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what is new with NEON - May 2020 edition

May 2020: What’s New With NEON?

Posted by Battelle Insider on May 8, 2020

This month, researchers representing the National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) continued to push forward our understanding of what, and how, environmental elements influence ecosystem changes. We are highlighting scientists who published new insights on old trees’ capability to absorb carbon, environmental factors that can lead to trophic mismatches, and a group of researchers who used NEON data to closely examine plant responses to a climate breakdown.

This Month’s Spotlight

The latest news from the NEON project includes: 

1. On a NEON site in the historic Wind River Experimental Forest, Matt Schroeder, NEON's assistant director of field science, aided in the discovery of how old trees, by virtue of their age and size, can hold far more carbon than any current technology capable of pulling carbon from the air, making them crucial assets for carbon storage. 

2. NEON research scientist Katie Jones discusses how increased temperatures that cause earlier blooms – like the early arrival of bluebonnets in Texas – may result in trophic mismatch for interacting species. 

3. With the use of vital NEON data, Dr. Hannah Marx and other members of the Barker Lab at the University of Arizona tracked plant responses in the Harvard Forest to understand the impacts of a climate crisis on entire biomes.  

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


Photo: battelle employee using a virtual workboard