The primary NEON Biorepository is curated by Arizona State University and encompasses the long-term storage and curation of most NEON samples and specimens which include voucher specimens, whole organisms, tissues, and samples that are collected and processed for chemistry, disease and genetics. A subset of samples are archived at and available from various curation facilities listed below.
Tick sampling is conducted at 46 out of NEON's 47 terrestrial field sites (all but PUUM in Hawaii). Once samples are collected from the field, NEON’s field ecologists process, pack up and ship the samples to the U.S. National Tick Collection at Georgia Southern University where ticks are identified to species, life stage and sex (when possible). A subset of identified ticks is sent to the Laboratory of Medical Zoology (LMZ) at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, a national tick testing lab, to conduct DNA analysis to identify which pathogens each specimen is carrying.
Some ticks are also set aside for long-term archiving. The samples are stored in 2mL vials filled with ethyl alcohol. All tick samples collected by NEON during construction and continuing through operations are available and will be curated through the U.S. National Tick Collection at Georgia Southern University.
Megapit and Distributed Initial Characterization Soil Archives
During the construction and initial operations of every terrestrial field site, soil was collected from multiple soil horizons at a single soil "megapit" that is up to 2 m deep, and from plots across each site that were up to 1 m deep. These samples serve as a reference of soil physical and chemical conditions at the time the NEON site was constructed. These soil archives are located at NEON Headquarters or the University of Michigan Biological Station - Sample Archive Facility in Ehlers (UMBS-SAFE) and are available upon request.
During the course of NEON sampling, more samples or greater volumes of samples are sometimes collected than are needed for downstream lab analyses or archiving in the NEON Biorepository. These excess samples can be requested by researchers through the NEON Assignable Assets program.
- Small mammal samples collected prior to 2018 - Museum of Southwestern Biology
- Small mammal samples previously collected in Florida - University of Florida Gainesville, Florida Museum of Natural History
- Small mammal tissue specimens including approximately 8,000 to 9,000 samples (hair, whisker, blood, ear punches, feces) collected from the small mammal protocol prior to 2018 - University of New Mexico Museum of Southwestern Biology
- Ground beetle pinned carabid specimens collected prior to 2019 - Carnegie Museum of Natural History or the Essig Museum of Entomology
- Ground beetle (pooled carabids and bycatch stored in ethanol) specimens from Colorado, Florida, and Massachusetts (generally from 2013) - Denver Museum of Nature and Science
- Legacy Herptiles from Ground Beetle Pitfalls in Utah - Monte L. Bean Life Science Museum
Questions about samples not housed at the NEON Biorepository at ASU should be sent to the NEON Archival Samples Team.
Hawaiian specimens are archived at the Bishop Museum.