This month, we highlight the invaluable impact of NEON data on the future of science and the way we understand the effect of humans’ interaction with nature. This month’s collection of ecological advances includes developing a curriculum to help students learn the scientific method, airborne data improving socio-environmental research, and the need for NEON data to support sustainable ecological observations across the country.
This Month’s Spotlight
The latest news from NEON includes:
- NEON Data Helps Students Connect with Nature and Science
A Battelle grant supported Massachusetts elementary students in learning about seasonal ecological changes by comparing NEON data to their own. Students in the Ashburnham-Westminster School District embarked on a year-long project to learn how the growing season has changed in New England. Fourth and fifth graders collected their own samples and compared them to NEON data to reveal the broader ecological trends in the region.
- NEON Creates Possibility for Sustained Ecological Observations
The resources and data offered by the NEON program are supporting researchers investigating critical ecosystem changes, such as methane emissions, across the country. Methane is second only to carbon dioxide in its potency as a greenhouse gas, and keeping a close eye on emissions levels is a priority for many scientists. But it’s not just methane research NEON is making easier; NEON’s mobile deployment platforms have standardized and simplified long-term observation, allowing scientists to incorporate standardized measurement systems into planned or ongoing research projects at stand-alone sites.
- Airborne Observation Offers New Insights into Socio-Environmental Research
A new paper published in Ecological Applications shines light on how NEON’s Airborne Observation Platform (AOP) data can aid socio-environmental research. The paper suggests that integrating AOP data with socio-environmental systems (SES) data and analyses will allow researchers to investigate complex systems and provide urgently needed policy recommendations.
Sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and operated by Battelle, NEON is a continental-scale ecological observatory network dedicated to providing high-quality, consistently generated, standardized data that is free and available to all users. By enabling scientists, researchers, and students to address critical questions and understand ecosystem changes over time, the NEON program allows the ecological community to tackle questions and problems at a scale that was not possible before.
You can read about the latest work and research in the NEON Spotlight every month at Inside Battelle, and on our social media channels. For more information about NEON, visit NEONscience.org.