The largest and longest-lived ecological network in the United States, the Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) network provides the scientific expertise, research platforms, and long-term datasets necessary to document and analyze environmental change.
The LTER Network was created by the National Science Foundation (NSF) in 1980 to conduct research on ecological issues that can last decades and span large geographical areas.
The Bonanza Creek Long-Term Ecological Research program (BNZ LTER) at the University of Alaska Fairbanks Institute of Arctic Biology has been continuously funded by the NSF since 1987.
BNZ LTER scientists and students study the interactive effects of changing climate and disturbance regimes such as wildfire frequency on the Alaska boreal forest, the associated consequences for regional feedbacks to the climate system, and the sustainability of subsistence in Alaska communities.
- The program is jointly managed by the Institute of Arctic Biology at the University of Alaska Fairbanks and the Boreal Ecology Cooperative Research Unit, which is the northernmost outpost of the USDA Forest Service Pacific Northwest Research Station.
- BNZ LTER research is concentrated in two sites near Fairbanks, Alaska: the Bonanza Creek Experimental Forest and the Caribou-Poker Creeks Research Watershed, with additional research infrastructure in boreal tundra near Healy, Alaska, just north of Denali National Park and Preserve.
- BNZ LTER research sites extend through the boreal forest of interior Alaska through a Regional Site Network, which is designed to address questions of regional resilience and change in response to changing climate and changing disturbance regimes.
The BNZ LTER is one of 26 LTER research sites, which form a multi-disciplinary network of more than 2000 scientists and students.