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  1. Read and agree to the FCE Code of Conduct.
  2. Familiarize yourself with FCE LTER Project Administration & Management Guidelines and the FCE LTER Data Policy as the first deals with program governance and the second deals with our data policies.
  3. Get acquainted with the FCE LTER website and check this site regularly for new FCE shared data and information on upcoming meetings, seminars, science gatherings, and other FCE LTER activities and news.
  4. Decide which Research Working Group you wish to be involved with, and contact a Working Group leader and John Kominoski with your decision.
  5. Submit a summary of your FCE LTER activities and findings to your working group leaders every year for the annual report.
  6. You must be included on the main FCE LTER Everglades National Park permit or another Everglades National Park permit in order to access FCE sampling sites. If your name is included on the main permit, you are responsible for following all of the regulations stated in the permit. If your contact information changes or someone in your research group needs to be added to the main FCE LTER permit, please ask them to complete an Emergency Contact Form and send it to Mike Rugge (
    Please note that if your proposed research is not already included in the main FCE LTER permit OR if it's funded by a source other than the FCE LTER grant, you will need to apply for a separate permit. You can find information about how to apply for a permit and an online application at
  7. Submit your personnel information to Mike Rugge, the FCE Project Manager, so that he may enter your information into the FCE database and make your contact information available via our website. Personnel information includes mailing address and phone numbers, affiliations, research interests, links to a personal web page if available, FCE working group memberships and a digital photo to display on our Researcher Profiles web page (for example, see Evelyn Gaiser's page). 
  8. If you have research personnel, such as field and laboratory technicians and students, involved with your prospective FCE LTER research, please send their contact information to Mike Rugge, the FCE Project Manager, so that he may add these new additions to the personnel database. You will be responsible for keeping your personnel information updated as necessary.
  9. If you have graduate students, please encourage them to get involved with the FCE LTER Student Organization (see Students). When students conducting FCE research complete degrees, please submit their thesis or dissertation citation information to the FCE Project Manager, Mike Rugge.


  1. As a Collaborator, you are encouraged to collaborate and work with other LTER scientists and students as much as possible. Our expectation is that Collaborators will generate new proposals and thus seek additional LTER-related funding as part of these interactions. 
  2. It is expected that these collaborations will generate LTER-related publications and presentations (see the Data Policy for information on how to specifically acknowledge FCE LTER support or collaboration in proposals, publications, and presentations). A copy of these products should be given to the FCE Project Manager, Mike Rugge (, so that they may be archived and entered in the FCE Oracle database. 
  3. Researchers are asked to submit FCE LTER project information, via a project information form on our intranet, to the FCE Information Manager upon notification of project funding, and no later than 6 months after notification of project funding. Additionally, researchers will be asked to update their project information annually and participate in the annual FCE LTER All Scientists Meeting when possible.
    The BASIC STEPS for project information submission are: 
    1. Determine whether the project is an FCE LTER Project, FCE LTER Related Project or a hybrid of the two. 
    2. Complete one of two project information forms found on the FCE intranet, making sure that all information fields are populated. 
    3. Submit the form to FCE Information Manager Kristin Vanderbilt at or upload to the FCE FTP server at s
  4. If you did your work at an LTER site or used any FCE LTER resources to collect your data (resources include field site facilities, field logistical support, laboratory support, or database use), you should plan to incorporate your data into the FCE Oracle database. We have a diverse searchable data catalog (Core Research Data) that allows FCE members access to all reported FCE data. Requirements for data reporting and database interactions by Collaborators are detailed in our Data Policy and Data Submission Information document. Please contact FCE Information Manager Kristin Vanderbilt ( if you have any questions regarding your data responsibilities.
    The BASIC STEPS for FCE data submission are:
    Researchers submit two (2) files to the FCE Information Manager: Data file in either Microsoft Excel (.xls) format or delimited ASCII text (.txt) formats, and accompanying Microsoft Excel FCE EML metadata template file. File names must follow naming convention set out in data submission document. 
    1. Download the FCE EML metadata template and complete all pertinent sections. 
    2. Perform quality assurance on data file and accompanying metadata before data submission to the Information Manager. 
    3. Submit data files and completed FCE EML metadata template to
    4. FCE Information Manager Kristin Vanderbilt (, FTP server upload at s, or digital media (mailed or delivered).
  5. The FCE LTER strongly encourages PIs and Collaborators to write proposals to fund extra LTER-related research due to the fact that the FCE LTER base project budget is quite constrained. Direct resources from this base budget may not be available, but we will assist you in any way possible with your field logistics. Please contact Mike Rugge to find out how you can get to specific LTER sampling sites when you need to collect samples. Also, most of the Working Group Leaders have their own LTER research accounts, so you should feel free to approach one of these PIs to discuss your specific needs for supplies or labor resources.