportunity to study the impact of urbanization on our ecosystem.  It encourages scientific literacy and contributes to a better understanding of our desert city.  The program provides teacher professional development workshops, curricula and classroom assistance to schools and also facilitates extracurricular science clubs about urban ecology and sustainability in collaboration with community organizations. Ecology Explorers provides outreach about CAP LTER research to the public at large through interactive exhibits at public events. The goal of all the education and outreach programs is to share CAP LTER research with the public and have the public contribute to CAP LTER. Their other E/O program involves undergraduates and graduate education programs, and the integration of Arts and Humanities initiatives on multiple scales.  They collaborate with local officials to create citizen science projects like the 'Urban Tree Community Science Project' where volunteers work along with scientists in studying and compiling information on how urban trees thrive and grow.


  1. Historical Aerial Photographs: Looking at Change Over Time
  2. Pod Investigation
  3. Plant Diversity
  4. The Web of Inquiry

Harvard Forest

Pam Snow

Harvard ForestSince 1907, an interdisciplinary group of scientists and students at the Harvard Forest have explored the ways biological, physical, and human systems interact to change our earth. Education programs at the Harvard Forest engage learners of all ages, including K-12 groups, university students, private landowners, journalists, environmental professionals, and many others. Through the Harvard Forest Schoolyard Program, now in its 9th year, K-12 teachers learn from Harvard Forest ecologists to conduct hands-on ecological studies in their schoolyards, and to analyze students' long-term datasets. The Harvard Forest Schoolyard program annually engages over 3,500 students and teachers from more than 50 schools in New England, on projects monitoring invasive species, budburst and leaf drop, vernal pools, and long-term forest change.


  1. Analyzing the Data: It's time to tell the story about Buds, Leaves and Global Warming

Konza Prairie

Jill Haukos

Konza Environmental Education ProgramThe Konza Environmental Education Program (KEEP) was developed in 1996 with a mission to enhance the understanding of the ecology of the tallgrass prairie ecosystem and increase public appreciation for the importance of scientific research surrounding its conservation and management. KEEP is headquartered at Konza Prairie Biological Station (KPBS) and consists of 8,600-acres of native tallgrass prairie preserve owned by the Nature Conservancy (TNC) and Kansas State University (KSU). It provides on-site programming to K – 12youth and adult groups. KEEP has served hundreds of community members and volunteers, dozens of classroom educators and thousands of school children by providing public programs, docent training, professional development workshops, science education, and field trips.

Palmer Station 

Beth Simmons

Palmer LTER brings the science and marine ecology of the Southern Ocean along the Western Antarctic Peninsula to the public. Palmer LTER Education and Outreach is dedicated to making available educational opportunities for undergraduates, graduates, K – 12 teachers and students, professionals and the general public. Program emphasis is placed on sustaining broad partnerships with scientists, formal and informal educational facilities and international organizations, as well as local and regional educational professionals to promote science literacy, improve public awareness in Polar science and encourage a better understanding of the effects of climate change along the Western Antarctic Peninsula (WAP).


  1. Time Series: Uncovering the Hidden Processes in Science
  2. Now You Sea Ice Now You Don't: Investigating Penguin Communities Shifting on the Western Antarctic Peninsula

Plum Island Ecosystem

Liz Duff

Plum Island EcosystemEducating the next generation of citizens and scientists and public outreach are integral components of the PIE LTER. Plum Island estuary is an active training ground for undergraduate and graduate students as well as post-doctoral fellows. They participate in all facets of our research. In connection with the Mass Audubon's Salt Marsh Project, we also offer K-12 students and their teachers opportunities to better understand the ecology of estuaries, the value of long-term ecological research and the threats posed by human activities and global change. We also work with numerous non-governmental organizations and local, state and federal agencies to address issues related to population growth, land use change, sea level rise, climate change, water diversions, and river dams.

  1. Where in the Bay?  Investigate How Salinity Impacts the Distribution of Estuarine Fish in the Chesapeake Bay, Maryland
  2. Striper Prey and Salinity

H. J. Andrews

Kari O'Connell

H. J. AndrewsAs the home of an iconic old-growth forest, headwaters of municipal water supplies, and a principal source of knowledge about Pacific Northwest forests, streams, and watersheds, the Andrews Forest LTER attracts the public interest and serves as a stage for lifelong learning. Education efforts involve undergraduate and graduate training, professional development programs for elementary through college instructors, and inspirational experiences for K-12 students. An active collaboration between researchers and natural resource managers promotes the broad application of key findings and the development of the scientific basis for addressing land management challenges. The Andrews Forest actively promotes arts and humanities inquiry into the nature of our forests, streams and selves through the LTEReflections program.

1.  Forest Tea Party