August 2018                                           View this email in your browser
LTER Researcher Begins Mosquito Survey
Don Yee and his students, Limarie Reyes and Catherine Dean, started an island-wide survey of mosquitoes of Puerto Rico on August 1st. This is the first time that a comprehensive survey of mosquito species has been evaluated on the island since at least the 1960s. The project will collect larvae and adults from more than 27 locations around the island including Luquillo. Barcoding of specimens will be accomplished via the Smithsonian Institution, who also will keep a set of specimens for their collections. Support for this project was obtained from crowd funding via and was supported by several LTER scientists.

Students Receive Travel Awards
Nicole Scavo and Joe Nelsen, graduate students in the lab of Don Yee, have been awarded International Travel awards from the Graduate School at the University of Southern Mississippi to present their work at the 2018 Entomological Society of American meeting in Vancouver, Canada this November. Both Joe and Nicole will be presenting findings from their research conducted at the LTER last summer on invertebrate communities. Congratulations Nicole and Joe!
LUQ Schoolyard Teachers and Students Participate in Training Week of the VT EPSCoR Basin Resilience’s for Extreme Events (BREE) Program
By Noelia Báez Rodríguez
Four science teachers and eight high school students from Puerto Rico participated in the High School Student and Teachers Training Week of the VT EPSCoR BREE Program. This program integrates teachers and students from Massachusetts, Vermont and Puerto Rico, who participate as a team in stream research projects.
All the teams attended a residential training week from June 18-23, 2018 at the campus of Saint Michael’s College in Colchester, Vermont. During this week, they were introduced to the interactions of climate, environment, society and land use policy through the BREE research program. They also learned field-based research skills and launched their research projects, which they will carry out from July 2018 through April 2018 in Puerto Rico. The teams’ research topics are related to macro-invertebrates as water quality indicators in rural and urban streams in PR. In April 2019, the teams will return to Vermont to share their findings at the annual VT EPSCoR Student Research Symposium, where they will present a poster or an oral presentation. 
Schoolyard students participate at LUQ LTER & CZO Annual meetings
By Noelia Báez Rodríguez
During the week of June 5th - 8th, the Schoolyard students had the opportunity to present their Data Jam projects at the Luquillo LTER and CZO Annual Meeting poster sessions, where they were exposed to a professional audience that was interested in learning about the development of the students' research questions, and their interpretation of the data. The students had the chance to meet one on one with some of the scientists whose data were used in the Data Jam activities and received advice from them. It was a rich learning experience for all involved, and we are eager to continue next year.
10th Luquillo LTER Schoolyard Student Symposium
By Noelia Báez Rodríguez

On May 25, 2018, the 10th student symposium for the LUQ-LTER Schoolyard Program was held at the Sciences, Math, Technology and Languages School José Aponte de la Torres in Carolina. The theme for this year’s symposium was “Impact and Transformation of our Tropical Ecosystems.” More than 30 students and teachers participated from 10 public and private schools around Puerto Rico.  Additional guests and supporting staff included LUQ-LTER scientists, leadership staff from The Learning Partnership, UPR students, El Verde Field Station technicians, the US Forest Service Outreach Coordinator, Luquillo CZO technicians, COSUAM students, and Forward Learning personal.

We began the morning with welcoming remarks from Rocío del Mar Aviles Mercado, a former student of Pablo Colón Berdecia High School in the town of Barranquitas who participated in the Schoolyard program from 2014-2017. She gave a motivational speech on the broader impacts of her experiences gained through involvement in science educational programs such as Schoolyard. This was followed by a virtual symposium between the Puerto Rican schools and the online presence of Cien Aguas International School from New Mexico, which participates in the Sevilleta LTER Schoolyard Program. Kelly Steinberg and Laura Pages, the education coordinators for the Bosque Ecosystem Monitoring Program (BEMP), organized and moderated the presentations on the New Mexico side. During this exchange, our students and teachers had the opportunity to interact and share their research findings with peers and field questions from the audience, which included family and friends. The research topics presented from both Puerto Rico and New Mexico included mortality and damage to trees after Hurricane María, drought and its impact on the water quality of the rivers and reservoirs of the island, factors that threaten the ecological balance of some ecosystems in New Mexico, and the need for water quality for public welfare and wildlife.

During the afternoon session, the Puerto Rico students presented their Data Jam project exhibitions. This was the third year we’ve held a Luquillo LTER Schoolyard Data Jam. Our students and teachers were challenged to work with long-term drought and storm event data. Five schools participated in the Data Jam and developed projects. The students showed tremendous ability with their creative products, presenting poems inspired by changes in nitrate concentration in the Icacos River, ballet dances inspired by musical sounds from the forest, drawings reflecting the effects of drought, physical displays of forest devastation after Hurricane María, and short stories.

This year Elliot López, science teacher of Juan Ponce de Leon high school of Florida, and one of our long-term schoolyard participants, was recognized as teacher of the year by the PR Department of Education! At the symposium we honored his devotion toward science education and the LUQ-LTER Schoolyard program.
Special thanks to the teachers, parents, and LUQ-LTER collaborators who served as guides in the learning process throughout the academic year.
Recent Publications
Céréghino, R., Pillar, V. D., Srivastava, D. S., de Omena, P. M.,
     MacDonald, A. A. M., Barberis, I. M., ... & Romero, G. Q. Constraints
     on the functional trait space of aquatic invertebrates in bromeliads.
     Functional Ecology.

Click here to access this article

Dézerald, O., Srivastava, D. S., Céréghino, R., Carrias, J. F., Corbara, B.,
     Farjalla, V. F., ... & Richardson, M. J. (2018). Functional traits and
     environmental conditions predict community isotopic niches and
     energy pathways across spatial scales. Functional Ecology.

Click here to access this article

González, G., & Barberena, M. F. (2018). Ecology of soil arthropod fauna
     in tropical forests: A review of studies from Puerto Rico. The Journal of
     Agriculture of the University of Puerto Rico
, 101(2), 185-201.

Click here to access this article

Hogan, J. A., Zimmerman, J. K., Thompson, J., Uriarte, M., Swenson, N.
     G., Condit, R., ... & Su, S. H. 2018. The frequency of cyclonic wind
     storms shapes tropical forest dynamism and functional trait dispersion.

     Forests 9 (7)

Click here to access this article

Liu, X., Zeng, X., Zou, X., Lodge, D., Stankavich, S., González, G., &
     Cantrell, S. (2018). Responses of soil labile organic carbon to a
     simulated hurricane disturbance in a tropical wet forest. Forests, 9 (7),

Click here to access this article

Liu, X., Zeng, X., Zou, X., González, G., Wang, C., & Yang, S. (2018).
     Litterfall production prior to and during hurricanes Irma and Maria in
     four Puerto Rican forests. Forests, 9(6), 367.

Click here to access this article
Lutz, J. A., Furniss, T. J., Johnson, D. J., Davies, S. J., Allen, D., Alonso,
     A., ... & Blomdahl, E. M. 2018. Global importance of large‐diameter
     trees. Global Ecology and Biogeography.

Click here to access this article

Zimmerman, J. K., Hogan, J. A., Nytch, C. J., & Bithorn, J. E. 2018.
     Effects of hurricanes and climate oscillations on annual variation in
     reproduction in wet forest, Puerto Rico. Ecology.

Click here to access this article
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