Colorado mountains
From Long-Term Data to Understanding: Toward a Predictive Ecology
2015 LTER ASM Estes Park, CO - August 30 - September 2, 2015

Engagement of Arts and Humanities in LTER Sites and Programs

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Over the past decade a strong working group concerned with engaging arts/humanities in LTER site programs has emerged.  We held workshops at the previous three ASMs, convened a workshop at AND in May 2011 with 12 LTER sites (plus 2 non-LTER sites) participating, established a webpage ( for sharing activity profiles for more than 20 sites, helped spread the work to sites beyond LTER, and exhibit art at NSF, ESA, and ASM.  Additionally, in June 2015, we held an NSF-funded workshop convening experts in arts, humanities and science engagement from across the U.S. from a diverse array of LTER sites, field stations, agencies and institutions. A common theme has been engaging arts and humanities in sustained (taking the long view), place-based interpretation and public communications rooted in LTER sites.  This work can be part of outreach and education programs, but it is also considered as primary inquiry.  Media involved include visual arts of many forms, creative non-fiction, fiction, performance, and music of both European and indigenous roots.  Disciplinary areas include the arts, environmental history, philosophy (especially environmental ethics), literature, and history of science.  Through this workshop, we aim to expand the depth and breadth of interdisciplinary efforts and to map a path forward in which the arts and humanities contribute not only to scientific outreach and education efforts, but also to fundamental inquiry and analyses of the grand challenges facing ecosystems and social-ecological systems. The working group sessions will address:  1. What is the current status of this work, including brief presentations from a sampling of programs?  2. How do we foster this work at our own sites and as a network?  3. What do we want to accomplish?  4. How should we administrate ourselves as a working group in the coming few years (e.g., continue grassroots or get more organized)? 5. What are next important steps to take in this work both thematically (e.g., begin inter-site arts/humanities) and in terms of institutional arrangement (e.g., with NSF, NEA, private foundations, …)?  6. What would people like to see from an RCN program (proposal planned for Aug 2015 submission)?  The first of the two sessions requested will be a whole-group discussion to share information about developments in and beyond LTER and discussion of how programs are organized, funded, and conducted.  The second session will be focused on the work outlined in the RCN proposal.  We expect to encourage poster presentations of programmatic aspects of this work and also organize a digital display of art on flat screens in the large poster-display hall at ASM. 

This session will be in a combination of formats: Brainstorming and Information Exchange that is Product Oriented

Mary Leigh
Frederick Swanson
Lindsey Rustad
Clarisse Hart
Number of 2 hour sessions requested: 
Equipment requested: 
LCD projector, 2 flip charts with marking pens (one for agenda, one for note taking)
Additional Comments: 
We expect to have digital display of arts/humanities materials on flat screens during the meeting and there may be posters with more programmatic information on individual site programs.
Working Group Reports
Participant list: 
Room Assignment: 
Ruesch Auditorium - Sweet (Capacity 50)