For me and many field ecologists across North America, the month of May usually brings the eager anticipation of a jam-packed and strenuous field season. For the NEON project, field ecologists at our terrestrial and aquatic field sites across the United States are assembling their equipment and reviewing their methods to implement rigorous data collection protocols for over 150 of data products that have been designed with extensive input from the ecological community.
As the newly appointed NEON Chief Scientist/Observatory Director, I am deeply inspired by the NEON vision to 1) amass long-term, multi-scale ecological data from across the entire continent and 2) make that data accessible to the ecological community, in order to guide societal understanding of and response to challenging global environmental changes.
One of my near-term priorities for the NEON project is to refine and implement a strategic engagement plan to cultivate a robust, active, and inclusive NEON user community. The plan incorporates responses from the recent online NEON Community Survey (thanks for participating!) and other feedback collected from the ecological community. The NEON infrastructure and data are tremendous community resources, and I am eager to listen and respond to the diverse constituencies, participants, and stakeholders of NEON.
Please join me in welcoming another field season, and please know that I welcome your
ideas and suggestions
for how to continually improve the NEON project to serve the community.
Yours, Sharon Collinge, NEON Chief Scientist/Observatory Director