About NEON & Mission

Agriculture Systems Climate Change Forest Management Invasion Biology Urban Ecosystems

The National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) is a continental-scale ecological observation system for examining critical ecological issues.

Enabling a Better Understanding of Continental-Scale Ecology

NEON is designed to gather and synthesize data on the impacts of climate change, land use change and invasive species on natural resources and biodiversity. Data will be collected from 106 sites (60 terrestrial, 36 aquatic and 10 aquatic experimental) across the U.S. (including Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico) using instrument measurements and field sampling. The sites have been strategically selected to represent different regions of vegetation, landforms, climate, and ecosystem performance.

NEON will combine site-based data with remotely sensed data and existing continental-scale data sets (e.g. satellite data) to provide a range of scaled data products that can be used to describe changes in the nation’s ecosystem through space and time.

Free and Publicly Accessible Resources

NEON’s open-access approach to its data and information products will enable scientists, educators, planners, decision makers and the public to map, understand and predict the effects of human activities on ecology and effectively address critical ecological questions and issues.

Current Status of the NEON Project

NEON successfully completed the planning and design phases and entered the construction phase in Spring 2012. NEON is currently building sites. Constructing the entire NEON network will take approximately five years, so NEON expects to be in full operation by approximately 2017. NEON will collect data for 30 years.

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THE NEON MISSION

To enable understanding and forecasting of the impacts of climate change, land use change and invasive species on continental-scale ecology – by providing infrastructure and consistent methodologies to support research and education in these areas.

NEON is sponsored by the National Science Foundation