The National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) is an ambitious project that aims to provide ecologists across the United States of America with a common set of measurements and data. The goal is for NEON data to be the foundation for a new generation of predictive models that drive new insights into how biodiversity and ecosystem function is distributed, and how to humans can manage ecosystems and adapt to global change.
All ecological datasets, including NEON, benefit from having more more history and coverage. ARGON (Augmenting Research Grounded On NEON) will augment NEON by bringing together datasets collected anywhere nearby current or potential NEON sites. To do this, ARGON will:
- Build a network of collaborators who share their data to support research into ecosystem structure and function.
- Provide tools and support so ARGON members can publicly release their data.
- Release easy-to-use software packages so any researcher can use open-access ARGON-linked data.
- Support research conducted by ARGON members on ecosystem structure, function, and change.
We have already produced beta versions of open-source R packages that collate relevant biodiversity data from existing digital archives (for species’ traits and assemblage data). However, these resources only represent a small sampling of the data we know are already out there.
We are soliciting participants for the first ARGON working group to be held at Utah State University from the 28th-30th of March 2018. If you interested in becoming a collaborating scientist with ARGON, attending this working group, and/or have relevant data, please fill out this brief survey here.
ARGON is not affiliated with or run by NEON or Battelle. They are, however, lovely people, and are both aware and encouraging of the project.