PhD Student Molly Reichenborn Finishes a Successful Term as a LTER Graduate Writing Fellow

Jornada PhD student, Molly Reichenborn, just finished her time as a 2022 writing fellow. Every year, only a handful of graduate students from across the LTER network are selected to participate in the LTER Network Graduate Writing Fellowship program. If selected, fellows are paid to write stories about LTER science, with story topics ranging from current research to the long-term visions of LTER sites.

Molly Reichenborn is a PhD candidate in the Faist lab working on rangeland restoration research at the Jornada LTER.

Most stories written by the graduate fellows are based on recently published LTER-affiliated papers with intent to communicate the wide variety of research findings that are produced by the LTER network. However, fellows also write “road trip” stories where they share a story about a “day-in-life” of researchers at a specific LTER site. Molly recently had the opportunity to tag along with a great group of researchers at the Sevilleta LTER while they conducted fieldwork to understand the ecological impacts of prolonged drought. This story should be available soon on the LTER website.

“Participating in the LTER Graduate Writing Fellow program has been a really positive experience for me”, says Molly. “In addition to improving my writing skills to communicate science with a broader audience, I’ve made connections with scientists across the LTER network that I otherwise would likely never meet, which is a benefit I didn’t initially consider when I applied for the program.”

After finishing her degree, Molly hopes to serve as a scientist for a state or federal land management organization. She believes that the skills that she has gained through this program will make her more prepared for that role and other future public outreach and education initiatives.

One of Molly’s stories can be viewed here: Trees know their neighbors – and respond differently when they die   – LTER (,

This story was written in collaboration with Molly Reichenborn.