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U.S. Shutdown Disrupts Long-Term Ecosystem Studies

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Science  18 Oct 2013:
Vol. 342, Issue 6156, pp. 300
DOI: 10.1126/science.342.6156.300

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Ecologists often rely on data collected regularly over many years to tease out subtle changes in natural systems. But the U.S. government shutdown has thrown many long-term research projects into disarray, threatening to cancel field seasons and leave gaps in data. Among the possible casualties: projects in Antarctica and the western United States. Still, one researcher who had a long-term project ended as a result of a merit review—and not an unrelated political brawl—says researchers need to expect they will face data gaps, and be prepared to deal with them.