What A Long Strange Trip It’s Been: Lessons Learned From NASA EOS, LTER, NEON, CZO And On To The Future With Sustainable Research Networks

Thursday, 18 December 2014: 3:25 PM
Mark W Williams, Univ Colorado, Boulder, CO, United States
The traditional, small-scale, incremental approach to environmental science is changing as researchers embrace a more integrated and multi-disciplinary approach to understanding how our natural systems work today and how they may respond in the future to forcings such as climate change. In situ networks are evolving in response to these challenges so as to provide the appropriate measurements to develop high-resolution spatial and temporal data sets across a wide range of platforms from microbial measurements to remote sensing. These large programs provide a unique set of challenges when compared to more traditional programs. Here I provide insights learned from my participation in a number of large programs, including NASA EOS, LTER, CZO, NEON, and WSC and how those experiences in environmental science can help us move forward towards more applied applications of environmental science, including sustainability initiatives. I’ll chat about the importance of managerial and management skills, which most of us scientists prefer to avoid. I’ll also chat about making decisions about what long-term measurements to make and when to stop. Data management is still the weakest part of environmental networks; what needs to be done. We have learned that these networks provide an important knowledge base that can lead to informed decisions leading to environmental, energy, social and cultural sustainability.