Colorado mountains

Engagement of Arts and Humanities in LTER Sites and Programs

Working Group Reports

Over the past six years a strong working group concerned with engaging arts/humanities in LTER site programs has formed and prospered.  We held well-attended workshops at the previous two ASMs, convened a workshop at AND in May 2011 with 12 LTER sites (plus 2 non-LTER sites) participating, established a webpage ( for sharing activity profiles for nearly 20 sites (not all LTER), helped spread the work to sites beyond LTER, and developed the art exhibit for display at NSF, ESA, and ASM.  A common theme has been engaging arts and humanities in sustained (taking the long view), place-based interpretation and public communications rooted in LTER sites.  This work can be part of outreach and education programs, but it is also primary inquiry.  Media involved include visual arts of many forms, creative non-fiction, fiction, performance, and music of both Euro and indigenous roots.  Disciplinary areas include the arts, environmental history, philosophy, literature, and history of science.  The working group sessions will address: 

  1. What is the current situation, including brief presentations from a sampling of programs? 
  2. How do we foster this work at our own sites and as a network? 
  3. How should we administrate ourselves (as a working group) in the coming few years (e.g., continue grassroots or get more organized)?
  4. What are next important steps to take in this work both thematically (e.g., begin inter-site arts/humanities) and in terms of institutional arrangement (e.g., with NSF, NEA, private foundations, …)? 

The first of the two sessions requested will be a whole-group discussion to share information about developments in and beyond LTER, some discussion of how programs are organized, funded, and conducted.  The agenda for the second session will be determined at the end of the first session – likely steps may be breaking into more focused interest groups and then reconvening to summarize with the whole group to share findings from the breakout sessions and agree on the future course.  We expect to encourage poster presentations of programmatic aspects of this work and also presentation of products in the forms of displays of art and written material all in the large poster-display hall.

Frederick Swanson
Mary Leigh
Preferred date(s): 
Sept 10
Number of 2 hour sessions requested: 
Equipment requested: 
2 flip charts with marking pens
Room Assignment: 
Ruesch Auditorium - Billhiemer (50)

Background Photo by: Nicole Hansen - Jornada (JRN) LTER