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DOE, ORNL officially join NSF on massive ecological study
Date:6/22/2010

nd land use and land management data. Fixed towers will support an array of sensors that will transmit data across the network, making NEON a true national network rather than merely a collection of regional observatories.

According to the agreement, three locations in Walker Branch Watershed will be instrumented with the Fundamental Instrument Unit sensor package deployed on or near 40-meter towers similar to the existing National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration tower in Walker Branch.

Researchers are looking forward to the new views of ecology that will be created by continental-scale NEON data. Just as meteorologists today can predict the path of a tornado or hurricane, ecologists using NEON data in the future may be able to more accurately forecast biological phenomena such as changes in forest productivity and chemical cycles in response to climate change -- or the emergence of an invasive species.

"Being part of the NEON network will attract leading national and international ecologists to Oak Ridge to conduct research," Mulholland said. "NEON infrastructure will also provide unique educational and research opportunities for students at all levels through Web site access to NEON results and on-site studies."

Construction at the Oak Ridge site is tentatively scheduled to begin late next year.


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Contact: Ron Walli
wallira@ornl.gov
865-576-0226
DOE/Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Source:Eurekalert

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