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Since its formation in 1979 the LTER Program has expanded to form a network of IS sites. During the course of this development a number of committees within LTER have recommended that NSF support the acquisition of common technological capabilities at the sites in order to enhance integrated studies and to improve information exchange. Major recommendations have covered the areas of GIS, remote sensing, connectivity, data storage and GPS. The National Science Foundation has responded to the recommendations by providing supplemental funding for technology acquisition.

This report assesses the progress made towards technology development in the above areas across the LTER Network. It concludes that dramatic improvements have been made at all sites during the past two years, improvements that have had a major impact on individual site research and the ability of LTER to operate as an integrated network.

Accomplishments include the establishment of competent GIS systems at every site, the acquisition of satellite data and aerial photography for every site, the acquisition of GPS units that can be shared across the Network, and the training of personnel in the use of these technologies. The report recommends that the LTER Network seek to complete the technology development proposed by the original working groups and to study additional areas of technology development for future consideration.