The National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) is an NSF facility operated by Battelle Memorial Institute. NEON is the world’s first continental ecological observatory network that enables fundamental research on environmental grand challenges that require understanding and predicting the complex and multi-scaled interactions among plants, animals, and the physical and chemical environment. The unique NEON design uses a holistic approach to observing the complex feedbacks between biotic and abiotic environmental components over decadal scales and at local, regional, and continental scales. Thus, NEON is designed to enable the research community to ask research questions about key environmental grand challenges including climate change and its effects on biodiversity, phenology, invasive species, infectious disease, and biotic effects on element cycles.
NEON uses a 3-pronged multi-scaled approach: on-the-ground field sampling by trained professionals, automated instrument measurements in the environment, and airborne remote sensing surveys on terrestrial, aquatic, and atmospheric systems. From these measurements, NEON makes approximately 180 data products available on a centralized openly accessible data portal that is free for all to access and use (including data tutorials and code packages). NEON infrastructure is geographically-distributed across the United States, including Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico, and will generate data for ecological research over a 30 year period.
The NEON Facility is part of the BIO Centers, Facilities, and Additional Research Infrastructure Cluster (CFARI) in the Division of Biological Infrastructure. The NEON award is managed in collaboration with the NSF Large Facilities Office and the NSF Division of Acquisition and Cooperative Support.
To learn more about NEON and related funding opportunities, visit: http://www.nsf.gov/news/special_reports/neon/about/.
Michael W. Binford