August 2019
A Message from Gene Kelly
Join us at the 2019 ESA/USSEE Joint Meeting next week! This year, the NEON program will have a booth right next to the Data Help Desk booth, and I’m excited to note that there will be over 40 NEON-related activities taking place at ESA this year. Data scientist, Christine Laney will also be facilitating data portal demos and user research interviews to gain feedback on ways to improve our websites. If you’re interested in either a data portal demo or participating in a user research interview, please email Christine Laney or stop by booth 215. You can visit our schedule page for more details about NEON-related activities, and, if you're on Twitter during the conference, tweet us at @NEON_sci!

In other news, as you may know, I have been filling in as the acting Chief Scientist for the NEON program. I’m pleased to announce that Battelle is actively seeking a permanent Chief Scientist/Observatory Director for NEON. This individual will serve as the top-level scientific authority for the observatory and is responsible for the advocacy of transformative research using NEON. They will lead the program through close coordination with the ecological science community and ensure that NEON fulfills its scientific and educational mission. I deeply believe in NEON and the staff that are working so diligently to operate it, and I’m excited to see who will be selected to fill this key role. Learn more about the position.

All the best, Gene Kelly, Acting Chief Scientist of the NEON program
Students in Paul Venturelli's class at  Ball State University  recently explored key ecological concepts using data from the NEON program.  Paul, an Assistant Professor in the Ball State University Department of Biology , created an assignment to reinforce the concepts that his students were learning in class and help them to develop important data skills.

A new study led by François Ritter, a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Illinois–Chicago Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, provides important insights into the frequency of dew formation across the U.S.  Dew Frequency Across the U.S. from a Network of In Situ Radiometers , co-authored by Max Berkelhammer and Daniel Beysens, used sensor data from NEON terrestrial field sites to examine the conditions that lead to dew formation in different ecosystems. The findings could help ecologists better predict how ecosystems will respond to increased drought frequency. 

A study funded through the National Science Foundation (NSF)  Rapid Response Research (RAPID) program  attempts to answer critical questions about the correlations between biomass burned from wildfires and the emitted quantities of trace gases and aerosols. "Airborne LIDAR and Hyperspectral Observations to Support Ecological Characterization of Wildfire-Affected Areas" is a joint undertaking by the NEON program and the University of Colorado–Boulder in partnership with  BB-FLUX , an existing NSF supported project. The study is jointly led by Tristan Goulden, NEON Remote Sensing Lead Research Scientist, and Rainer Volkamer, Associate Professor of Chemistry (and CIRES Fellow) at CU–Boulder and Principal Investigator of the BB-FLUX project.

New Data Portal Features Coming Soon
For users with data portal accounts, some new enhancements to the NEON data portal user accounts experience are launching soon. The new experience will have a number of benefits for convenience and online security. For example, account users will be able to:
  • Login using credentials from one of your other online accounts, such as Google, GitHub, ORCID, or one of the many academic institutions supported by CILogon
  • View, edit, download, and delete your user information as recommended by the European Union General Data Protection Regulation (EU GDPR) guidelines. 
  • Let us know which NEON data products and field sites that you're most interested in to help us tailor future planned communications.
The data science and software development teams are also working on a new and improved data browsing experience, you can check out the beta version here , as well as new and improved data product pages.

Badawi, M., Helder, D., Leigh, L. and Jing, X., 2019. Methods for Earth-Observing Satellite Surface Reflectance Validation. Remote Sensing, 11(13), p.1543.

Baker, K. R., Koplitz, S. N., Foley, K. M., Avey, L. & Hawkins, A.  Characterizing grassland fire activity in the Flint Hills region and air quality using satellite and routine surface monitor data Science of The Total Environment  659, 1555 - 1566 (2019).

Badawi, M., Helder, D., Leigh, L. & Jing, X.  Methods for Earth-Observing Satellite Surface Reflectance Validation Remote Sensing  11,1543 (2019).

Have you used NEON data, samples or infrastructure? Please contact us about your research and we’d be happy to write blog article featuring your work as well as add your papers to our publications list.