NEON resumed operations at select sites on May 18th, with required PPE, temperature checks, and other safety precautions in place for staff and surrounding communities. NEON Leadership is continually assessing conditions across the Observatory, resuming operations and reinstating closures where changes in local conditions (i.e., government guidelines, local infection trends, local hospital capacity, and/or local availability of PPE and supplies) dictate.
On March 23rd, with the concurrence of the National Science Foundation (NSF), NEON temporarily suspended all activities across NEON that involve in-person or on-site work—including all Domains, headquarters and airborne operations—due to the nationwide risks to health and safety associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. NEON Leadership has approved resumption of operations at offices and sites listed below in Tables 1 and 3 for activities that cannot be conducted from home, following a review of government guidelines, local infection trends, local hospital capacity, local availability of PPE and supplies, and the local operational plan presented by NEON’s local operations managers. Detailed plans have been provided to staff to help ensure their safety and the safety of those around them, including temperature checks and face coverings. The safety of our staff is the top priority, and so end users should anticipate reductions in data collection even at these sites, given the operational restrictions needed to create a safe working environment.
At select Domain support facilities and sites, listed below in Tables 2 and 4, NEON Leadership has authorized resumption of even more limited operations; most NEON sampling and maintenance remain cancelled at these sites. Additional precautions are being taken in these regions to further ensure the safety of our staff in these communities. Locations not listed below are not approved to conduct in-person activities.
As conditions change and governmental requirements indicate, recommendations and decisions may continue to change. NEON Leadership is continually assessing conditions across the Observatory and has reinstated closures where changes in local conditions (i.e., government guidelines, local infection trends, local hospital capacity, and/or local availability of PPE and supplies) indicate increased risk. We will continue to keep you updated on any changes and their impact on Observatory operations. NEON staff remain available to respond to user inquiries.
STATUS (As of 23 November 2020)
|Office Description||Office Location||Approved Restart Date|
|Headquarters - Calibration and Validation Lab, Engineering and Production Lab, Warehouse||Boulder, CO||18 May 2020|
|Hangar||Boulder, CO||18 May 2020|
|Domain 02 Support Facility||Front Royal, VA||15 June 2020|
|Domain 04 Support Facility||Guanica, Puerto Rico||9 June 2020|
|Domain 17 Support Facility||Fresno, CA||6 October 2020|
|Domain 20 Support Facility||Hilo, HI||1 June 2020|
|Office Description||Office Location|
|Domain 01 Support Facility||Fitchburg, MA|
|Domain 03 Support Facility||Gainesville, FL|
|Domain 06 Support Facility||Manhattan, KS|
|Domain 07 Support Facility||Oak Ridge, TN|
|Domain 08 Support Facility||Tuscaloosa, AL|
|Domain 10/13 Support Facility||Boulder, CO|
|Domain 11 Support Facility||Denton, TX|
|Domain 14 Support Facility||Tucson, AZ|
|Domain 16 Support Facility||Vancouver, WA|
|Domain 18/19 Support Facility||Fairbanks, AK|
|NEON Domain||Sites with resumed operations||Sites with continuing restrictions||Approved Restart Date|
|D02 - Mid-Atlantic||SBCI, POSE, BLAN, LEWI, SERC||11 June 2020|
|D04 - Atlantic Neotropical||GUAN, LAJA, CUPE, GUIL||9 June 2020|
|D17 - Pacific Southwest||SJER, SOAP, BIGC, TEAK, TECR||6 October 2020|
|D20 - Pacific Tropical||PUUM||8 June 2020|
|D01 - Northeast||HARV, HOPB, BART|
|D03 - Southeast||JERC, FLNT, OSBS, SUGG, BARC, DSNY|
|D06 - Prairie Peninsula||KONZ, KING, KONA, MCDI|
|D07 - Appalachians & Cumberland Plateau||ORNL, WALK, GRSM, LECO, MLBS|
|D08 - Ozarks Complex||BLWA, DELA, LENO, TOMB, MAYF, TALL|
|D10 - Central Plains||CPER, STER, RMNP, ARIK|
|D11 - Southern Plains||CLBJ, PRIN|
|D13 - Southern Rockies & Colorado Plateau||COMO, WLOU, NIWO|
|D14 - Desert Southwest||SRER, SYCA|
|D16 - Pacific Northwest||MART, MCRA, WREF, ABBY|
|D18 - Tundra||OKSR, TOOL, TOOK|
|D19 - Taiga||BONA, CARI, DEJU, HEAL|
Projects that are conducting independent work at NEON sites may be impacted as access to some sites have been temporarily closed per the site host. If you are planning on visiting a NEON site, please double check with the site host or site’s website to determine if the site is accessible. Access to or within NEON infrastructure is not permitted at this time except at the sites listed above (e.g., access to sensor sets, access within fenced areas, or access within NEON sampling plots).
Airborne operations (AOP) have resumed in a limited capacity, with the installation of two payloads into Twin Otter aircraft delayed until a June 1st start. Data collection flights resumed on June 12 according to the schedule below. The safety of each deployment is evaluated continually, as is true for all of NEON operations, so the proposed schedule below is subject to significant change.
2020 AOP Deployment Schedule - Tentative
|Payload 2||Payload 3|
|Domain||Start Date||End Date||Domain||Start Date||End Date|
|9||13 June||2 July||10||12 June||5 July|
|12||5 July||17 July||6||7 July||17 July|
|13||19 July||11 Aug||5||19 July||18 Aug|
Data Products Status
Observation System (OS) Products
- No new observational data or samples are being collected except at the sites listed above; these data are all dependent on human operators being in the field.
- Samples collected prior to the suspension of activities may continue to be analyzed by external laboratories, if laboratories remain open, resulting in new data becoming available. Samples collected but not yet shipped from field offices remain in storage for later analysis; shipping of samples has resumed where both field offices and the external laboratories have opened.
- Includes DP IDs: DP1.1XXXX, subset of DP1.2XXXX, DP4.00131, DP4.00132
Airborne Observation Products
- Airborne products are being collected according to the tentative schedule above; these data are all dependent on human operators traveling extensively and being in the field.
- Includes DP IDs: DPX.3XXXX
Instrumented System Products
- Most sensors are continuing to collect data and communicate data to the centralized database. There is limited impact to instrumentation currently deployed; however, regular on-site maintenance is suspended.
- Includes DP IDs: DPX.0XXXX (except for DP4.00131, DP4.00132), subset of DP1.2XXXX
- If unplanned power or communications outages occur, NEON Leadership will evaluate each incident on a case-by-case basis to ensure that any efforts by staff to visit the impacted site and restore normal operations can be done safely. Please note that communications outages typically result in delayed delivery of data rather than data loss.
- Sites that are currently experiencing power outages or data loss:
- D01 HOPB - Power, RESTORED 2020/11/16
- D15 REDB - Power stable since 2020/11/10
- D11 BLUE (AIS) - Power down since 2020/08/15
- Sites that are currently experiencing communications outages:
- D17 TECR (AIS) - Communications intermittent since 2020/11/17
- D13 COMO (AIS) - Communications down since 2020/10/23
- D15 ONAQ (TIS) - Communications down since 2020/10/21
- Primary precipitation sensors (weighing gauge housed within a small double fence intercomparison reference; DP1.00006) that use hazardous chemicals were covered and shut-down at sites at risk of overflow to avoid environmental contamination.
- Currently affected sites: D11 CLBJ, PRIN, BLUE; D15 REDB; D16 WREF; D18 TOOL
Wet deposition chemical analysis (DP1.00013) requires regular sample collection from the site and so will not be generated until field operations resume, as captured above.
Eddy Covariance bundled data product (DP4.00200) is expected to continue to be generated during this time. However, NEON staff will remotely monitor the zero-air cylinders that are critical to the safety of the isotopic analyzers. The isotopic analyzers will be shut down if the zero-air cylinders run low. Eddy Covariance Turbulent Exchange and Storage Exchange validations will be shut down automatically as gas cylinders run low, but sampling will be ongoing. Compromised data will be flagged accordingly. No sites have been impacted at this time.
Assignable Asset Status
Battelle staff are continuing to work remotely and the Assignable Asset team will continue to process all current requests and any new requests submitted during this time. PIs with specific questions or concerns about current or planned projects, please contact the Assignable Assets team.