The National Science Foundation (NSF) has requested public comment on its preliminary environmental assessment for the National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON). The proposed network would collect ecological and climatic observations in all 50 states and Puerto Rico. NSF expects the environmental impacts of NEON to be minimal, given that the program “would use existing infrastructure and research programs to the extent possible.” The proposed network will consist of environmental sensors and research experiments, linked by cyber infrastructure to record and archive ecological data. Permanent core sites will collect stream, soil, climate, and biota data for a 30-year period, whereas temporary sampling sites will collect data over periods of 3 to 5 years.

Two public meetings will be held in September to provide information regarding NEON. The first meeting will be held on 15 September 2009 in Arlington, Virginia, and the second meeting will be held on 17 September 2009 in Boulder, Colorado. Both meetings will be webcast. For information on how to participate in the public meeting via the internet, please visit

To view the preliminary environmental assessment or to submit comments, visit Public comments will be accepted through 28 September 2009.


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