Since the establishment of the LTER sites, there has been a consistent vision of knitting the sites together into an intellectual network (Callahan 1984). The LTER Network Office (LNO), which was established in 1983, has continually fostered this network and facilitated scientific advances and development of the community of LTER researchers (Collins, 2012; Waide & Thomas, 2013). LNO supports the triennial All-Scientists Meeting (ASM); annual LTER Science Council meeting; and more frequent meetings of the LTER Executive Board. In addition, the LNO supports a number of focused synthesis activities, including small workshops and training sessions, many of which are initiated by graduate students and post-docs who otherwise may have few opportunities to lead such activities.
Perhaps most importantly, a major emphasis of LNO has been to advance data coordination and establish network-wide database standards. These actions have served to support the synthesis goals of the LTER scientists and have enhanced the availability and utility of LTER datasets for the broader ecological, earth science, and resource management communities. LNO's work in this area also has contributed to the broader landscape of cyberinfrastructure for ecological research.
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