LTER-NEON Synergies workshop, archival samples, data availability by field site and more.
In this issue:
  1. Recent Highlights
  2. Construction progress
  3. Announcements
  4. From the Observatory Blog
  5. Recent publications
  6. Opportunities
LTER/NEON meeting focuses on leveraging networks to address continental-scale grand challenges in ecology

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.

An intro to eddy covariance in 4 minutes
The eddy covariance technique is used to measure how CO2 and other gases are exchanged between soil, vegetation and the air in an ecosystem. Check out this short, animated educational video to learn more about how eddy covariance data are collected at NEON’s terrestrial field sites. The data this technique provides help scientists to develop models that allow for forecasting of long-term trends in CO2 and greenhouse gases:

March Construction Progress
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.
Explore data availability by field site
The NEON data catalog is comprised of over 180 data products and our network of field sites include 47 terrestrial field sites and 34 freshwater aquatic field sites. NEON has developed a workbook to help you better understand what data products are currently available (as of March 2017) and which data products will be available from which sites. For example, zooplankton will only be available from aquatic sites and ground beetle data will only be available from terrestrial sites. 
Announcing our 2017 summer research interns
It’s hard to believe that we are entering our fifth year of the NEON undergraduate internship program. This unique, cross-disciplinary program exposes undergraduate students to the challenges and opportunities of working on a complex project like NEON. We are excited to be welcoming six undergraduates this summer for the 11-week hands-on program. They will get to work with staff mentors on a wide variety of NEON-related research projects ranging from assisting in the finalization of NEON construction to using the public data provided by the NEON project. 
Get to know NEON’s archival samples

NEON collects a wide variety of specimens and samples that complement the automated measurements and field observations collected at each field site. Check out our recently published Archival Samples Catalog. And also explore a subset of samples currently available upon request: benthic aquatic microbes, excess soil microbes, and the megapit soil archive.

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:

Are you using NEON data or infrastructure for your research?

We would love to feature your research, publications, or your organization on our website. Please send us an email at See a current list of NEON-related publications here.

In search of an Observatory Director/Chief Scientist

As NEON approaches full operations, we are seeking an Observatory Director/Chief Scientist who will serve as the top level scientific authority and is responsible for the advocacy of transformative research utilizing NEON. This position will lead the Observatory science program through close coordination with the ecological science community and ensure that the Observatory fulfills its scientific and educational mission. In addition, this position will also work to establish strong external activities with potential collaborators nationally and internationally. 

NEON is also seeking seasonal field technicians interested in gaining valuable in-the-field experience collecting observational data at field sites across the United States. Explore all currently open positions at NEON here.