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Workshop: Designing NEON initiatives for invasive species

March 18, 2004

Westin Grand Hotel
2350 M St. NW
Washington DC, 20037
(202) 429-0100


Thursday, March 18

AIBS Meeting Plenary NEON Panel
10:00-11:00 am

NEON workshop
11:00 am-6:00 pm

Friday, March 19th

NEON workshop report writing (participation in the writing day is voluntary)
9:00 am-4:00 pm


Participation in the workshop is open to a limited number of registered attendees of the concurrent AIBS annual meeting. If you are registered for the AIBS annual meeting and would like to participate in the NEON workshop please contact Rina Aviram, .

Note: You must have paid and registered for the AIBS annual meeting (online at in order to be eligible to participate in the NEON workshop.

The deadline to register for the NEON workshop is March 2, 2004

Workshop Objectives

The National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) is intended to be a continent-wide research platform, composed of networked state-of-the-art analytical and communication technologies. As part of the development process it is important to describe the network's scientific, technological, and financial requirements to the research community and targeted funding agencies. This workshop, convened by AIBS as part of the IBRCS project, is an effort to describe those requirements for the invasive species component of NEON.

One way to describe the scientific, technological, and financial requirements of a project is to generate a reference design, or a preliminary description of the major components of a proposed large-scale facility or other infrastructure construction project. A reference design articulates the scientific questions to be explored and details how the facility or, in this case, the network, can be used to address the questions. It should paint a sufficiently detailed picture of a project to justify support from the research community to be served and targeted funding agencies.

The goal of this workshop is to begin to create the reference design for the invasive species component of NEON. Workshop participants will approach the design task by developing scientific questions and targets related to invasive species. Several of these questions and targets will form the topics of breakout sessions during which participants will explore design requirements. The need to define the specific scientific and societal gains expected from NEON increases as the NEON initiative advances. This meeting begins a longer-term effort to fully design the invasive species component of NEON and also will provide a model for the design of its other scientific components.

Guiding Scientific Questions and Targets

The first step in developing a reference design for NEON is to articulate the scientific questions and targets that NEON will help to address. The questions and targets should (1) relate to invasive species, (2) be big, important open questions with high scientific and/or societal value, and (3) require a US-wide distributed biological research platform. The questions may focus at regional and/or continental scales. They may relate solely to invasive species or incorporate multiple focal areas. Questions may span the spectrum from applied science to basic science, and they may require expansion of existing research capabilities, or require novel approaches and instruments.

Participants have submitted a list of potential research questions for NEON to explore. This is an evolving list. Please send your questions and comments referring to this list to Rina Aviram at AIBS, .


Registered participants

  1. Ann Bartuska, USDA Forest Service
  2. Faith Campbell, The Nature Conservancy
  3. Julie Coonrod, University of New Mexico
  4. Chris Dionigi, National Invasive Species Council
  5. Dave Duffy, University of Hawaii
  6. Clifford Duke, Ecological Society of America
  7. Virginia Ferris, Perdue University
  8. Deborah Goldberg, University of Michigan
  9. Claus Holzapfel, Rutgers University
  10. Mark Hunter, University of Georgia
  11. Alan K. Knapp, Colorado State University
  12. Richard Mack, Washington State University
  13. Laura Meyerson, The Heinz Center
  14. Rachel Muir, Natureserve/US Geological Survey
  15. Pam O'Neil, University of New Orleans
  16. Richard Orr, National Invasive Species Council
  17. Townsend Peterson, Kansas University
  18. George Roderick, UC Berkeley
  19. Tim Seastedt, University of Colorado
  20. Dave Shaw, University of Washington
  21. John Silander, University of Connecticut
  22. Melinda Smith, Yale University
  23. Bruce Stein, NatureServe
  24. Kristina Stinson, Harvard University
  25. Geraldine Twitty, Howard University
  26. Fernando Vega, USDA/Agricultural Research Service
  27. Randy Westbrooks, US Geological Survey


Draft Agenda

Thursday, March 18

10:00-11:00 am

Plenary Panel (Washington BallRoom)
Background on NEON and two talks on the potential NEON holds for the problem of invasive species
Elizabeth Blood, NSF; Mark Hunter, University of Georgia; A. Townsend Peterson, Kansas University

11:00-11:15 am Break
11:15-12:15 pm Introductions, Expectations, Etc. (Scott Room)
Jeffrey Goldman, AIBS
12:15-1:00 pm Discussion of criteria to be used when choosing research questions
1:00-1:45 pm Lunch (provided)
1:45-2:30 pm Discussion of potential research questions
2:30-5:00 pm Breakout groups: Developing the scientific and technological requirements for NEON's invasive species initiatives
(Break from 4:15-4:30 pm)
5:00-6:00 pm Reports from breakout groups, discussion and conclusions
6:00 pm Adjourn


Friday, March 19th

9:00 am Report writing
4:00 pm Adjourn
The AIBS/IBRCS Project is funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation. All Content (c) AIBS, 2000-2004