Three researchers and early NEON users talk about how NEON will enable new discoveries and collaborations in the field of ecology and beyond.


The National Ecological Observatory Network is an ambitious data collection project, sponsored by the National Science Foundation, designed to provide quality-controlled, open-access data that characterize complex, rapidly changing ecological processes across the US. But the organization has had more than its share of challenges, and it is widely feared that the ecological community is giving up hope on the project’s promises.


Our goal was to profile NEON data users that remain optimistic about the project and its potential to change the field of ecology. We focused on three ecologists, at various career stages, that could provide an intimate look at what NEON has done for their career and what they continue to hope it will do in the future. We spent 3 days with each of the featured ecologists, collecting footage at their home, in the field, and in the lab. Our goal was to build a piece that felt optimistic, dynamic, and intimate.