February 2017
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2017 monthly meeting dates:
February 15 - 2 pm EST, 3 pm AST
March 15 - 2 pm EDT, 2 pm AST
April 19 - 2 pm EDT, 2 pm AST
May 17 - 2 pm EDT, 2 pm AST

Meetings are conducted online via GoTo meeting. Participants can connect using a computer or phone. Information on how to connect is sent the morning of the meeting. If you can't participate, past meetings are accessible online at
Thank you to everyone who participated in the 2017 January Planning Meeting!
Some LUQ members and friends participated in ‘Procesión-Migración,’ a performance work by Puerto Rican artist Papo Colo. This procession celebrated nature and the arts and featured the famed work of 'La Carreta' by René Marqués.

Papo Colo's performance took place along Hwy 186 between km 17.7 and 22.1, starting at the property of Klaus Bisenbach, a director and curator at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.  The procession passed the entrance to El Verde Field Station and finished at a property owned by Papo Colo at the entrance to the National Forest.  The attending crowd was estimated to be 500 individuals and the procession included two “carretas” led by oxen, horses and horse carts, goats, chickens and a pot-bellied pig. The two-hour performance featured 10 actors, 8 musicians, with performances at five intervals along the route.

Papo Colo was born and raised in Puerto Rico, and moved to New York in the 1970s where he co-founded and ran Exit Art, an alternative art venue. Now, at age 70, he is returning to Puerto Rico to pursue artistic ventures in the rain forest.

Colo’s performance is based on one of the most important pieces of Puerto Rican literature, René Marqués’ ‘La Carreta’ (1953), the story of a rural Puerto Rican family that moves from the countryside to the capital city of San Juan in search of a better life. After this attempt dramatically fails, the family relocates to New York City with the same hopes and fail again. They eventually return to rural Puerto Rico. The narrative of La Carreta mirrors Papo Colo’s own experience as a Puerto Rican migrating to NYC and returning as a successful artist to his beloved island. Procesión-Migración was organized by Papo Colo, with the support of Klaus Biesenbach, Marina Reyes Franco, Tiffany Zabludowicz, Anna Astor Blanco, and Armig Santos.  It was supported by MoMA PS1 and the Museo de Arte de Ponce.

‘Procesion-Migracion’ was the centerpiece of ‘Puertos Ricos: A Festival of Arts and Natures,’ a weekend-long festival of new and existing art held on January 7 and 8, 2017, which was supported by Para la Naturaleza, Clocktower Gallery, Dia Art Foundation, Liga de Arte, MoMA PS1, Museo de Arte de Ponce, Santurce Es Ley, El Cuadrado Gris, Beta-Local, and the El Verde Field Station.
Before the procession, MoMA PS1 hosted a lunch at El Verde Field Station for trustees of the museum and the Clocktower Gallery.  Scientists from LUQ and UPR interacted with the group, along with Sharon Wallace, the Forest Supervisor for El Yunque National Forest.
We look forward to collaborating with Papo Colo, MoMA PS1, and Clocktower Gallery in the future.
LUQ-LTER at Island Biology Symposium
Bob Waide

At the recent Island Biology Symposium on Terceira Island, Azores, Portugal, the Luquillo LTER received an enthusiastic shout-out from one of the plenary speakers. Prof. Jens Oleson from Aarhus University in Denmark presented the closing plenary on "Ecological Networks on Islands".  Prof. Oleson drew heavily on material for his talk from The Food Web of a Tropical Rain Forest (Reagan and Waide 1996), calling it "a wonderful book". He used several of the figures from the book to illustrate points in his talk, and emphasized the unique value of the research chronicled in the book. He was very excited when I introduced myself after the talk, and repeated that it was a wonderful book while giving me a bear hug. So the scientific program ended on a high note for the Luquillo LTER program and all the investigators who contributed to the book. If you are interested in more information about the meeting, go to
LUQ Schoolyard News
Noelia Báez
Fieldwork Protocols Workshop
On November 19, 2016, the Luquillo Schoolyard LTER Program conducted an eight-hour field protocol workshop for teachers at El Verde Field Station. Two of the teachers were former participants: Arlene Gómez, a science teacher from Carmen Feliciano Middle School of Río Grande, and Yomaira Ortiz, a math teacher from the Pedro Falú Orellanos School, also in Río Grande. Three new teachers participated as well: Ramón Agosto, a science teacher from the Ana Delia Flores Santana Occupational High School in Fajardo, María Ortiz, a science teacher from the Dra. María T. Delgado School in San Lorenzo, and Yiria Muñíz, a science teacher from María Reina Academy in Guaynabo and the José E. Aponte de la Torres (“Pa’ Los Duros”) Specialized School in Carolina. The objective of the workshop was to learn about field methodologies for assessing forest dynamics, stream ecology and soil characterization at El Verde, in addition to data collection, entry and analysis. 
During the workshop, the teachers were organized and trained by researchers and graduate students in the methods of three data collection protocols within the rainforest setting. First, the teachers studied stream structure, water quality and organisms of the Quebrada Sonadora. Stream structure measurements included stream width and depth and stream flow. Water quality measurements included dissolved oxygen, presence of nitrates, and phosphate, turbidity, temperature and pH.  The macroinvertebrates (shrimp and insects) measurements included species identification, size, reproduction cycle, and abundance. Second, the teachers examined forest structure in a permanent study plot established for the ongoing students’ internships, located near the Luquillo Forest Dynamics Plot.  Program participants measured tree DBH and height and identified species for every tree in a given area. Third, the teachers studied soil characteristics along a slope near the forest study plot. They characterized soil texture and physical properties within two soil pits at the top and bottom of the slope. They also measured soil moisture, infiltration, and bulk density, and examined soil fertility using qualitative measurements of important macronutrients.  
Guiding the teachers were Dr. Omar Pérez Reyes, UPR-Río Piedras Biology Professor, Christopher Nytch, UPR-Río Piedras doctoral candidate in Environmental Sciences, Omar Gutierrez del Arroyo, UC-Berkeley doctoral candidate in Environmental Science, Policy and Management, and Seth Rifkin, Research Manager of the Luquillo Forest Dynamics Plot. The mentors also presented to the teachers the respective long-term Schoolyard datasets for each of the three study areas.  In addition to the data collection activities, Arlene Gomez, Yomaira Ortiz, and Christopher Nytch offered a seminar about the use of i-Tree tools for assessing the forest structure and ecosystem services capacities of a community’s trees. They also demonstrated their use of the i-Tree Canopy application as part of a research project conducted through the Center for Science and Education Research (CSMER) master teacher program.  
At the close of the workshop, each teacher chose one protocol that they would like to conduct with their students during the spring semester. They will return to El Verde with up to 20 students in the coming months to be trained in their chosen protocol, and they will also have the option to use LUQ-LTER data sets to develop an ecological research question that leads to a presentation at the 2016 LTER Schoolyard Annual Symposium.
Data Jam Workshop
On November 18, 2016, twenty science teachers from the Puerto Rico private and public school sectors participated in a six-hour Data Jam Workshop hosted at the Forward Learning facilities in Guaynabo. The success of this effort was achieved through the collaboration among several partner groups and individuals: Dr. Steven McGee and Noelia Báez, LUQ-LTER educator representatives; Dr. Jess Zimmerman, LUQ-LTER Lead-PI; Dr. Bill McDowell, LCZO Lead-PI; Dr. Alain Planter, LCZO scientist; Martha Scholl, a USGS scientist; Miguel León, LCZO Information Manager; Alexis Torres, President of Forward Learning; Mayrelis Narváez, a science educator consultant for Forward Learning; Daniel Damelin, Lead-PI and curriculum developer of The Concord Consortium; and Mrs. Dilia Haddock, PR Department of Education Science Director.  During the workshop, teachers had the opportunity to work with the 1994 and 2015 drought data and parameters such as stream flow, rainfall, reservoir height and soil moisture. They also had access to 1992-2011 storm events data, including rainfall frequency, intensity and event duration. Both data sets were obtained from LCZO, USGS and LUQ-LTER databases. The objective was to investigate a basic ecology question and develop a claim-evidence-reasoning PowerPoint presentation to demonstrate their findings. The teachers were introduced to the Common Online Data Analysis Platform (CODAP), which is a user-friendly, web-based data analysis platform, designed to be used by middle and high school teachers and students. CODAP will help students summarize, visualize and interpret data. Excel and PowerPoint training was also provided by Ramonita del Valle from Forward Learning. Following the workshop, the teachers will conduct data jams with their students in the classroom over the course of the school year, motivating them to use ecological data collected in the Luquillo Experimental Forest by the LCZO, LUQ-LTER and USGS to create a project that presents the data in a non-traditional way. Students will be able to submit their creative projects for consideration to present at the annual symposium at UPRRP in May. Those teachers who successfully implement the data jam with their students are eligible be invited to participate in a Fieldwork Protocols workshop for the subsequent school year. At the end of the workshop, 2015 Data Jam teacher participants had the chance to speak for five minutes about their experiences, explaining how they incorporated the Data Jam into their classroom activities and the teaching techniques used to motivate students’ participation.    

Huang, C., G. González, and P. F. Hendrix. 2016. Resource Utilization by
     Native and Invasive Earthworms and Their Effects on Soil Carbon and
     Nitrogen Dynamics in Puerto Rican Soils.
Forests 7:277.

Click here to access this article
Lodge D.J., Winter D., González G., Clum N. 2016. Effects of Hurricane-
     Felled Tree Trunks on Soil Carbon, Nitrogen, Microbial Biomass, and
     Root Length in a Wet Tropical Forest. Forests.

Click here to access this article
Schowalter, T.D., M. R. Willig, and S. J. Presley. 2017. Post-hurricane
     Successional Dynamics in Abundances and Diversity of Canopy
     Arthropods in a Tropical Rainforest. Environmental Entomology.

Click here to access this article

Zalamea, M., González, G., Lodge D.J. (2016): Physical, Chemical, and
     Biological Properties of Soil under Decaying Wood in a Tropical Wet
     Forest in Puerto Rico. Forests.

Click here to access this article
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