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

KBS LTER Graduate Student Fellowships for 2014

MSU grad students: multiple fellowship opportunities are now available! The KBS LTER has year-long and summer funding available. The KBS GK-12 program is accepting fellows for their sustainable biofuels education program, which helps grads gain skills in science communication and education. Application information available at: http://lter.kbs.msu.edu/get-involved/job-openings/

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.

2013 KBS LTER All Scientist Meeting

   The focus of this year’s KBS LTER annual All Scientist Meeting is science communication, a topic of increasing importance in this socio-political climate. In the morning we will have research updates from our lead scientists and a keynote address from Arthur Lupia, entitled, "Communicating Science in Politicized Environments: Lessons from the Study of Attention, Elaboration, and Source Credibility". We’ve also recruited communication advisors who will help us brainstorm creative, effective ways to communicate our science to the following groups: interested citizens (Dave