An LTER-NEON Synergies workshop recently took place from March 29-31 and included exploration of four themes:
Using LTER data and insights to provide local, landscape and regional ecological context for NEON sites
Using NEON data to inform the five core areas of LTER research
Using LTER experience and insight to develop long-term conceptual models for NEON sites
Combining data and models from LTER and NEON sites to make predictions of future ecological trajectories for NEON sites
A wide range of participants attended the workshop, from early-career to established scientists in terrestrial and aquatic ecology and biogeochemistry, biometeorology, informatics, and geology. Both LTER site investigators, NEON scientists, members of other data networks and the larger scientific community participated.
Cove Sturtevant, a staff scientist for the NEON program said, “it was a fun and challenging workshop bringing together diverse perspectives on how the LTER and NEON scientific networks can synergize. We made a lot of progress toward a blueprint that I think can accelerate the use of NEON data in impactful science as the Observatory reaches full operability.”
A major theme throughout the workshop was exploring how to merge the experimental and mechanistic results from LTER sites to inform the regional and continental-scale patterns of climate and ecological change to be observed by NEON. Participants came up with a collaborative paper outline addressing how LTER, NEON, and other scientific data networks can inform and complement each other to facilitate local, regional, and continental scale science. The goal is to catalyze a network of networks (LTER, NEON, GLEON, Critical Zone Observatory, Ameriflux, etc.) to jointly address continental-scale grand challenges in ecology. Click here for a more in-depth recap of the meeting and if you are interested in subscribing to the LTER newsletter click here.