This summer, more than 3500 ecologists gathered in Montréal for the 2022 ESA/CSEE joint meeting. We were thrilled to participate and have the opportunity to meet NEON data users (and prospective data users) face to face - here are some highlights!
Dozens of individuals and teams have participated in the Ecological Forecasting Initiative Research Coordination Network (EFI-RCN)’s NEON Ecological Forecasting Challenge, which challenges people to create ecological forecasts using data from the NEON program. Educators across the country are using the Challenge with their undergraduate and graduate students.
Janelle Hakala, a NEON instrument technician and a NEON-TEX Community Science Fellow, worked with Wildlands Restoration Volunteers in Colorado to develop a long-term monitoring plan modeled on the NEON plant protocols.
As they fly around the U.S. collecting data from Domain to Domain, our Airborne Sensor Operators (ASOs) take some pretty good photos! Here we introduce you to three of our ASOs and showcase some pictures taken aboard NEON's Airborne Observation Platform (AOP)—along with some other fun photos of life as a NEON ASO.
NEON and LTER have worked closely together since the initial design phase of the NEON Observatory. In fact, a number of NEON sites were deliberately colocated with established LTER sites across the country. These shared spaces add value for both networks and for the research community at large.
NEON field staff are monitoring fruiting and ripening of five species of berries at four terrestrial field sites in Alaska to support the Alaska Berry Future Project. Lori Petrauski, a NEON Senior Field Ecologist for Domains 18 and 19 (Tundra and Taiga), planned and set up the new berry monitoring protocol as part of her Thriving Earth Exchange (TEX) fellowship.
Teams and individuals are creating ecological forecasts around five themes, including terrestrial water and carbon fluxes, beetle communities, tick populations, aquatic ecosystems, and plant phenology using NEON data.
Students participating in ESA's SEEDS program receive engaging and hands-on ecological experiences developed for mainly undergraduates. The goal is to enable diverse students to learn more about ecological sciences and the many ways in which they could pursue Ecology as a career path. SEEDS students visited the NEON GUAN site in March 2022, their first trip since the pandemic.
Measurement depths (zOffset in the sensor positions file) are currently reported incorrectly in the Soil water content and salinity data product (DP1.00094.001) at all terrestrial sites; however, the moisture and salinity measurements themselves are not impacted by this issue.
As the Arctic climate warms, many areas where soils were previously frozen year-round are now experiencing cycles of freezing and thawing. Researchers set out to discover how these cycles are changing the physical structure of Arctic soils—using soil cores from NEON's Toolik Field Station (TOOL). The study is published in Geoderma.
In our second of this blog series highlighting the many diverse backgrounds and paths in ecology, we talked to NEON's Jeb Timm, who grew up in and works in semi-remote Alaska, about his current role and any advice he has for the next generation of ecologists—particularly those pursuing technical or vocational paths into the field.
Understanding how biological invasions start, the factors that allow invasive species to thrive, and their impact on native ecosystems are critical questions for ecology. A paper published in Ecosphere highlights the ways in which data from the NEON program could help ecologists explore the impacts and mechanisms of invasion.
Interest in Nature-based Climate Solutions is growing, in large part due to carbon markets that provide incentives to landowners. A new paper explores the use of eddy covariance flux towers and other measurement methods to get a better understanding of the impact of leveraging nature for addressing climate change.
At Pu'u Maka'ala Natural Area Reserve (PUUM) in Hawai`i, researchers have verified the discovery of two previously undescribed species of carabids (ground beetles). The two new species are both members of Mecyclothorax, a genus of ground beetles most diverse on volcanoes in the Hawaiian Islands and the Society Islands of French Polynesia.
NEON field sites are no stranger to the effects of increasing wildfires. Field sites that have experienced burning provide a unique window for research on wildfire in small ecosystems, and on how a site may recover and change post-fire. A few of our field ecologists share how their sites have been affected by fire over recent years.
We spoke with Shalane Frost, one of NEON's assistant Domain managers for field operations in Alaska, about her unique career path and balancing her ecology studies with her athletic career. Frost believes that a career in ecology should not be one-size-fits-all, and that people in STEM—especially women—should feel empowered to explore a variety of paths that incorporate ecology into their academic and professional journeys.
Six teachers and more than 50 students across Puerto Rico had the opportunity to explore ecological questions using NEON data as part of the 2021 PR NEON Data Jam. The event, coordinated by Forward Research and sponsored by Battelle, was built on the LTER model using NEON data from the Guánica Dry Forest (GUAN) site in Puerto Rico (D04).
AOP data that were erroneously not included in RELEASE-2022 are now available in that release as well as searchable with LATEST AND PROVISIONAL release tag. For these data products, RELEASE-2022 supersedes RELEASE-2021. Read on to learn more.