New website on agriculture and ecology provides user-friendly access, resources

Newly redesigned KBS LTER website

The newly launched KBS LTER website was redesigned to serve agricultural professionals, K-16 educators and science communicators in addition to its traditional scientist base.

Making agricultural ecology research information more accessible to its stakeholders and the interested public is the aim of the newly launched Michigan State University (MSU) Kellogg Biological Station Long-term Ecological Research (KBS LTER) program website.

“We redesigned the site in order to better share our research, education and outreach efforts with a growing mix of stakeholders in Michigan and across the country,” said Julie Doll, KBS LTER outreach and education coordinator. “The new site is designed to serve agricultural professionals, K-16 educators, and science communicators in addition to our traditional scientist base.”

The website, www.lter.kbs.msu.edu, features research highlights, publications, fact sheets, photo galleries, upcoming events and a blog featuring the latest KBS LTER news, in addition to access to KBS LTER data sets.

“More than 100 scientists currently conduct research at the KBS LTER site,” said Phil Robertson, MSU distinguished professor of plant, soil, and microbial sciences and director of the KBS LTER program. “Given the agricultural and environmental challenges facing society today, it is important for us to provide effective, accessible ways to share results of this research. The new website helps to do that.”

Part of a national network of 26 long-term ecological research sites funded by the National Science Foundation, the goal of KBS LTER is to understand the ecology of major Michigan and Midwest cropping systems and landscapes. Since 1988, KBS LTER scientists have studied interactions among plants, microbes, insects, management and the environment to learn how agriculture can deliver both higher yields and environmental outcomes that benefit society. The KBS LTER site is the only one in the national network to focus on agriculture.

In addition to the new website, the KBS LTER is now sharing information via Twitter (@KBSLTER) and Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/KBS.LTER).

The Kellogg Biological Station, located near Kalamazoo, Mich., is one of the premier biological field stations in the United States. Research activities at the station focus on fundamental and applied research in ecology and agriculture. In addition to hosting the LTER program, KBS is also home to the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center (GLBRC), one of three bioenergy research centers established in 2007 by the U.S. Department of Energy to investigate the economic viability and environmental sustainability of crops that have potential to be grown for cellulosic biofuels, such as ethanol.