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University of Tennessee chosen to join national network to study climate change
Date:9/7/2011

pening elsewhere in the country."

The goal of NEON is to detect and enable forecasting of ecological change at a continental scale. It is hoped that the project's science-based discovery will inform policy to preserve national resources, economic vitality, health, quality of life and national security. According to the NSF, recent assessments indicate that U.S. ecosystems will experience abrupt and unpredictable changes due to human-caused global change in the near future.

"The global community of scientists is 99 percent certain climate change is happening and will happen," said Sanders. "Our goal is to tell the rest of the world the consequences of it." Using cutting-edge technology such as airborne observation, mobile and fixed data collection sites, and trained field crews, scientists will be able to calibrate, store and publish information into a cyber-information structurea collection of linked computers. All NEON data and information products will be made available in near real-time to scientists, educators, students, decision makers and the public.

Construction on the first NEON sites in Colorado and New England is slated to begin this fall. Construction in Tennessee is slated to begin soon thereafter. NEON plans to begin full operations at some of the completed sites in late 2012.

Sanders has collaborated with Colleen Iversen and Pat Mulholland, staff scientists at ORNL in environmental sciences, on the project. Others from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and area agencies, universities and colleges will also be heavily involved.


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Contact: Whitney Holmes
wholmes7@utk.edu
865-974-5460
University of Tennessee at Knoxville
Source:Eurekalert

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