Arts and humanities in the LTER Network: understanding extent, values, and challenges by assessing the relevance of empathy in the LTER Network, 2013-2014

  • Creator(s): Lissy Goralnik, Michael P. Nelson
  • PI(s): Michael P. Nelson
  • Originator(s): Lissy Goralnik
  • Other researcher(s):
  • Dates of data preparation: Aug 1 2013 - Oct 31 2014
  • Data collection status: Study collection is completed and no new collection is planned
  • Data access: Online
  • DOI:
  • Access constraint: In order to comply with requirements of the Common Rule, raw data from this data collection is restricted by OSU Institutional Review Board (IRB). The IRB supports OSU’s commitment to research by working to protect the rights and welfare of human subjects who participate in research; promoting the ethical principles of respect for persons, beneficence, and justice; and by assisting the OSU community in ensuring compliance with the standards set forth in the Common Rule (45 CFR 46) by the Department of Health and Human Services. To fulfill the agreement underlying OSU’s federal assurance, and to satisfy institutional policy, all faculty and staff must submit for IRB review any research project involving human subjects. IRB approval for these projects must be granted prior to the initiation of any study activities, including recruitment or analysis of existing data.
  • Last update: Oct 31 2016 (Version 3)
<Citation>     <Acknowledgement>     <Disclaimer>    
Goralnik, L.; Nelson, M. 2016. Arts and humanities in the LTER Network: understanding extent, values, and challenges by assessing the relevance of empathy in the LTER Network, 2013-2014. Long-Term Ecological Research. Forest Science Data Bank, Corvallis, OR. [Database]. Available: Accessed 2024-05-21.
Data were provided by the HJ Andrews Experimental Forest research program, funded by the National Science Foundation's Long-Term Ecological Research Program (DEB 2025755), US Forest Service Pacific Northwest Research Station, and Oregon State University.
While substantial efforts are made to ensure the accuracy of data and documentation, complete accuracy of data sets cannot be guaranteed. All data are made available "as is". The Andrews LTER shall not be liable for damages resulting from any use or misinterpretation of data sets.
The Long-term Ecological Research (LTER) Network is a collection of 25 National Science Foundation-funded sites committed to long-term, place-based investigation of the natural world. While activities primarily focus on ecological research, arts and humanities inquiry emerged in 2002 and since then a substantial body of creative work has been produced at LTER-affiliated sites. These art-humanities-science collaborations parallel a wider trend in universities and nonprofits. However, there is little empirical work on the value and effectiveness of this work. After launching a survey in 2013 to assess the values and challenges associated with arts and humanities in the LTER Network, which identified empathy as a meaningful potential outcome of this creative work, we conducted a follow-up analysis to understand: the relevance of empathy in the LTER Network; the role of empathy in bridging arts, humanities, and science collaborations; and the capacity of empathy to connect wider audiences both to LTER science and to the natural world. Our research included phone interviews with representatives from 15 LTER sites and an audience perception survey at an LTER-hosted art show. We found that arts-humanities-science collaborations have great potential to catalyze relationships between scholars, the public, and the natural world; cultivate inspiration and empathy for the natural world; and spark awareness shifts that can enable pro-environmental behavior. Our research demonstrates the potential for art-humanities-science collaborations to facilitate conservation attitudes and action in the Network and beyond.

Study Description Download Study Location Information: (CSV)

 2013 LTER PI Qualtrics Survey - Blank survey that was sent to all LTER PIs to better understand extent, challenges, and values of arts and humanities in the LTER Network in the summer of 2013
 2013 Audience Perception Survey Instrument - 2013 BNZ LTER and Denali National Park Collaborative Exhibit
 2014 PI/Education and Outreach Coordinator Interview guide - used to interview representatives from 15 sites about the role of empathy in LTER arts and humanities inquiry
 2013 PI arts and humanities survey - Excel survey report

 Goralnik, Lissy, Nelson, Michael Paul, Ryan, Leslie, Gosnell, Hannah 2015, Arts and Humanities Efforts in the US Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) Network: Understanding Perceived Values and Challenges (Pub. No: 4882)