Feb. construction update, 2017 Remote sensing flight schedule and more
In this issue:
  1. Recent Highlights
  2. Construction progress
  3. Announcements
  4. From the Observatory Blog
  5. Recent publications
  6. Opportunities
Optimizing NEON science workshop

In February, NEON hosted an Optimizing NEON Science workshop with 33 participants from across the community, including universities, USGS, NASA, USDA, NOAA, research centers and international programs. Most of the participants have been involved with NEON for many years, and they provided valuable input to the NEON project about operating priorities as construction approaches completion.

Key themes from the workshop included excitement about new data availability and long-time opportunities for larger-scale ecological research, and a call for increased communications to the broader community. In particular, there was interest in knowing more details about data products including easier-to-find metadata and information about design/protocols to better assess data quality and consistency across sites. This feedback and other recommendations from the workshop will be published in a White Paper later in March.

Getting ready for the 2017 field season
In 2017, NEON will be conducting field sampling at over 60 sites! In preparation for the season, Field Operations Technicians, Domain Managers, and HQ Science staff gathered in Gainesville FL, February 6-10, for an intensive training.  

The training focused on several of our more complicated and new procedures, shared lessons learned, and efficiencies that aid in consistent sampling across all our Domains. Two of the days were dedicated to developing (and practicing) effective leadership, communication, and training skills.  Over 60 employees from the NEON project participated, representing 19 of NEON’s 20 ecoclimatic Domains
February Construction Stats
To complete the construction of a field site there are four milestones: 1) Civil construction in which the physical infrastructure of the site is completed 2) Sensor installation 3) Field sampling begins and continues on an annual basis and 4) Data are successfully collected from the site and made available via the data portal and/or the Airborne data request form. Check out our February stats below:
Announcing the new Science, Technology, Education and Technology Committee (STEAC)
The new STEAC was formed late last year and now meets monthly. Key roles of the STEAC include: evaluating ongoing NEON construction and initial operations activities, helping to evaluate solutions to challenges as they arise, and reviewing NEON-related documents. The STEAC also plays a role in helping to ensure open communications between NSF, Battelle, the NEON project and the community of potential users. The full list of members is located on our website along with our other advisory groups (the technical working groups).
NEON’s 2017 remote sensing flight schedule released

In 2017, the Airborne Observation Platform (AOP) will be installed into two aircrafts allowing NEON to survey 18 out of 20 Domains. The payloads will include a waveform Lidar, hyperspectral imaging spectrometer and a high resolution digital camera. We encourage researchers to review the schedule if they are interested in coordinating on-the-ground activities with our flights. 

From the Observatory Blog

The Observatory blog features updates and science stories to help you better understand NEON’s capabilities and how you can use NEON. Check out some of our recent stories:

Click the link above to see 2017 publications. If you have a publication you would like us to add, please email neonscience@Battelleecology.org

Application deadline for 2017 Data Institute: March 10

The 2017 Data Institute: Remote Sensing with Reproducible Workflows provides a unique opportunity for participants to gain hands-on experience working with open data using well-documented, reproducible methods. Participants will also gain important applied knowledge about using heterogeneous remote sensing data sources to answer spatio-temporal ecological questions. The Institute will take place at NEON headquarters in Boulder, CO from June 19-24, 2017.

Applications are due by March 10, 2017. 

Be a part of a focus group for NEON

We need your feedback! We are setting up focus groups with a variety of NEON stakeholders (e.g., scientists, graduate students, educators) to collect data to strategize future education and outreach initiatives that meet the community's needs.  If you are interested in providing feedback through this process, please contact Alycia Crall.

Work for NEON

There are over 30 jobs currently open at the National Ecological Observatory Network ranging from field technician jobs at field sites to IT professionals, scientists and educators at our headquarters office in Boulder. Learn more about open career opportunities here.