This month, NEON’s scientific director discusses how the COVID-19 pandemic has limited researchers’ full access to the 81 sites comprising the National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON). This disruption further underscores just how crucial the ongoing research and data collection carried out through NEON is for advancing ecological discovery. Additionally, we highlight NEON’s contribution in providing remote data that has proven to allow for more accurate forest composition mapping and observing ecological patterns on a larger scale.
This Month’s Spotlight
The latest news from the NEON project includes:
Due to COVID-19 disrupting on-the-ground scientific research, NEON’s scientific director, Paula Mabee, discusses the importance of ongoing data collection programs such as NEON’s North American ecosystem monitoring.
Remote sensing data collected at a NEON site in Colorado combined with field-based measurements to map tree species has proven critical for developing and evaluating robust forest composition data sets and gaining species-specific ecological understanding.
Recent discoveries on the ecological chain effects of tree-seeding have demonstrated how NEON’s data collection sites can provide scientists the valuable opportunity to observe ecological trends on a continental scale.
Sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and operated by Battelle, NEON is a continental-scale ecological observatory facility dedicated to providing high-quality, consistently generated 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 project allows the ecological community to tackle questions and problems at a scale that wasn’t possible before.
You can read about the latest research in the NEON Spotlight every month at Inside Battelle, and also on our social media channels. For more information about NEON, visit NEONscience.org.