Long-term ecological research relies on many types of measurements, which are subject to many types of uncertainty. Understanding uncertainty is important to establishing confidence in change over time and comparisons across sites. Uncertainty analyses can help to improve efficiency in ecosystem monitoring efforts, allowing sampling designs to maximize information gained relative to the resources required for data collection and analysis.
QUEST (Quantifying Uncertainty in Ecosystem Studies) is a Research Coordination Network established to better address the issue of uncertainty in biogeochemical studies (www.quantifyinguncertainty.org). The goal of this workshop is to invite LTER researchers to contribute to uncertainty analyses. We will have one hour of short presentations on approaches to uncertainty in estimating nutrient pools and fluxes (precipitation, stream water, soils and forest biomass). The second hour will be devoted to discussion of these issues. We expect to attract new collaborators for ongoing efforts and also to define new topics for analysis. Researchers from LTER and other long-term research sites will be invited to participate in a survey on how various sources of uncertainty are handled. Please check back here or on the QUEST web site for a link to the survey.