Just as most of an iceberg stays hidden under the surface of the ocean, many of the most important ecosystem processes happen underfoot. Soil properties, processes and organisms play key roles in everything from climate change to crop growth to clean water and natural disasters.
One of NEON's goals is to monitor carbon cycling at all its terrestrial sites. Gaining an enhanced understanding of the movement of carbon between the atmosphere, vegetation, and soils may help us better understand and predict ecosystem responses to changing conditions like increased carbon emissions from fossil fuel burning.
NEON scientist Dr. Stefan Metzger received the 2013 Young Scientist Award from the German Meteorological Society at the DACH conference of German, Austrian and Swiss meteorologists in Innsbruck, Austria, on September 3. The award is presented every three years for outstanding developments and achievements across all fields of meteorology.
The second annual COOPEUS (COOPeration EU and U.S.) strategic planning meeting was held at NEON last week in order to continue the development of joint harmonization and interoperability between partner observatories in the U.S. and Europe.
One key requirement for NEON site construction is that construction activities have zero impact on the surrounding ecosystem – because any disturbance interferes with NEON’s ability to capture a true baseline for U.S. ecology.
In the latest issue of American Scientist, NEON Citizen Science Director Sandra Henderson and Chicago Botanic Garden Senior Scientist Kayri Havens describe the evolution of the six-year-old NEON citizen science program Project Budburst and tie it back to its historic roots in the observations recorded by naturalists and amateur scientists of centuries past.