November/December 2017
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The 2018 January meeting will be held on Jan 10th and 11th in the IITF conference room.
Day one will be devoted to discussing post-Maria response and the second day will focus on the renewal proposal. Keep an eye on your email for more details!

New URL for LUQ website
LUQ's website is now at:
LUQ Status Report
November 28, 2017

-Jess Zimmerman

"It is now two months since Hurricane Maria struck our site.  The challenges have been enourmous on many fronts, particularly for communications.  Now that things have “normalized” somewhat, I thought I would update you on the status of things to get the flow of information going again.
1.  Campus
We will be finding new offices for the LTER administrative and information management staff as well as professors affected by the damage to Anexo Facundo Bueso in Plaza Universitaria, the new buildings across the street from campus.  They have identified an area that we should be able to move into beginning in two weeks.
2.  Field Station
We have generator power at the field station and internet from a local company.  Both of these are supported by donations via GoFundMe campaign.  These have issues at times but work most of the time.  We are operating out of the new lab building.  We are not working in the old lab building until we receive and informed opinion on the status of the asbestos wall panels.  Forest Service is sending down an “industrial hygienist” who should be able to provide this opinion.
3.  Research Effort
For now, we are focusing all of our efforts on monitoring the impacts of Hurricane Maria.  We have suspended planned measurements along the elevation gradient and in the Chronosequence plots (among other things) for the time being.  The CTE folks and stream team have been very active and supported by a keen team of volunteers. These efforts will be revisited at the January meeting, particularly in the context of RAPID proposals that are being funded.
4.  January Meeting
This will be happening as planned January 10-11.  This will take place at the IITF Conference Room.  This will give us access to internet so that people can attend at distance.  We will devote one day to discussing our post-Maria response and the second to the renewal proposal due March 2.
5.  Proposal writing
Bob, Whendee and I have been working on the renewal proposal and intend to have a draft of our efforts to you in early December.  Our efforts are aided by the fact that we only recently had a renewal proposal reviewed and a successful mid-term review.  By our thinking, we will stick to the basic plan while giving emphasis towards studying hurricane effects early on. So, for example, the three major questions will re-ordered to put hurricanes first, drought second, and large scale drivers third.  In terms of timing, we will suggest returning to the LTEP plots in the first year of funding to record hurricane effects and then resume our studies of drought thereafter.  We will be picking up censuses of the LFDP and a recensus of the LTEP as originally scheduled, finishing with trims of the CTE and Stream-FRE at the end of the 6-year cycle in 2024.  These details will make more sense once you see a draft of the proposal, but this is our basic plan.
Grizelle Gonzalez reports for IITF:
The FS have completed the following tasks:
1.      Open access roads or trails for research needs in EYNF/LEF
·         Road 998 from Sabana Field Research Station to Catalina Headquarters Building
·         Access to Warming Experiment Area
·         Road 191 to East Peak and El Yunque (EY) Peak
·         Access to Research Sites along Rd 191, EY, East, and West Peaks
2.      Open access/trails to research sites along the elevation gradient in:
·         Humacao, Ceiba, Carolina, Río Piedras, Sabana Seca, Fajardo and Canóvanas
3.      Bisley Watersheds:                                                                
·         Construction and Installation of litterfall baskets (80)
·         Construction and Installation of throughfall collectors (30)
·         Construction and Installation of litterflow equipment on streams
·         Assessment and collection of sediments on streams
4.      Sabana Field Research Station:                                                                     
·         Chainsaw operations inside and around the outside perimeter of the Station
5.      El Verde Field Station:
·         Assessment of climatological equipment in Canopy Trimming Experiment
6.      Guayama Research Area:
·         Repairs to prescribed fire experiment
·         Assessment and procurement of instrumentation / materials in the prescribed fire experiment
7.      Other research projects plots and towers:
·         Along Road 191 corridor, East and Yunque Peak - litterfall baskets replaced
8.      Río Piedras headquarters:
·         Replacement of Río Piedras’s weather station
·         Repairs to Río Piedras's hydroponic system in the UPR greenhouse
We have started (10-75%):
Sabana Field Research Station:
·         Replace/repair fencing around the Station
·         Weather Station (tower and instrumentation) repairs/replacement
·         Repair/maintain electric generator
                    Bisley Watersheds
·         Assessment, procurement and installation  of hydrological and climatological equipment Bisley 1-3
TRACE Warming Experiment
·         Restore and repair fencing
·         Replace/repair metal infrastructure
·         Complete inspection of electrical infrastructure and repairs"
Photos taken by Brian Yudkin from the streamhouse roof showing the damage and recovery from hurricanes Irma and Maria.
LTER Schoolyard News
Noelia Báez
Glenda Almodóvar Morales, a science teacher at the Escuela Especializada en Arte Ernesto Ramos Antonini in Yauco, and a Luquillo LTER Schoolyard teacher, traveled to Oklahoma from October 19-21 to participate in the 4th Life Discovery-Doing Sciences conference. Sponsored by ESA and held at the University of Oklahoma, the theme of the conference was “Data: Discover, Investigate, Inform.” Glenda had the opportunity to lead a round table session using authentic research from the Guánica dry scrub forest plot to teach ecological concepts. In this session, she presented and described her long-term research in the dry forest and the different teaching strategies that she applies with her students. Glenda expressed that this was a rich experience, which allowed her to network, communicate and gain new knowledge on database resources. She is planning to apply what she learned in her teaching and research in Puerto Rico.

Dr. Jean Lodge Receives Distinguished Mycologist Award

"Dr. D. Jean Lodge of the Northern Research Station was presented with the Distinguished Mycologist Award by the Mycological Society of America on July 19, 2017, as part of the annual MSA meeting in Athens, Georgia.

Lodge was recognized as a “… remarkably integrative, innovative, and creative mycologist with uncommon knowledge of tropical forest systems.” She began working for the USDA-Forest Service Center for Forest Mycology Research, located at the Forest Products Laboratory, in 1992 and has been stationed in Puerto Rico as a tropical mycologist."

Congratulations, Jean! Read the full announcement here

LCZO and LTER Article Featured on NSF website
"Could an ancient ocean shoreline determine what a tropical forest looks like today? National Science Foundation (NSF)-supported researchers are working to answer that question.

Their study is taking place in the rainforest-covered Luquillo Mountains of eastern Puerto Rico, where two NSF research stations are co-located: the Luquillo Critical Zone Observatory (CZO) and the Luquillo Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) site.

There geoscientist Jane Willenbring of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego, and ecologist Maria Uriarte of Columbia University in New York have joined forces to determine how the formation of the Luquillo Mountains and their subsequent weathering resulted in today's Luquillo rainforest ecosystem."

Read the full article here
Photos of El Yunque National Forest on October 4, 2017, taken by Grizelle González.
Photo taken by Sharon Wallace, EYNF Supervisor, on October 14, 2017.
Recent Publications
Heartsill Scalley, Tamara. 2017. Insights on Forest Structure and Composition from Long-Term Research in the Luquillo Mountains. Forests. 8(6):204
Click here to access this article

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