By Leslie Goldman
In mid-August 2015, during the Ecological Society of America’s (ESA) centennial annual meeting, 16 past and present ESA presidents gathered to talk about recent scope change directives for the National Ecological Observatory Network. On Sept. 3, they released a guest commentary on the ESA website about their discussion.
Their commentary begins with “the ecological community strongly supports the goals and mission of NEON, despite the recent de-scoping, and [we look] forward to working with NEON to achieve its potential." They go on to mention other major-infrastructure projects that experienced initial challenges and yet continued on to great success, thanks in large part to significant collaboration with the scientific community. In conclusion, they encourage NSF and NEON to increase their efforts to engage and collaborate with the scientific community to “ensure that the re-scoped NEON best meets the needs of environmental and ecological science in the U.S.”
They also note the complementary nature of NEON to the research community by stating,“we believe a successful NEON could generate valuable data to help address problems that currently challenge the very fabric of society and the biosphere that sustains it. NEON can complement, but not replace, other forms of ecological research”
The full commentary can be found here.