Welcoming our new Science Coordinator, Nameer Baker

We are excited to welcome Nameer Baker to the KBS LTER community. He joins us as the new Science Coordinator, and to get to know him better we sat him down (virtually) to answer a few questions! What’s your research background and interests? My background is in microbial ecology. My postdoc focused on microbes in the rhizosphere of switchgrass growing in marginal soil, and my PhD focused on litter decomposer communities in Mediterranean ecosystems. I was originally drawn to microbes because of their ubiquity - I wanted to study problems that were facing human society, and so many

A message from our Director about research during the Covid-19 pandemic

Nicholas Haddad, Department of Integrative Biology, Kellogg Biological Station Like everyone, we at KBS LTER are navigating difficult terrain with restrictions due to Covid-19. We have delayed some of our biggest new projects until next year. We will be missing our vibrant REU program and many other undergraduate students who typically come to live for the summer at KBS. Our most important concern is to maintain health and safety. We are able to continue some research. In particular, MSUs Vice President has identified as high priority long-term research, for which a lapse in maintenance

Join the Kellogg Biological Station community for a celebration of art and science

Richland, MI – What happens when one combines science and art? Scientists and other members of the W.K. Kellogg Biological Station community have spent the past several months exploring this question, and are gathering next month to showcase and celebrate the results of that exploration. The public is invited to the free event, called the Allurement Salon, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 7, in the Richland Community Hall, located at 8985 Gull Road, across from the Richland Harding’s Market. The salon will feature expressions of research and the natural world through original

Educators gather for Soil Health Field Day at KBS

The following post is by Ava Garrison, graduate student in Jeffrey Conner's lab and Science Education and Outreach Fellow at the Kellogg Biological Station. Sarah Evans and Corinn Rutkoski use a rainfall simulator to show how different soil treatments can affect water runoff and groundwater. Educators from across Michigan gathered at KBS for the 2019 LTER Soil Health Field Day, which took place on Wednesday, September 11. The day began with the driving question: how can we as educators share soil health science with our students? The attendees, who were educators from all grade levels

New book delves into the lives of the world’s rarest butterflies

Conservation biologist Nick Haddad didn't set out to study rare butterflies. His undergraduate studies didn't focus on butterflies at all. Yet the plight of the St. Francis' Satyr, a butterfly so scarce that it's found in artillery ranges at a single military base in North Carolina, intrigued him and set in motion a decades-long search to find the world's rarest butterflies and determine how best to aid in their recovery. In his new book, "The Last Butterflies: A Scientist's Quest to Save a Rare and Vanishing Creature," Haddad chronicles the stories of six extremely rare

On Data and Reverie: A Farmer and Writer-in-Residence at the KBS LTER

Erin Schneider, farmer writer in residence at KBS. A blooming redbud tree flashed a profusion of pink outside the large windows in the W.K. Kellogg Biological Station’s Terrace Room. Inside, vases of freshly-picked plants spiffed up the small tables set around the room: milkweed, wood sorrel, garlic mustard, purple dead nettle, dame’s rocket, and motherwort. The bouquets were more than decoration; they were little collections of inspiration from a week spent exploring the lands, people and research at the W.K. Kellogg Biological Station. Self-described “people, plants and dirt-lover”

Seeking a more resilient agriculture: the next chapter for the KBS LTER program

Imagine for a moment a Midwestern agricultural landscape in late August that has not seen rain in weeks. Some corn fields remain green, showing no sign of a moisture deficit while other fields have curled leaves, plants starting to yellow. Belowground, microbial communities between the fields are acting differently, too, some biding their time until a pulse of rain puts them in motion while others continue their work. Under the same climate and soils, why is one field more resilient to the stress of drought? What about that field helps it to remain productive? In the midst of global

KBS LTER field tour for investigators on Sept. 25

The 2015 KBS LTER Fall Field Tour for Investigators is scheduled for Friday, September 25, at 4 p.m. at KBS. Guided tours of LTER and GLBRC field experiments will be followed by an evening barbecue. During the event, you'll have opportunity to tour field experiments, hear some research presentations, and meet with colleagues, old and new. To register (required), please rsvp to Dr. Neville Millar, LTER Science Coordinator, millarn@msu.edu.

When science meets policy: a grad student’s experience on the Hill

Every year the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and the Soil Science Society of America (ASA-CSSA-SSSA) hold a Congressional Visits Day (CVD) in Washington, D.C. during appropriations season. The goal is to have a strong presence of faculty, students, and crop advisors advocating for agricultural and natural resources research on Capitol Hill. This past March, I had the opportunity to participate in the 2014 CVD. I was one of 18 students who received a Future Leader in Science Award, which included an all expense paid trip to D.C. Awardees were chosen based

KBS LTER graduate students lead hands-on activities at MSU’s second annual science festival

By Bonnie McGill, KBS LTER graduate student Three LTER graduate students—Erin Haramoto, Christine Sprunger, and myself—spent this past Saturday in Lansing at MSU’s second annual SciFest (http://sciencefestival.msu.edu).  The week long festival brings scientists out of their labs, away from their computer screens, and in from the field so they can share their excitement in and knowledge of science with the public.  Us three LTER students shared two scientific concepts near and dear to every KBS LTER-er: soil conservation and aquatic food webs.  Erin and Christine brought