Baltimore Ecosystem Study

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Location Baltimore, Maryland
Introduction The Baltimore Ecosystem Study (BES), a National Science Foundation (NSF) Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) project, was initiated in 1997, to learn how an urban area works as an ecological system. BES is one of 26 LTERs representing diverse ecosystems. BES is funded by NSF with in kind support from the USDA Forest Service and other partners. The study area covers Baltimore City and surrounding suburban and rural areas. We have spent more than a dozen years laying a firm foundation of understanding the structure and function of metropolitan Baltimore as a socio-ecological system. We conduct research on soil, plants and animals on land and in streams, water quality, and air. We also study how families, associations, organizations and political bodies make decisions that affect ecological processes. In other words, we treat the urban, suburban and rural areas as an ecological system including people and their activities. BES research is supported by funding from the NSF LTER Program under Grant No. 1027188. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.