The National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) And Biorepository Is Almost Fully Operational

Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado, USA. Source: Skeeze, no changes made, CC0 Creative Commons.
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The National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON), run by Battelle is now almost fully operational. The NEON biorepository is housed by the Biodiversity Knowledge Integration Center (BioKIC) and the Natural History Collections of Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona, which curate the sample collections.

All material deposited in the biorepository is discoverable via the open-access NEON Data Portal, which is now live. NEON’s tick samples are stored at the Smithsonian’s National Tick Collection, located at Georgia Southern University.

Headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, USA, since its founding in 1929, Battelle serves the national security, health, life sciences, energy and environmental industries. Battelle conducts research and development (R&D), designs and manufactures products, and delivers critical services for government and commercial customers at major technology centers and national laboratories around the world.

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NEON is the first-ever continental-scale ecological observatory. Designed to collect and provide open data to the scientific community for the next 30 years, funded by the National Science Foundation.

The NEON Biorepository collects whole organisms, tissues, environmental samples and substrates, making them available to researchers for additional study and analysis. The repository includes both aquatic and terrestrial samples and specimens collected at 81 NEON observatory sites across the continental U.S. plus Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico.

“This is a critical time for the NEON project. We are collecting data on spatial and temporal scales that are completely unprecedented, bringing ecology into the era of “big data.” In many ways, this will fundamentally change the way ecology is done and the kinds of questions the research community can explore.”

“Over the next year, I will be working with the NEON team and our user community to make the data more accessible and usable and bring our resources to a broader group of people, including teachers and students in undergraduate and K-12 classrooms. These young and aspiring scientists will be the ones to put NEON data to use over the next three decades.”  – Sharon Collinge, Observatory Directory and Chief Scientist for the NEON Project at Battelle