A couple weeks ago, we (Sam and Carly) were invited to sit in with various grad students talking to the LTER review board about their experiences working at Hubbard Brook. In exchange, we received a free lunch, brownie included. Because we were thrown into the mix at the last minute, it wasn't until after this meeting that we found out what LTER actually means. LTER stands for Long Term Ecological Research, which is a program that studies ecological projects over time scales spanning decades to centuries. They focus on ecological changes and attempt to predict future responses to change. LTER currently consists of 26 sites, one of which is Hubbard Brook. They receive most of their funding from the NSF (National Science Foundation) and federal agencies such as the USDA Forest Service, NASA, etc.
The review board was here to evaluate Hubbard Brook as an LTER site, which happens every few years. The meeting was mostly for the grad students, with the reviewers asking them where their funding comes from and what they plan on doing after grad school. At the end of the meeting, they asked us how we heard about the REU program at Hubbard Brook. We both heard about it through professors at our schools. They also asked how we felt about life at Pleasant View Farm. We told them that we were learning a lot and having fun doing it. We also enjoy living with a couple of the grad students because they have really showed us the ropes.We enjoyed the meeting and hearing what life might be like for us in the future when we go to grad school.
-Carly and Sam