West of the Mississippi and east of the Rockies lies a northern landscape dominated by wide-open spaces, prairie grasslands and an abundance of agriculture. Welcome to the Northern Plains Domain, NEON Domain 09.
Dr. Phoebe Zarnetske, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Integrative Biology at Michigan State University (MSU), is using data from the NEON sites to investigate patterns in biodiversity and species traits across the continent. Her goal is to better understand the drivers that influence species distributions and community assembly.
The Southern Rockies and Colorado Plateau field sites offer some of the most stunning views in the observatory. But these fragile alpine, subalpine and high desert ecosystems are also threatened by climate change, pollution and invasive species.
Paula Mabee, the Nolop Distinguished Professor in the Department of Biology at the University of South Dakota, has been selected as the Chief Scientist and Observatory Director of the National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON).
Kyla Dahlin and her team are using Airborne Remote Sensing data from five NEON sites to develop detailed 3D maps of forest structure. Their work, which was funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), could provide new insights into the carbon storage potential of forests.
Land use changes and habitat loss have resulted in an overall loss of biodiversity across much of the country. Luis Carrasco, a post-doctoral fellow at NIMBioS, is leveraging NEON data to better understand the relationships between vegetation structure and density and bird biodiversity in forested ecosystems.
Microbial community composition data products for all data analyzed after Jan 1, 2016 had an issue with the sequence data processing pipeline. This issue is causing the resulting community composition data to consist of very few counts and lower than expected diversity. We are in the process of evaluating the extent of the issue.
To date, all NEON groundwater and surface water elevation data has had high uncertainty due to unstable survey reference points and delays in reporting field-based sensor position adjustments. In-the-field infrastructure upgrades will improve NEON water elevation data products at many aquatic sites.
Adlafia neoniana (Naviculaceae) may be tiny, but it's got a big name to live up to. It's the first new species to be discovered on a NEON field site and named after the NEON program. So what is this newly discovered organism? A single-celled aquatic alga with a cell wall made of silica, known as a diatom.
A new partnership with the Arizona State University Global Airborne Observatory (ASU-GAO) will make more frequent airborne observations possible of NEON's Hawaii field site in the Pu`u Maka`ala Natural Area Reserve. The GAO team completed their first flyover of PUUM in January 2019, and these data are now available.
The exact composition of each local community is influenced by variables that include evolutionary history, current climate and interspecies competition or codependence. A new study led by Will Pearse of Utah State University is using NEON data to quantify the roles of these different variables in the assembly of ecological communities.
Michael Cramer, a small mammal researcher and the Assistant Director of the University of Notre Dame Environmental Research Center (UNDERC), has spent much of his career studying the ecology and behavior of mice and other small mammals. His latest research leverages NEON data to document how mouse populations are changing over time—and how these small fries may be changing the ecosystems around them.
The environment impacts every single one of us. But historically, we haven't all had equal opportunity to be involved in the data collection and analysis that informs our understanding of the environment and drives environmental policy. That's why Battelle and the NEON program teamed up with QUBES and 11 other partners for a three-day conference in Boulder, Colorado in April 2019.
On October 15-17, more than 150 ecologists, earth scientists, data analysts and programmers will descend on Boulder, CO for the NEON Science Summit . While the "unconference" is sold out, those interested in exploring ideas for using NEON data can still participate remotely.
Collecting leaf (foliar) samples from the top of the forest canopy can be difficult and dangerous work. But NEON field teams may soon have an easier way to snip samples with the help of a drone equipped with a robotic sampling device. In July, the Pacific Northwest team tested drone technology from DeLeaves to collect foliar canopy samples at NEON’s terrestrial field site in the Wind River Experimental Forest (WREF), Washington.
What can a ground beetle tell us about the environment? Quite a lot! This diverse and ubiquitous family of insects provides a window into environmental health and change. Erik Oberg, a biologist at Yellowstone National Park, is leading an ambitious beetle-biodiversity initiative on the Northern Range of the park.
How are ecosystems across the continent changing over time? What are the relationships between climate, ecosystem composition and soil organic matter? And how are soil composition and carbon storage potential likely to change in the future? The answers lie under our feet.