About Field Sites
Woodworth (WOOD) is a terrestrial NEON field site located just east of Woodworth, North Dakota. The land is managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. Geological Survey as part of the larger Chase Lake National Wildlife Refuge (NWR). WOOD is ecompassed in the heart of the Missouri Coteau, on a 10.4 km2 (2561 acre) Waterfowl Production Area dedicated to research by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. NEON sampling at WOOD occurs across a sampling area of 11 km2 (2718 acres). The region includes a patchwork of grasslands, agricultural, and wetland/aquatic communities embedded in small agrarian communities. The site is a restored prairie located in an undulating matrix of small lakes, ponds, and ephemeral prairie potholes formed by glaciers 10,000 years ago. It is part of NEON's Northern Plains Domain (D09), which includes two other terrestrial field sites and two aquatic field sites.   
North Dakota has continental climate characterized by vast variations in both seasonal and daily temperatures. Air flow throughout the region creates windy conditions. In the winter, arctic air masses create cold and dry conditions. Summer airflow from the Northern Pacific air masses bring warmer dry conditions, while occasional tropical air flow creates warm and wet conditions. This highly variably shift in air masses ultimately provides North Dakota with moderate precipitation annually of around 330-508 mm (13-20 in.). Average annual temperature ranges from 2.8-6.1°C (37-43°F), with winters often below -17.8°C (0°F) and summers above 32°C (90°F). The mean annual temperature in the vicinity is 4.9°C (40.8°F) and mean annual precipitation is 495 mm (19.5 in.). Preipitation varies from year to year, with more precipitation falling during the summer months when thunderstorm activity is the highest. Weather exhibits extreme variability, with periodic droughts, hailstorms, fluctuations in temperature, and frequent strong winds. The most severe storms can produce hail, tornadoes, or damaging straight-line winds.   
The geology at this site is composed of river sediments (sand and gravel), underlain by the Coleharbor Formation. Parent materials at WOOD consist of late Wisconsin glacial deposits and outwash.  
Soils at this site are dominated by Mollisols in the subgroup Typic Haplustolls, with lesser proportions classified in the Inceptisols Order. The soils have textures of Fine-Loamy with lesser proportions of fine, fine-loamy over sandy, sandy-skeletal, and sandy textures. There is no major stream drainage and surface runoff flows into many pothole depressions that are typically inundated for several weeks in spring and summer.   
WOOD lies in a region characterized by an undulating matrix of small lakes, ponds, and ephemeral prairie potholes. The colocated aquatic site PRPO is a year-long depressional freshwater wetland which fills with snowmelt and rain during the spring and summer storms.  [5 
The Northern Plains Domain is dominated by prairie grasslands, including a combination of short and mid-stature grasses, and croplands. Dominant vegetation types include blue grama (Bouteloua gracilis) and green needle grass (Nassella viridula). Tame grasses, legumes, and many species of wildflower are also present.  
Chase Lake NWR where WOOD is located is home to the largest breeding colony of American White pelicans (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos) and several other species of water birds such as California gulls (Larus californicus), snowy egrets (Egretta thula), and double-crested cormorants (Phalacrocorax auritus). Other fauna include elk (Cervus canadensis), white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus), red fox (Vulpes vulpes), coyote (Canis latrans), plains spadefoot toad (Spea bombifrons), smooth green snake (Opheodrys vernalis), sharp-tailed grouse (Tympanuchus phasianellus), and several other species of birds and small mammals. NEON provides data on five types of wildlife at WOOD: birds, small mammals, ground beetles, mosquitoes, and ticks.  
Past Land Management and Use
Native American presence in the area dates back to 10,000 years ago, following the retreat of the continental glaciers. Before European settlers arrived, the Dakota or Lakota nation, as well as the Assiniboine, Cheyenne, Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara groups were present in what is now North Dakota. Native Americans and Euro-Americans came into contact in the 18th Century and further American settlement commenced in 1861 following the establishment of North Dakota as a territory. WOOD is part of the larger Chase Lake NWR, which was established in 1908 as a reserve and breeding ground for native birds and is the fifteenth oldest refuge in the country. Since 1969, this site has been used for studying the response of wildlife to applied treatments of grazing, burning, idling, and annual cropping. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service conducts annual wildlife surveys to determine the size and health of nesting bird populations around the lake. The site has been historically tilled, cultivated, and grazed.     
Current Land Management and Use
The U.S. Geological Survey and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service manage the Larger Chase Lake National Wildlife Refuge where WOOD is located. At Chase Lake NWR, all but 1 km2 (230 acres) of the 19.5 km2 (4,835 acres) are designated as wilderness area. Land management at Chase NWR is focused on maintaining the biological diversity, integrity, and overall environmental health of the ecosystem in and around the lake. Private landowners play a role in protecting the wetlands and grasslands in the Prairie Pothole Region, which serve as critical migration and breeding habitat for birds. The primary human activities here are research and wilderness recreation, including bird watching. Limited trapping is allowed in the NWR with proper permits. Historically, grazing bison and wildfires caused by lightning helped evolve and shape the mixed-grass prairie. Current land management at WOOD is focused on continuing this cycle by re-seeding with native plant species and using light cattle grazing and prescribed burns to promote the growth of native species.     
NEON Site Establishment
NEON site characterization at WOOD was completed in 2014. Plot establishment was completed and terrestrial observations and sampling began in 2014. The site transitioned to operations in October 2015, and the terrestrial instrumentation system came online and started streaming data in 2016.
 Terrestrial Observation System (TOS) Site Characterization Report: Domain 09. NEON.DOC.003893vB
 North Dakota Geological Survey: https://www.dmr.nd.gov/ndgs/ndnotes/ndn1.asp
 North Dakota Game and Fish: https://gf.nd.gov/wildlife/habitats/climate
 Aquatic Instrument System (AIS) Site Characterization Report: Domain 09. NEON.DOC.001670vB
 Parsley, J. (2016). NEON Site-Level Plot Summary, Woodworth (WOOD), July 2016. https://data.neonscience.org/documents/10179/2361410/WOOD_Soil_SiteSumm…
 Herman, G. S. and Johnson, L. A. (2008). Habitats of North Dakota, North Dakota Studies Project.
 Terrestrial Instrument System (TIS, FIU) Site Characterization Supporting Data: Domain 09. NEON.DOC.011055
 U.S. Geological Survey, 2005, Mineral Resources Data System: U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, Virginia. https://mrdata.usgs.gov/mrds/
 State Historical Society of North Dakota: https://www.history.nd.gov/ndhistory/firstpeople.html
 PRISM Climate Group, Oregon State University, http://prism.oregonstate.edu,created 4 Feb 2004.
Remote sensing surveys of this field site collect lidar, spectrometer and high-resolution RGB camera data.
This site has a flux/meteorological tower that is 8 m (26 ft) tall with four measurement levels. The tower top extends above the vegetation canopy to allow sensors mounted at the top and along the tower to capture the full profile of atmospheric conditions from the top of the vegetation canopy to the ground. The tower collects physical and chemical properties of atmosphere-related processes, such as humidity, wind, and net ecosystem gas exchange. Precipitation data are collected by a Double Fence Intercomparison Reference (DFIR) near the tower.
Soil Sensor Measurements
This site has five soil plots placed in an array within the airshed of the flux tower. Photosynthetically Active Radiation (PAR) at soil surface, soil heat flux, and solar radiation are measured at the soil surface in each soil plot. Soil moisture, soil temperature, and CO2 concentration are measured at multiple depths in each soil plot.
At terrestrial sites, field ecologists observe birds and plants, and sample ground beetles, mosquitoes, small mammals, soil microbes, and ticks. Lab analyses are carried out to provide further data on DNA sequences, pathogens, soils, sediments, and biogeochemistry. Learn more about terrestrial observations or explore this site's data products.
Field Site Data
US Fish and Wildlife Service
Site Access Allowed
Site Access Details
This site host welcomes and encourages additional research activities related to the US Fish And Wildlife mission.
NEON Field Operations Office
NEON Field Operations Address
1503 Business Loop East
Jamestown, ND 58401
NEON Field Operations Phone
Mean Annual Temperature
Mean Annual Precipitation
Dominant Wind Direction
Mean Canopy Height
Dominant NLCD Classes
Emergent Herbaceous Wetlands, Grassland/Herbaceous
Average number of green days
Average first greenness increase date
Average peak green date
Average first greenness decrease date
Average minimum greenness date
Number of Tower Levels
USGS Geology Unit
USGS Geology Name
Coleharbor Formation- River Sediment- Collapsed River Sediment
USGS Lithologic Constituents
Sand and gravel
USGS Geology Age
Megapit Soil Family
Coarse, loamy, over-sandy or sandy, skeletal, mixed, superactive, frigid. Typic Haplustolls.
Other Domain D09 Field Sites
Other Field Sites in ND