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What is NEON?

The National Ecological Observatory Network, or NEON, comprises terrestrial, aquatic, atmospheric, and remote sensing measurement infrastructure and cyberinfrastructure that deliver standardized, calibrated data to the scientific community through a single, openly accessible data portal. 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.

NEON is designed to enable the research community to ask and address their own questions on a regional to continental scale around a variety of environmental challenges [see the National Research Council reports: Grand Challenges in Environmental Sciences (2001) and NEON: Addressing the Nation's Environmental Challenges (2003)].

NSF's Role in NEON
  • Construction and initial operations of NEON (designed and started by NEON, Inc.) are the responsibility of Battelle Memorial Institute (Battelle). Battelle is funded through a cooperative agreement to design, build and operate NEON. The NSF NEON program, which is part of the Centers and Cooperative Agreements Cluster in the Division of Biological Infrastructure, manages the NEON award in collaboration with the NSF Large Facilities Office and the NSF Division of Acquisition and Cooperative Support. The NSF NEON program is responsible for the oversight of the managing entity to ensure the observatory is built on budget and within schedule, and that it is operated effectively and efficiently within its allocated resources.

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  • Stakeholders are researchers, engineers, educators, citizens and NSF's sister agencies. Formal MOUs exist with some agencies: for example with EPA, USGS and NOAA. An interagency working group serves as an advisory committee and summarizes all interagency partnerships and activities.
  • Examples of partnerships:
    • USGS, USFS, NOAA, DOE, NASA staff involved in NEON design and development
    • DOI Climate Response Centers will use NEON Data Products
    • DOE National Labs developing sensors and analyzing NEON samples
    • USGS and NASA developing tools for modeling and simulation
    • CDC developed standards and methods for disease assessments by NEON
    • Use of NASA AVARIS
  • NEON Document Library (reference information about NEON sites, sensors, data collection and processing methods, protocols and Algorithm Theoretical Basis Documents (ATBDs)):

Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations presented in this material are only those of the presenter grantee/researcher, author, or agency employee; and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.