Measuring the causes and effects of environmental change

NEON is a continental-scale ecological observation facility, sponsored by the National Science Foundation and operated by Battelle, that gathers and synthesizes data on the impacts of climate change, land use change and invasive species on natural resources and biodiversity. 

The NEON observatory is designed to collect high-quality, standardized data from 81 field sites (47 terrestrial and 34 aquatic) across the U.S. (including Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico). Data collection methods are standardized across sites and include in situ instrument measurements, field sampling and airborne remote sensing. Field sites are strategically selected to represent different regions of vegetation, landforms, climate, and ecosystem performance. NEON data and resources are freely available to enable users to tackle scientific questions at scales not accessible to previous generations of ecologists.

Learn about the science and design of NEON

Video about the science and design of NEON

Collecting NEON data

Video about how NEON collects data

Use NEON's Free and Publicly Accessible Resources

NEON provides large amounts of freely available resources, primarily:

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 while preparing to transition some parts of the Observatory to full operations. NEON is expected to enter full operations in 2018.  NEON will collect data for 30 years.

NEON's Mission

The mission of the National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) is 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 part of a bold effort to:

  • Understand and forecast continental-scale environmental change
  • Inform natural resource decisions
  • Engage the next generation of scientists