The LTER Grid Pilot Study was conducted by the National Center for Supercomputing Applications, the University of New Mexico, and Michigan State University, to design and build a prototype grid for the ecological community. The featured grid application, the Biophony Grid Portal, manages acoustic data from field sensors and allows researchers to conduct real-time digital signal processing analysis on high-performance systems via a web-based portal. Important characteristics addressed during the study include the management, access, and analysis of a large set of field collected acoustic observations from microphone sensors, single signon, and data provenance. During the development phase of this project, new features were added to standard grid middleware software and have already been successfully leveraged by other, unrelated grid projects. This paper provides an overview of the Biophony Grid Portal application and requirements, discusses considerations regarding grid architecture and design, details the technical implementation, and summarizes key experiences and lessons learned that are generally applicable to all developers and administrators in a grid environment.