Graduate Student

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The LTER Graduate Student Committee was established to foster interaction among graduate students working at LTER sites and between students and senior LTER scientists, to create student opportunities for intersite research, and to develop interdisciplinary graduate student training programs. Membership includes student representatives from the LTER sites.

Graduate Student Committee Vision Statement

The following is a statement of our vision for the next 10 years of LTER
national activity as it related to the arena of graduate student life.

Standardization of the Quality of Mentoring at LTER Sites

A carefully worded statement on the state of graduate training in the
LTER network has been drafted posted on the web. The goals outlined in
this document should be discussed and considered by all LTER-related faculty
and the lead principal investigator at each LTER site should evaluate
their site’s mentoring, commitment to breadth of graduate education training,
and effort to encourage activities that bring graduate students together
to discuss issues related to their intellectual development as scientists.
Our vision is that in 10 years each site will be conducting at least one
half-day workshop a year on the following three topics,

  1. Techniques for completing collaborative and interdisciplinary research,
  2. How to train for a job as an effective teacher in higher education
  3. Approaches used in being an effective mentor

Central Organization and Continuity

We have found that many of the LTER sites do not have an efficient protocol
for updating their site personnel database, or for encouraging the current
researchers at the site (including graduate students) to add themselves
to the national LTER database. If web information as well as internal
site information is inaccurate, important electronic information from
the network cannot be distributed effectively. Additionally, the formation
of a searchable network database that would serve to link researchers
with common scientific interests or advertise job opportunities will fail
without good information as to who is currently working in the network.
Our vision is that in 10 years

  1. Every LTER associated graduate student will be encouraged by the faculty
    to add themselves to the network database through the interactive web
    page maintained by the network,
  2. That each site will have its own internal listserve created by the
    data manager and grad site representative that consists of all current
    graduate students working at the site for ease in information dissemination,
  3. That the network database will include information about expected
    graduation dates of all students so that students can be automatically
    purged from the system, and
  4. That the network will maintain a searchable database of students to
    facilitate cross-site research and for finding job opportunities within
    the network.

Student Cross-site Research Opportunities

LTER offers the opportunity to train graduate students across disciplines
and ecosystems. Our vision is that in 10 years

  1. the annual ESA meeting will have at least one workshop, for LTER graduate
    students and organized by LTER graduate students, that focuses on a
    specific research topic as it relates to a cross-site research project
    (proposed or currently ongoing),
  2. at least one of the travel grant proposals submitted to the LTER
    network for funding for travel to discuss cross-site research will be
    co-authored by graduate students from at least 2 LTER sites.