Small seedlings help tell a big story: reflections from an undergraduate researcher

Each summer the KBS LTER supports students to participate in the Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program, funded by the National Science Foundation. This is part of a larger REU and intern program at KBS. Caitlyn Byron, a senior at Baldwin Wallace University in Ohio, writes about her REU experience working with KBS LTER scientists Drs. Tim Dickson and Kay Gross. ~~~ It is a beautiful morning in southwest Michigan, so I pause to take it in as I step out of my apartment. The birds are chirping, I can hear boats zooming across Gull Lake, and the sun is peaking through the

It’s not dirt, it’s SOIL: reflections from an undergraduate researcher

Each summer the KBS LTER supports students to participate in the Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program, funded by the National Science Foundation. This is part of a larger REU and intern program at KBS. Monica Cooper, a senior at Kalamazoo College, writes about her REU experience working with KBS LTER scientists Dr. Sarah Emery and Brad Gottshall.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ It wasn't often that I thought about dirt before starting my Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) this past June. Since then, I have learned that it’s called soil, never dirt, and I have been learning a bit

Workshop helps scientists and journalists improve climate change communication

This piece is authored by David Poulson, Associate Director of MSU's Knight School of Environmental Journalism. It was originally published on July 2, 2013 at http://j-school.jrn.msu.edu/kc/2013/07/02/workshop-helps-scientists-and-journalists-improve-climate-change-communication/. This workshop was a collaboration between the Knight School, the KBS LTER, and the Society of Environmental Journalists. __ Susan White peered through her Skype hookup in Brooklyn at the journalists and scientists gathered on the other end of the connection in West Michigan. “Can I first say hello to

When I heard the learn’d agronomer: a poem about the KBS LTER

Last week we co-hosted a climate change communication workshop at the KBS LTER with the Society of Environmental Journalists and MSU's Knight Center for Environmental Journalism. Bringing together 11 LTER scientists from across the LTER Network and 11 journalists from across the country, we explored ways to enhance communication about climate change. During one of the field tours, Dr. Merryl Alber, Project Director of the Georgia Coastal Ecosystems LTER, was inspired to write the following poem. Dr. Alber is not new to creative writing, having recently published a children's book titled 'And

Data Nuggets: small activities with big impacts for students

Guest blog post by Kellogg Biological Station (KBS) graduate students Liz Schultheis and Melissa Kjelvik  The landscape of science education is undergoing a fundamental shift. Updated standards, to be followed by all science teachers in Michigan, emphasize that science is an active process: instead of the memorization of facts in textbooks, students should be taught the ability to generate new knowledge by testing hypotheses and interpreting data. In other words, students should be taught how to use the scientific method and make arguments from evidence. However, with the scientific

K-12 Partnership teachers travel to Alaska for research experience

In July and August of 2012, three K-12 Partnership teachers traveled to Toolik, Alaska to participate in a research experience as a part of the LTER Math Science Partnership. Marty Buehler from Hastings High School, Mary Grintals from Northeast Middle School, and Lisa Wininger from Plainwell Middle School all made the two-day trip up to Toolik to help collect data for the annual “Toolik Pluck.” The teachers spent long hours in the field and the lab collecting plant, soil, and microbial samples. The teachers flew from Grand Rapids, Michigan to Anchorage, Alaska, and finally to Deadhorse,

Self-guided walking tour opens for season

We are excited to announce that the KBS LTER self-guided Agriculture & Ecology Walking Tour is now open for the season! The walking tour offers a chance for the community to explore the research taking place at our main Long-term Ecological Research experiment site. Visitors can enjoy nature while learning how our scientists are researching ways to help make farming profitable while protecting and enhancing our state’s natural resources. A colorful trail guide leads visitors through 16 stations along the ¾-mile trail that takes about an hour to complete. The trail is open dawn to

KBS LTER research featured in National Geographic

KBS LTER scientists Phil Robertson and Sieglinde Snapp are featured in "Fertilized World," an article examining commercial fertilizer use around the globe, in the May 2013 issue of National Geographic magazine. Read the article online here.

Gi-normous global issues, one little person, and a community of collaboration

Our congratulations to Bonnie McGill, KBS LTER graduate student, who was recently awarded a National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship. We’ve asked Bonnie to write a blog post about her research. Enjoy! The earth and our society face such “gi-normous” problems like climate change, pollution, biodiversity loss, food security—what can a little person like me do about it?  This question has been rolling around inside my head for the last 11 years or so, and it seems like my quest is starting to gain more traction. I’ve narrowed my research focus to water quality,

New tools to measure greenhouse gases

KBS LTER volunteer and retired journalist Bill Krasean reports on new tools we are using to measure greenhouse gases from agricultural lands. His piece was published today in the National LTER Newsletter and reprinted here. When the plants and microbes exhale on the 1,700-acre W. K. Kellogg Biological Station’s hundreds of plots, Sven Bohm, Kevin Kahmark and a team of fellow researchers sniff their breath. Not literally, of course. Rather, using the latest and fastest instruments and software -- much of it based on their own ingenuity -- the team continually samples and analyzes gases