The Graduate Grants program supports graduate thesis and dissertation research as well as collaborative research among two or more graduate students in the broad field of urban ecosystem research. Graduate Grants average around $4,000. Graduate students apply for these grants to fund the purchase of research materials, pay laboratory analysis fees, hire research assistants, pay for local travel, and cover summer subsistence costs via a summer stipend.
CAP LTER is a research platform that provides a set of resources to students and faculty conducting work on urban ecosystems.
As a long-term ecological research (LTER) site, CAP LTER scientists generate datasets that allow the research community to understand the dynamics of the Phoenix Metropolitan Area over time. These datasets cover phenomena that range from urban bird communities to nitrogen deposition to people’s perceptions of environmental problems. Descriptions of CAP LTER’s long-term monitoring provide information about this work, and the data catalog includes downloadable datasets for analysis.
The CAP LTER research community has published numerous peer-reviewed papers, book chapters, and books since it began in 1997. The publication catalog provides access to a list of these publications with links to publication abstracts in most cases. Posters from CAP LTER’s annual poster symposium are another source of information on CAP LTER research, much of it student-led research.
CAP LTER is organized around eight Interdisciplinary Research Themes (IRTs), composed of faculty working collaboratively on key research questions. The list of IRT members with links to faculty biographical statements provides a good sense of research expertise in CAP LTER. More general inquiries can be made to CAP LTER management staff or to firstname.lastname@example.org .
Funding for student research is detailed under Student Research.
Communicating Your Research
CAP LTER student researchers are encouraged to communicate their research to different audiences in a variety of ways other than meeting the requirements of their degree programs through writing a thesis or dissertation.
The most common mode of communication is through a poster presentation at CAP LTER’s annual poster symposium. Students also are active participants in scientific and scholarly meetings throughout the year, including the Ecological Society of America’s annual meeting.
Students are communicating their research to a wider research community through papers in peer-reviewed journals and chapters in books. First authorship and co-authorship of papers and chapters are both very common.
CAP LTER’s collaboration with the Central Arizona Conservation Alliance and the McDowell Sonoran Conservancy’s Field Institute has underlined the need to communicate effectively beyond the scientific community. This has led to a new CAP LTER initiative in science communication of research conducted in mountain parks.