April 18, 2006


Knute Nadelhoffer
University of Michigan
   Biological Station
Dept. of Ecology & Evol. Biol.
University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1048
(734) 763-4461

Thomas Jordan
Smithsonian Environmental
   Research Center
P.O. Box 28
Edgewater, MD 21037

Robin Graham
Environmental Sciences Division
Oak Ridge National Laboratory
PO Box 2008
Oak Ridge, TN 37831-6036
(865) 576-7756

Amelia K. Ward
Center for Freshwater Studies
Box 870206
University of Alabama
Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0206
(205) 348-1796

Members at Large
Jim Coleman
Office of Research
University of Columbia-Missouri
205 Jesse Hall
Columbia, MO 65211-1150
(573) 882-9500

Michael Auerbach
Desert Research Institute
2215 Raggio Parkway
Reno, NV 89512
(775) 673-7409

Lucinda Johnson
Center for Water and the Environment
Natural Resources Research Institute
University of Minnesota
5013 Miller Trunk Hwy.
Duluth, MN 55811-1442
(218) 720-4251

Past President
Scott L. Collins
Sevilleta Field Station
Department of Biology
University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM 87131-1091
(505) 277-6303


Dear Colleagues:

The Association of Ecosystem Research Centers, founded in 1987, marks its 20th anniversary in 2006. Our mission is to promote the use of science for solving complex environmental problems impacting ecosystems and ecosystems services. To accomplish this mission, we (1) advocate support for ecosystem-scale research, (2) provide information by hosting seminars and briefings for scientists and policy makers, (3) promote training opportunities in new methods and cross-disciplinary approaches to studying ecosystems, and (4) foster collaboration among member institutions. (For more information go to http://www.ecosystemresearch.org/)

At our November 2005 Annual Meeting, we elected Michael Auerbach and Lucinda Johnson as Members-at-Large to our Board of Directors and Thomas Jordan as President-elect. We welcome these active members to their new positions and look forward to their contributions to our important efforts.

Other ways we have worked to promote ecosystems science included:

  • Hosting a panel discussion of program officers from federal agencies at our 2005 Annual Meeting . This was a novel format that yielded active and informative discussions among our members and program officers. It also provided a valuable opportunity for 9 POs from NSF, NOAA, EPA, DoE and USDA to hear from one another about current and planned ecosystems programs in a candid, interactive setting.
  • Briefing staffers from the House Committee on Science about LTER and NEON. AERC officers met with Congressional staffers to discuss plans for large scale, integrative efforts aimed at advancing our understanding of ecosystem-climate-human interactions. AERC participants included Past-President Scott Collins who directed the LTER discussion and Bill Michener, of the NEON Senior Management Team, who summarized planning efforts for the emerging National Ecological Observatory Network.
  • Strengthening linkages and interactions with AIBS. The AERC President is now an ex officio member of the AIBS Public Policy Review Committee. In this role, and in others, we are working with AIBS to raise the profile of ecosystems science and its role in policy making.

During these times, when decision makers often are faced with conflicting advice, we must all work to ensure that sound science is conveyed and used to inform resource management, energy and climate policies. To this end, we welcome your comments and input. Please send me suggestions for topics and discussion items for our 2006 Annual AERC Symposium, Hill briefing and business meeting. This year’s meeting will be held on November 16 - 17 at the Smithsonian Institution’s S. D. Ripley Center in Washington DC. See you there!

Best wishes,

Knute Nadelhoffer

AERC President for 2006