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NEON Construction Announced to Begin at HF in Spring 2012

February 10, 2012
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Today the National Ecological Observatory Network--a continental-scale, 30-year research initiative with funding from NSF, DOE, and NASA--announced that it will begin construction at Harvard Forest in spring 2012.

The Forest is the core site for NEON's Northeastern domain, and will be one of the first of 21 sites built around the country (construction at the Ordway-Swisher Biological Station in Florida will begin concurrently). Construction at the Harvard Forest will include a new eddy-flux tower and new infrastructure for remote sensing flight surveys, watershed monitoring, and terrestrial sampling.

According to NEON, the reasons Harvard Forest was selected are many: "The Northeast Domain anchors an urban-to-rural research corridor from the Harvard Forest to Boston (a characteristic it shares with its sister site in the Desert Southwest). It is also the northernmost participant in NEON nitrogen deposition research, which extends southwest from New England to Alabama."

Hundreds of scientists from around the world are expected to use the resulting NEON data and associated field sites at the Harvard Forest. In addition, like the Harvard Forest, NEON has a joint focus on ecological research and education, and thus NEON will be a full participant in undergraduate education activities at Harvard Forest, including the Summer Research Program.

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