NEON passes final design review

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NEON is the National Ecological Observatory Network. It will "collect data across the United States on the impacts of climate change, land use change and invasive species on natural resources, and biodiversity." The final design review is a major milestone in infrastructure projects funded by the National Science Foundation. It's the last phase before construction begins. I learned recently that NEON passed its final design review, and will soon submit its request for construction.

I am delighted to see NEON reach this stage. I chaired a working group as part of a project at the American Institute of Biological Sciences, that helped develop early plans for NEON, a white paper laying out the rationale for NEON and a plan for developing and governing NEON.

NEON is a very different animal now, as it should be. It's grown and matured. I think it will prove to be as important to environmental biologists in the coming decades as GENBANK is to molecular biologists.