Category: Data

Reflections on remote sensing, ecology and the NEON AOP

A few summers ago, I spent my time in the field hugging trees. While I’ve been called a hippie in the past, this was hardly hippie behavior. This was research. I was an ecology Ph.D. student studying streamside forests and measuring things like the diameter and canopy heights of trees. I trudged through countless miles …

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Macrosystems Biology: How to share, manage and cite big data and team science?

Last month, I participated in the first Principal Investigator meeting of NSF’s new Macrosystems Biology program. The NSF solicits proposals to “support quantitative, interdisciplinary, systems-oriented research on biosphere processes and their complex interactions with climate, land use, and invasive species at regional to continental scales.”
The first groups of projects cover an incredible range of topics, and are embracing a wide range of research approaches. In a pre-meeting survey, projects reported using simulation models, developing new theory, fitting empirical models to multi-scaled data, analyzing paleoecological data and implementing experiments across linked networks ofsites. Almost half the groups reflected the newness of the continental-scale approach by including significant educational activities.…

Using long-term data sets to trace the impacts of environmental policy

Salmon Pond in Maine, one of the bodies of water from our study.

Just before I became a staff scientist at NEON, I and colleagues from the University of Colorado, Environmental Protection Agency, and University of Maine took a new a look at some long-term data to help answer a question that has been perplexing scientists for several decades: Why is the amount of dissolved organic matter (the stuff that gives water that brownish-yellowish tint) increasing in lakes and streams of the northeastern United States and Europe? Our study contributed to growing evidence suggesting that it’s a symptom of recovery from acid rain.…