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New NSF Grant for Public Engagement at LTER Sites

August 14, 2017
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Research at Harvard Farm

Researchers from the Harvard Forest, Hubbard Brook Research Foundation, Michigan State University, Boston University, and CUNY were awarded $1.67 million from the National Science Foundation for a new project, Embedding Public Engagement with Science at Long-Term Ecological Research Sites (PES@LTERs). The team will collaborate with scientists, including partners in the Science Policy Exchange, to integrate public engagement into the cultures and practices of two LTER sites, the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest and the Harvard Forest. 

PIs Kathy Fallon Lambert (Harvard Forest) and Sarah Garlick (HBRF) together with John Besley (MSU), Pamela Templer (BU) and Peter Groffman (CUNY) will lead a team of scholars and practitioners to build knowledge about the mutual learning between scientists and adult stakeholders and to develop evidence-based practices in the context of place-based ecosystem research. Several research questions guide this work. The project will address several research questions including, how willing are participating scientists to take part in PES? What are their attitudes and beliefs about whether engagement can be effective and whether they have the necessary skills? And, how willing are participating scientists to build relationships with stakeholders using evidence-based strategies?

In the coming weeks and months the PIs will be reaching out to scientists who conduct research at Harvard Forest and Hubbard Brook to enlist their participation in the PES@LTERs project and to offer access to emerging project resources and training opportunities for effective public engagement with science. Please contact Kathy at to learn more.

The new grant was awarded through the NSF Advancing Informal STEM Learning (AISL) program which seeks to advance new approaches to, and evidence-based understanding of, the design and development of STEM learning in informal environments.

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