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Candidate research sites selected for the National Ecological Observatory Network

s. Each domain will host a fully instrumented NEON core site, as well as a variety of relocatable and mobile instrument systems.

Relocatable tower systems will be deployed outside of the core sites for up to five years, then moved periodically. They will be used to expand measurements of variability and gather ecological data along elevation, precipitation, and land-use gradients. Rapid deployment systems (instruments on vehicles or towed by vehicles) will be used for shorter periods to study sudden events on the landscape, such as wildfires, natural catastrophes, disease outbreaks, or the emergence of an invasive species.

In addition, NEON will equip aircraft with a variety of instruments to provide regional information for scaling and extrapolation from sites. A land use analysis package will support comprehensive assessment and analysis of patterns, changes, and drivers of land use, land cover, and land management.

Core site decisions made by the NEON technical review committee were informed by detailed responses from the ecological community to a Request for Information, and by a formal RFI evaluation panel convened by the National Science Foundation at the US Geological Surveys EROS (Earth Resources Observation and Science) Data Center in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

After careful review of community responses, budget constraints, and scientific opportunities in the field, NEON, Inc. selected a candidate core wildland site for each ecoclimatic domain in the network:

  1. Northeast site anchored at the Harvard Forest, Petersham, MA
  2. Mid-Atlantic site located at the Smithsonian Conservation Research Center, Front Royal, VA
  3. Southeast site based at the Ordway-Swisher Biological Station, Gainesville, FL
  4. Atlantic Neotropical site located at the Gunica Forest, Puerto Rico
  5. Great Lakes site based at either the Notre Dame Environmental Research Center/Trout Lake Station or the University
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Contact: Dan Johnson
djohnson@aibs.org
202-628-1500 x215
National Ecological Observatory Network
7-Jun-2007


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