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.
Interested in planning a ground sampling project in coordination with one of our airborne remote sensing surveys? The 2020 NEON flight schedule is now available. Two aircraft will be deployed June through September to collect data over 20 terrestrial and 11 aquatic sites, covering 9 of the 20 NEON Domains.
We have identified that the timestamp of the on-site server was set at SYCA and WLOU for certain date ranges. All impacted data have been removed from the NEON data portal and will be re-streamed, re-processed, and re-published.
Dr. Sydne Record's educational and professional experience provide a fascinating glimpse into women’s paths in academic science, the crucial role of mentors and advocates in a student’s development, and how the field can be more inclusive going forward.
A new modeling approach could allow researchers to use remote sensing lidar data to predict small mammal biodiversity based on the structure of vegetation in an area. The study was led by Sarah Schooler, now a Ph.D. candidate at State University of New York (SUNY)–Syracuse, and Harold Zald of the Humboldt State University Department of Forestry and Wildland Resources. Lidar Prediction of Small Mammal Diversity in Wisconsin, published in Remote Sensing, explores how measurements of vegetation structure created with lidar data could be used to predict the diversity of small mammal communities.
In the middle of the country, you'll find a land of windswept prairies, cattle ranches and enormous fields of wheat, corn, sorghum, hay and alfalfa. This is the Central Plains (Domain 10), where agriculture rules.
The terrestrial instrument system (TIS) team identified that the 2D anemometers on the NEON towers were producing 2D wind data that did not correlate with 2D wind data collected at NEON meteorological stations nearby. The TIS team is in the process of identifying site- and measurement-level--specific dates of incorrect anemometer orientation so that these data can be corrected.
In recent years, the persistence of gender disparities in STEM fields has become a concern for educators, research institutions and commercial firms. We asked Dr. Nancy Glenn about her experience as a woman in ecology and how the field can continue to encourage gender diversity.