Information for Researchers

Last updated: November 13, 2017

The National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON), operated by Battelle, provides open, continental-scale data that characterize and quantify complex, rapidly changing ecological processes. This page is intended for investigators interested in using NEON data and resources in their research.

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Sampling Schedules

NEON Observational Sampling (OS) Data Availability by Site by Year

Download this sortable spreadsheet to better understand which data products were sampled or are planned to be sampled from which field sites by year. Data may not yet be available on the portal, but are expected to be available by Fall 2018. For current data availability visit The Data Portal.


Annual AOP flight schedules from 2013-2018

Last updated on March 9, 2018.

This downloadable workbook includes the NEON project's annual planned flight schedules for the Airborne Observation Platform (AOP) from 2013-2018. This information is intended to provide researchers an understanding of when we intend to collect airborne data as well as an idea of what data are already available for download. Please note that actual date ranges for data collection may vary from the information in this document due to weather conditions, technical issues, instrument availability and budget. Data become available on the data portal as they are processed.


Construction Progress and Data Availability

The NEON project is currently in construction and initial operations. As constructed sites transition to operations, “provisional”-grade data products are added to the Data Portal and free to download and use. Due to their file size, airborne data are currently available by request.


Archival Samples

A substantial number of specimens and samples collected by NEON will be placed into one or more museums or similar institutions. These are collectively called the NEON Bioarchive and are made available to investigators for further study. Explore our Archival Samples catalog to better understand how our samples can be used for your research.

The requesting process for access to bioarchive materials will vary based on each museum or institution’s guidelines. Learn more about NEON samples and specimens.

Access to NEON infrastructure and resources

Field Sites Access

We encourage research studies that leverage NEON infrastructure, including research conducted at one or more NEON sites. Please note that we do not own the properties where our sensor/instrument and observational sampling infrastructure reside; and we have worked extensively with each site host to obtain appropriate permits and permissions to cover the scope of our activities.

Researchers interested in doing activities near or at our sites must obtain their own access and use permits from the site host, but NEON can assist with this. Please download the documents below to look at which site hosts allow additional non-NEON research activities at their sites and to understand our policies. Also, please contact us to discuss your ideas.

We should be able to:

  1. Assist in evaluating the potential impacts of proposed activities on NEON measurements and observations
  2. Assist with site host coordination and location of field sampling on site
  3. Help you find additional information about a field site, permitting or other questions.

Field Site Access for External Research Activities

Discover which NEON field sites are open to additional research activities with this handy workbook. Please note that this workbook may be updated periodically as information about our site hosts change. Last updated on August 2, 2017.


NEON Site Research Coordination Guidelines

Read these guidelines if you are interested in learning more about how to coordinate research activities near NEON sampling locations. If you are interested in conducting research activities on NEON field sampling locations, please review the process for requesting assignable assets.


Assignable Assets

Various components of NEON infrastructure are available for research and educational purposes. Researchers may formally request to use these Assignable Assets as part of research. Costs associated with the use of these assets must be fully reimbursed by the PI or funding agency.

NEON’s Assignable Assets include:

  • Mobile Deployment Platforms (MDP)
  • Integration of additional instruments onto NEON Sensor Infrastructure (SI)
  • Use of Observational Sampling Infrastructure (OSI)
  • NEON Airborne Observation Platforms

Field Operations (FOPS) Resources

NEON FOPS personnel may be available to support externally funded research on a full cost recovery basis. Requests will be carefully evaluated by the Director of Field Operations to determine if the requested use of FOPS personnel is feasible and whether it might require overtime.  We will estimate labor rates when requests cannot be fulfilled as part of the existing protocol workflows.

Contact us for more information.

Research Proposals & Letters of Support

The NEON Project does not fund research. For opportunities to propose research projects involving NEON data and resources, please contact the National Science Foundation (NSF) or other funding agencies. Information about the NEON project and related funding programs is available on the NSF NEON Project web page.

We are available to provide information about NEON infrastructure and current status to aid researchers who are developing proposals. Researchers should also work with us when selecting sampling areas so as to avoid impacts to NEON measurements and observations and to collect or process samples on behalf of investigators. NEON field operations support above and beyond routine coordination and normal workflows must be fully reimbursed by the PI or funding agency.

If a researcher seeks planned NEON data products that are not currently available, please contact us for an estimate on when the products may become available. Please note that the potential for unforeseen construction delays may impact the estimated schedule.

If you are writing an NSF grant proposal for a research project that involves using NEON resources that are not yet available, NSF requires that you include a letter of support from the NEON Project that attests to the anticipated availability of the resources you propose to use.

Instructions for how to obtain a letter of support

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