Request Archival Samples

NEON is currently building an online ID system to help data users locate where NEON samples are archived. In the interim, we do have a variety of types of samples available from NEON by request.

Please scroll through the list below to find the archival sample you are looking for:


Benthic Aquatic Microbes: Available through May 17, 2017​

  • Benthic aquatic microbe samples from a former aquatic site in Domain 01 -  Arthur Brook (Bigelow Brook) in Harvard Forest.

Benthic microbial sampling at wadeable stream sites occurs three times per year, roughly spring, summer, and autumn. Benthic biofilms are collected during periods of stable stream flow (e.g., when the stream is not flooding, defined as >3x median discharge for the preceding year) using a series of scrubbing procedures, depending on habitat and substratum type. Microbial samples are collected both as whole sample (plant or sediment grab) and on filters for archive and analysis. If you are interested in learning more about the currently available benthic aquatic microbe samples, click on the link below.

Request Benthic Aquatic Microbe Samples


Prototype Soil Microbes (Frozen): Available immediately (for a limited time)

Battelle has a number of frozen soil resources available in a temporary archive in ultra-low freezers (-80°C).  This archive is considered a community resource; samples may be requested for scientific and educational purposes.  Presently, archive facilities are unavailable for long term curation of these samples.  As such, samples are being made available immediately to the community. 

Request Soil Microbe Samples


Mega-Pit Soil Archive

During the construction of each terrestrial field site, soil are collected from multiple soil horizons at a single soil pit that is up to 2m deep. These samples serve as a reference of soil physical and chemical conditions at the time the NEON site was constructed.

If you are interested in requesting megapit soil from a particular site or set of sites, please click the link below. In order to balance preservation and sample use, request only the minimum amount of soil needed for your study. Any amount of material may be requested; however, we are more likely to approve requests for smaller quantities of soil per sample (e.g., <20 g per sample). Requests for larger quantities may be approved if justified and the aim of the study passes the merit review.

Associated megapit soil data including soil physical and chemical properties as well as root sampling may be downloaded from the NEON data portal.

Request Soil Mega-Pit Samples


Excess Soils

Excess soils may remain after soils are fully processed for physical, chemical and microbial measurements.  NEON does not plan to archive these soils.  However, we may be able to make excess soil available to the research community in an ad hoc fashion and on a first-come-first-serve basis. The amount available in any given month will vary depending upon analytical needs for soils during that month; amounts will also vary across sites and years.  If you are interested in finding out whether there are excess soils available from a particular site, please click the link below.

Request Excess Soils


Other Samples

Additional NEON samples not listed on this page may be available from external archival and curation facilities, such as museums. NEON is currently building an online ID lookup system to aid users in finding samples. In the interim, if you are interested in discovering whether specific types of samples are available, please contact the NEON Archival Samples Team.


Learn more about NEON's Sample Use Policy and Data Usage and Citation Policies.