Why continental-scale science and education?
Through the collection of data, scientists and researches will be able to investigate questions about ecological challenges at regional, national and continental scales by providing comparable information across sites and regions.
These are questions that can address how land use change, climate change and invasive species affect the structure and function of our ecosystems. Obtaining this kind of data over a long-term period is crucial to improving ecological forecast models. For example, such data will allow us to anticipate and forecast the effects of climate change on our ecosystems. The ability to make ecological forecasts will support local, state and federal governments and agencies to proactively reduce our vulnerability and increase our resilience to ongoing climate change.
What is NEON
The National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) is a continental-scale ecological observation system for examining critical ecological issues. The network is designed to gather and provide 30 years of ecological data on the impacts of climate change, land use change and invasive species on natural resources and biodiversity. NEON is a project of the National Science Foundation, with many other U.S. agencies and NGOs cooperating.
All NEON data and information products will be freely available via the Web. NEON’s open-access approach to its data and information products will enable scientists, educators, planners, decision makers and the public to map, understand and predict the effects of human activities on ecology and effectively address critical ecological questions and issues.