The National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) is a continental research platform being designed to extend our understanding of the biosphere to regional and continental scales. Through remote sensing, in-situ observation, experimentation, synthesis, and modeling, NEON will provide researchers with a unique capability to quantify the strong and weak forces regulating the biosphere and predict its response to climate and landuse change. NEON infrastructure will include field deployed instrumented towers and sensor arrays, remote sensing capabilities, cutting-edge laboratory instrumentation, natural history archives, and facilities for data analysis, modeling, visualization, and forecasting, all networked through a cyberinfrastructure backbone. Infrastructure will be deployed across the continental US, Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico using a statistically determined design, stratified by climate and landuse. The knowledge base NEON will create, its real time and continuous integrated data, simulation and observation capabilities, and its networked communication will be an asset for formal and informal education and training. A NEON gateway will provide resources to support informal public education and provide opportunities for citizens to actively participate in scientific investigations.
This award will provide the support necessary to establish a construction ready Project Management Office with the personnel and functions to finalize the design, complete a site-dependent project execution plan, and institute project management accounting and reporting functions. NEON, Inc. will expand the Board of Directors to include elected board members that represent organizations or institutions that become organizational members of NEON, Inc. The Science, Technology, and Education Advisory Committee (STEAC) and the Program Advisory Committee (PAC) will be established to provide input and advice from the research community. A Cyberinfrastructure / Embedded Cyberinfrastructure Diagnostic Testbed will be instituted to further inform the NEON technical design. The testbed will be used to evaluate and mitigate sensor and cyberinfrastructure integration risks.