September 2021
A Message from Chief Scientist & Observatory Director Dr. Paula Mabee
Happy Fall! Many sites across our Observatory are starting to see colors change and temperatures drop. I hope wherever you are and whatever fantastic science you are working on, you are afforded the opportunity to stop and appreciate the nature and beauty around you.
With the end of September, many in academia are neck-deep into the fall semester, virtual or in-person. NEON can help with ecological education resources – we have a learning hub dedicated to helping faculty with tutorials, data skills, teaching modules, and more. Consider using NEON resources and data in your classroom!
We also have three new members added to our Science, Technology & Education Advisory Committee (STEAC)! We are delighted to have Drs. Karen Lips, Steve Petruzza, and Shawn Serbin join us, particularly to represent the areas of organismal biology, remote sensing, and cyberinfrastructure in the scientific community. NEON relies on STEAC members to help us continually improve NEON operations and outreach and look ahead to what's next.
Speaking of "what's next" for the ecology community, I recently gave a talk as part of the Biodiversity Digitization: Celebrating a Decade of Progress event hosted by iDigBio, GBIF, the U.S. National Museum of Natural History, and NSF. I spoke about the layers of linked digital data associated with the natural history specimens and environmental samples at the NEON Biorepository, and their unique research potential. NEON specimens are "born extended," referencing the concept of the extended specimen (Lendemer, 2020) - this basically means the physical specimen has multiple links to other data types (e.g., genomic, wind speed, soil moisture). If you have not explored our samples in the Biorepository portal, please do!
As always, I hope this finds you safe and well!
NEON biological sample data can now be found in the Global Biodiversity Information Facilities (GBIF) network. The partnership allows NEON data to be discovered and used alongside similar historical and global datasets, benefiting both current NEON data users and the international science community at large.

NEON has joined forces with the Environmental Data Initiative to promote data accessibility and usability in the environmental sciences. The joint initiative will create tools, templates, and standards that will make it easier to synthesize data from NEON , the Long Term Ecological Research Network, and other networks and organizations.

Have you used NEON data, samples, or infrastructure? Please contact us about your research and we'd be happy to write a blog article featuring your work as well as add your papers to our publications list.
The plains of Texas and Oklahoma are home to rolling grasslands, expansive croplands, and more than 10 million head of cattle. In the Southern Plains (Domain 11), agriculture reigns supreme. Understanding how land management decisions and agricultural practices impact ecosystems is key to both maintaining agricultural productivity and protecting native habitats.
NEON's Science, Technology & Education Advisory Committee (STEAC) has welcomed three new members into the group beginning September 2021 - Drs. Karen Lips, Steve Petruzza, and Shawn Serbin.

In August 2021, NEON partnered with DeLeaves again (first collaboration in 2019) for a campaign at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC) field site to validate the scalability of a drone technique for sampling foliage from tall canopies.

NEON recently reviewed and corrected land cover maps for five field sites using data collected by the Airborne Observation Platform and analyzed by NEON staff scientists. The new maps provide a more accurate view of land cover distribution at the sites and will be used to inform changes to our spatial sampling design.

Community members in northern Wisconsin are learning how they can help monitor and control the spread of invasive plant species in their local area. A workshop organized by Ashley Spink, a senior field ecologist for the NEON program, was supported through NEON's partnership with the Thriving Earth Exchange program.

NEON's non-core field sites are not any more relocatable than the core sites. To better reflect the scientific intent of these sites, and with the concurrence of NSF, the NEON program is changing their terminology from "relocatable" to "gradient" sites.

Florida Museum, August 16, 2021

National Geographic, August 12, 2021

University of Notre Dame, July 26, 2021

Aug 26: This workshop introduced participants to NEON, taught them how to access and work with NEON data, and allowed them to interact with NEON science staff to get assistance working on the specific data products they are interested in using. The workshop included hands-on, interactive instruction on how to access and work with NEON data, both through the NEON data portal and programmatically. View the recording.

Sep 14: The workshop followed the topic "Predicting life in the Earth system – linking the geosciences and ecology." It consisted of a series of talks, a one hour working session, and focus on broad synergies between ecology and the atmospheric sciences. There will be an additional virtual workshop in November, and a longer more intensive in-person workshop in Spring 2022. View the recording.

NEON operations and restrictions due to safety impacts (e.g., COVID-19, wildfires, etc.) vary across the Observatory. NEON Leadership is continually assessing conditions across the Observatory. Read current operational status updates.

Did you know NEON has over 103,000 samples from over 700 taxa stored at the NEON Biorepository? These samples are available upon request to support research studies and analyses. Discover and access NEON's archived samples on the NEON Biorepository Data Portal. Explore the portal.

NEON offers a variety of tools and resources for instructors and faculty moving to online teaching. We realize that these are challenging times for our communities around the globe to delivery high quality education in novel online teaching environments. The data and resources from NEON are naturally suited for teaching ecological concepts and skills in both synchronous and asynchronous learning situations. Browse NEON's Learning Hub.

The NEON program generates ecological data on an unprecedented scale. Making sense of that data often requires sophisticated analytical techniques and computer programs. But if you’re not a coder, don’t worry—open source coding resources and community-made custom programs make NEON data more accessible to the ecology community. These resources are now being compiled in the NEON Code Resources Library. Learn more.

Entomology 2021 will be a hybrid meeting with both in-person and virtual presentations. The Annual Meeting will combine four days of an in-person meeting with 3 months of virtual content available for all registrants to access from October 20, 2021 through January 31, 2022l. The online program is now available. Learn more.
More and more researchers are using NEON data! Publications that use NEON data and resources are identified and imported into a public Zotero library, where they are tagged to make them easy to query.

View the newest publications here.
Learn how to find papers of interest here.

Knowing how NEON’s data, samples, and infrastructure are used in research is important to measure the program’s success. Please report your publications and related projects here and learn how to cite NEON here. If you know of a publication not included in the list, please notify us.
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