The Observatory

The National Ecological Observatory Network, sponsored by the National Science Foundation and operated by Battelle, is designed to collect and provide open data that characterize and quantify complex, rapidly changing ecological processes across the US. The comprehensive data, spatial extent and remote sensing technology provided by NEON will enable a large and diverse user community to tackle new questions at scales not accessible to previous generations of ecologists.

Measuring the causes and effects of environmental change

  • NEON collects and processes data that characterize plant, animals, soil, nutrients, freshwater and atmosphere from field sites across the U.S. (including Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico) over a 30-year time frame.
  • Field sites are strategically selected to represent different regions of vegetation, landforms, climate, and ecosystem performance.
  • Data collection methods are standardized across sites and include in situ automated instrument measurements, observational sampling and airborne remote sensing
  • These standardized methods ensure comparability of ecological patterns and processes across NEON sites and through time.
  • Data and resources are freely available to enable users to tackle scientific questions at scales not accessible to previous generations of ecologists.
  • NEON’s open-access data, resources and infrastructure 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.

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

Free and Publicly Accessible Resources

NEON provides large amounts of freely available resources, primarily: