The LI-840 Infrared Gas Analyzer requires more maintenance and has an observed failure rate higher than other NEON sensors measuring atmospheric carbon dioxide and water vapor. This has led to multiple data gaps and periods of flagged data. We are investigating the issue further.
Jennifer Cotton , an assistant professor in the Department of Geological Sciences at California State University Northridge, who specializes in paleoclimatic and paleoenvironmental reconstructions of terrestrial ecosystems, shares with us her experiences with mentorship, both as a mentee and as a source of support and inspiration for her students.
The NEON program has now made data from its 47 flux towers available through the AmeriFlux data portal. This will allow researchers to synthesize data from the NEON flux towers with data from other towers across the AmeriFlux network.
Andrew Fricker, used remote sensing data from the NEON Airborne Observation Platform to train a neural net to classify tree species in a Sierra Nevada forest. He and his coauthors describe their approach in Remote Sensing: “A Convolutional Neural Network Classifier Identifies Tree Species in Mixed-Conifer Forest from Hyperspectral Imagery.”
The full timeseries of most instrumented data products (exceptions below) were reprocessed with the most recent algorithms, quality control thresholds, and/or other metadata to improve overall data coverage and quality.
A review of the precipitation data product (part of DP1.00006.001) identified that spurious trace precipitation is recorded frequently for all primary precipitation sensors (weighing gauges). We are working on additional quality control algorithms in order to detect and remove spurious trace events in the primary precipitation data product.
Chris Gough, an associate professor of biology at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), is using data from the NEON program to explore relationships between forest structure, biodiversity, and other characteristics and their ability to sequester carbon. His collaborative work with PIs from the University of Connecticut and Purdue University was recently published in Ecology: “High Rates of Primary Production in Structurally Complex Forests."
A fix has been developed for the issue of missing atmospheric pressure corrections for the soil CO2 concentration data product (DP1.00095.001). Previously published soil CO2 concentration data has been flagged and corrected data are expected to be published by July.
NEON recently discovered an error in the algorithm that creates the Wind speed and direction above water on-buoy (DP1.20059.001) data product. Data from the corrected algorithm will be republished following a large data republication effort.
The Ozarks Complex (Domain 08) takes its name from the Ozark Mountains and Plateau, but this diverse Domain contains more than just mountains. Stretching across the southern U.S. from eastern Oklahoma and Texas to western Georgia, D08 supports a variety of ecosystems ranging from upland hardwood forests to coastal floodplains. The NEON program field sites in Alabama provide a window into watershed dynamics in the southeastern U.S.
Understanding why tick populations are increasing, and why some species are spreading into new geographic areas, is of critical importance to public health. In a recent study, researchers used NEON data to develop a model of tick population dynamics at the Ordway Swisher Biological Station field site.
Large data downloads using neonUtilities may fail to download all available data due to the new API rate limit. We are working to release a new version of neonUtilities that handles this situation smoothly.
A team led by NEON scientists David Hulslander and Jessica Bolis has developed a method to map tree mortality with an unprecedented level of detail using hyperspectral remote sensing data from the NEON Airborne Observational Platform and a novel imaging algorithm.
Dr. Angela Strecker talks about her career path into ecology, describes how she’s learned to open up about her own experiences to help students, and talks about the important work she does related to invasive species’ impact on our environment.
The NEON program collects plant phenology data—that is, observations about the timing of biological events—at terrestrial and aquatic field sites across the continent. A partnership with the USA National Phenology Network (USA-NPN) has now made these data available through the USA-NPN data access and visualization tools.
Previously, we identified an issue with the 2019 Toolik airborne (AOP) spectrometer (NIS) data products. The data have been reprocessed, and, as of 30 April 2020, the corrected data are available via the data portal.
D20 is the smallest and westernmost of the NEON eco-climatic domains, encompassing all of the islands that form the state of Hawai‘i. The Hawaiian Islands, lying at latitude 20° N, are part of a tropical climate zone that forms a band around the Earth near the equator. Other Pacific islands in this zone include the Marshall Islands, the Mariana Islands, Papua New Guinea, and the Federated States of Micronesia.
Earth Day reminds us that the earth and the environment belong to all of us—and everyone can get involved in observing, studying and protecting our ecological treasures. Citizen science projects offer opportunities for people of all ages, backgrounds and education levels to get involved in ecology and environmental science directly. The data gathered through these programs can complement and support the work being done by individual researchers and large-scale ecology observatories like the NEON program.
We have discovered that the atmospheric pressure correction for the soil CO2 concentration data product (DP1.00095.001) is not being performed, causing incorrect values to be reported. Work has begun to correct this issue with the expectation of having it resolved by approximately July 2020.
Small mammal pathogen testing protocols for the NEON program are about to get an overhaul. The Observatory is shifting the focus of Rodent-borne Pathogen Status data product from hantaviruses to tickborne diseases such as Lyme disease, anaplasmosis and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. The new testing protocols will be piloted at five sites in 2020 in preparation for a planned rollout to all NEON terrestrial field sites in 2021.
The NEON program generates ecological data on an unprecedented scale. Making sense of that data often requires sophisticated analytical techniques and computer programs. But if you’re not a coder, don’t worry—open source coding resources and community-made custom programs make NEON data more accessible to the ecology community. These resources are now being compiled in the NEON Code Resources Library.
In our conversations with female ecologists, we’ve heard themes about how to not only recruit women into STEM fields but also how to retain women in professional roles within scientific and academic institutions. The value of mentors for female students and early-career scientists cannot be overstated, for example.
NEON offers a variety of tools and resources for instructors and faculty moving to online teaching. We realize that these are challenging times for our communities around the globe to delivery high quality education in novel online teaching environments. The data and resources from NEON are naturally suited for teaching ecological concepts and skills in both synchronous and asynchronous learning situations.
We are committed to the safety and health of our employees, partners and communities, and to slowing the spread of COVID-19. With the concurrence of the National Science Foundation (NSF), we are temporarily suspending 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.
How does human activity impact the environment? The Mid-Atlantic Domain (Domain 02) is a great place to find out. The eastern seaboard of the U.S. has undergone massive changes and development over the last 250 years. Data from the NEON field sites in Maryland and Virginia provide a window into how land use patterns, invasive species and climate change are impacting eastern habitats and ecosystems.