March 1, 2005


Senior planners of the National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) provided a project update at the National Council for Science and the Environment (NCSE) conference in Washington, DC, 3–4 February 2005.

NEON codirector Bruce Hayden discussed the complexities of designing ecological forecasting systems at a roundtable/plenary panel. Hayden described the process of sharpening NEON's focus as the project evolves toward its specific build-out design. He also addressed issues related to how observatories support the science needed to generate forecasting models, supplying data that is crucial to running the models and evaluating their effectiveness as forecasting tools.

In a second presentation, Hayden gave NCSE conference attendees an overview of the NEON concept. He was joined by William Michener, codirector for informatics and technology, who outlined the 21-month design process that will result in a detailed NEON planning document by June 2006. Finally, project manager Jeffrey Goldman discussed the results of the first meeting of the NEON Design Consortium, held in Los Angeles, 4–6 January 2005, which produced first-draft committee reports addressing eight science challenges, technical infrastructure issues, educational programs, and the formation of NEON, Inc.

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