Putting NEON Assets to Use for the Research Community

Setting up terrestrial instrument sensors

Setting up terrestrial instrument sensors

December 2017

NEON provides invaluable data products for the research community—and a whole lot more. Through the NEON Assignable Assets program, NEON is making infrastructure and personnel available to support programs for researchers at academic institutions, government agencies and other organizations. Leveraging NEON’s existing assets and infrastructure could provide researchers with a cost-effective and efficient way to gather field data for their own programs.

Available resources include observational and measurement infrastructure, field teams for specimen collection and observational research, and access to biological samples and specimens collected in the field. Researchers can also request access to NEON field sites and towers for their own field research or placement of additional sensors and equipment.

Researchers can request access to several different types of NEON assets.

  • Mobile Deployment Platform (MDP): A self-contained, truck-mounted suite of sensors, power systems and data logging capabilities for capturing atmospheric, soil and aquatic measurements.
  • Sensor Infrastructure (SI): Infrastructure (ie., towers, power, communications) for physical instrument systems or arrays for collecting environmental data from automated sensor suites.
  • Observational Sampling Infrastructure (OSI): Gives researchers access to NEON sampling locations or to biological samples at NEON sites before they are archived.
  • Airborne Observation Platform (AOP): A suite of remote sensing instruments mounted into a twin otter airplane for collecting airborne data.

These assets are made available to researchers on a cost reimbursable basis. Requests are evaluated based on feasibility, scientific justification and the potential impact on other NEON research activities. Standard requests, for currently funded projects that can be planned well in advance, are evaluated on a quarterly basis. NEON also takes requests for time-sensitive opportunities that arise in response to an unplanned event such as a severe weather event or man-made disaster.

In addition to the infrastructure assets, NEON has field sampling teams available near NEON field sites. These teams can be deployed to collect specimens and observations beyond the scope of routine mission activities to support the specific needs of outside researchers.

The NEON Bioarchive provides another valuable resource for researchers. The Bioarchive is a growing collection of plant and animal specimens and soil and water samples collected at NEON field sites. Researchers can request access to the samples and specimens for study and analyses.

For more information on requesting access to NEON assets, visit the Assignable Assets Program or contact the NEON Project.  

Explore the NEON Bioarchive samples catalog here