NEON Project Encourages Open Access to High Tech Environmental Data
Photo via NEON, Inc.; modified from a 2007 image by Nicolle Rager Fuller, National Science Foundation viaNational Geographic
National Ecological Network Observatory, or NEON, is a new open-access program that will tie together field stations across the US to provide data to scientists looking for and tracking climate change, biodiversity, and other environmental issues.
With funding from the National Science Foundation, NEON program managers plan to collect and archive data online for at least 30 years. NEON will cost an estimated 300 million U.S. dollars to set up and about 60 million U.S. dollars a year to maintain, once operational.
The project is slated to be up and running by 2016. While an expensive project in cash-strapped times, we think it'll be well worth the investment as it will provide more access to data that will help shape environmental policies and laws, scientific studies, and even provide educational opportunities for the general population.
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