image of the shortgrass steppe

Data Acquisition Policy

Shortgrass Steppe (SGS) LTER data sets represent years of hard work by dedicated scientists and technicians. Please respect the effort that went into the creation of these data sets. If you plan to use the SGS LTER data sets, please follow the SGS LTER data acquisition procedure outlined below. Thank you for your cooperation.

Before Downloading Data

Fill out the Access Request Form.

Prior to Submission

Please send a copy of the report or manuscript to the principal investigator of the data. The SGS LTER should be adequately cited in any resulting publications.

Please Include Tag Line in Report or Manuscript

Data sets were provided by the Shortgrass Steppe Long Term Ecological Research group, a partnership between Colorado State University, United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, and the U.S. Forest Service Pawnee National Grassland. Significant funding for these data was provided by the National Science Foundation Long Term Ecological Research program (NSF Grant Number DEB-0823405).


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". Principal Investigators encourage you to contact them with questions or concerns regarding the intended use and appropriate analyses for their datasets. The Shortgrass Steppe LTER shall not be liable for damages resulting from any use or misinterpretation of data sets.

The SGS-LTER follows the LTER Data Access Policy:

  1. There are two types of data: Type I (data that is freely available within 2-3 years of processing) with minimum restrictions regarding its use by others and, Type II (Exceptional data sets that are available only with written permission from the PI/investigator(s)). Implied in this timetable, is the assumption that some data sets require more effort to get on-line and that no "blanket policy" is going to cover all data sets at all sites. However, each site would pursue getting all of their data on-line in the most expedient fashion possible.
  2. The number of data sets that are assigned TYPE II status should be rare in occurrence and that the justification for exceptions must be well documented and approved by the lead PI and site data manager. Some examples of Type II data may include: locations of rare or endangered species, data that are covered by copyright laws (e.g. TM and/or SPOT satellite data) or some types of census data involving human subjects.

Data Library

  • Datasets: searchable by categories and keywords using the navigation on the left.
  • Species List: available via the navigation on the left.
  • Maps and Map Viewing: tools available at SGS-LTER Maps Page

More Information

If you would like a more in-depth explanation of the LTER Network Data Access Policy, a pdf version of the report is available.

If you have any questions please email Nicole Kaplan, the SGS-LTER Information Manager, at