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IBRCS Overview Focus on NEON News Events Working Group Reports

November 5, 2004: Rocky Mountain Ecological Observatory meeting, Colorado State University, Colorado


October 18-20, 2004: Regional NEON Congress, North Bonneville, WA

Sixteen regional NEON groups have formed to explore how NEON can enhance research capacities in their part of the country and to identify individuals and institutions interested in participating in the NEON effort. A Regional NEON Congress will gather in October in order for the representatives of each of these regional groups to learn about the upcoming NEON planning process and to discuss how they can work together to participate in the planning phase, and in NEON once it is implemented. This meeting, convened by AIBS as part of the IBRCS project, will be held at the Bonneville Hot Springs Resort, North Bonneville, WA. For more information contact Rina Aviram ( and see Regional NEON Congress information.


October 15-17, 2004: Great Lakes and Central US Ecological Observatory meeting, University of Michigan Biological Station, Pellston, Michigan


September 28-29, 2004: Mid-Atlantic Region Ecological Observatory meeting, National Zoological Park Conservation & Research Center, Front Royal, Virginia


September 16-17, 2004: Workshop: NEON Stable Isotopes Measurement, Training, and Monitoring

A workshop for development of a national infrastructure for stable isotope analysis, training, and monitoring in support of NEON research initiatives will be held in Salt lake City, Utah on September 16-17, 2004. This workshop, which is organized by David G. Williams, R. Dave Evans and Jim Ehleringer, is intended for directors, managers and high-level technicians of U.S. academic and government laboratories involved with analysis of stable isotope ratios of the lighter elements (H, C, N, O, and S) within fields of ecology, biogeochemistry, atmospheric sciences and hydrology. A white paper (PDF) and website provide additional information.


September 9-10, 2004: California Ecological Observatory meeting, Riverside, California


August 31-September 2, 2004: Ecology and evolution of infectious disease workshop, Baltimore, MD


August 25-26, 2004: Land use and habitat alteration workshop, Baltimore, MD


August 24-25, 2004: Ecological implications of climate change workshop, Tucson, AZ


July 27-28, 2004: Biodiversity, species composition, and ecosystem functioning workshop, Carmel Valley, CA


July 20-21, 2004: Ecological aspects of biogeochemical cycles workshop, Boulder, CO


July 12-14, 2004: Intermountain Regional Observatory Network meeting, Salt Lake City, Utah


June 24, 2004: Southern Appalachians to Ozarks Ecological Observatory meeting, Oak Ridge National Lab


May 12-13, 2004: Great Lakes/Upper Midwest Regional Ecological Observatory organizational meeting, Kellogg Biological Station

Upcoming meetings:
U of Michigan Biological Station, October 2004
U of Notre Dame Environmental Research Center, Spring 2005


May 7, 2004: Hawaii and the U.S. Associated Islands in the Pacific Ecological Observatory organizational meeting, University of Hawaii-Manoa


April 13, 2004: Rocky Mountain Ecological Observatory organizational meeting, Colorado University-Boulder Campus


April 9-10, 2004: Neotropical Ecological Observatory organizational meeting, Miami


March 18-19, 2004: Workshop: Designing NEON Initiatives for Invasive Species, Washington, DC

The American Institute of Biological Sciences (AIBS) will convene a workshop to explore the potential of NEON to enable research and education about invasive species. The workshop is in conjunction with the AIBS Annual Meeting, the theme of which is "Invasive Species: The Search for Solutions". The workshop will begin on the final day of the Annual Meeting and continue one additional day. Contact Jeffrey Goldman, , for more details.


February 27, 2004: Prospective PI meeting at NSF

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is hosting a prospective PI meeting on February 27, 2004 to discuss the NEON program solicitation for proposals to develop NEON Coordinating Consortium and Project Office (see IBRCS news January 27, 2004). In addition, NSF staff will discuss general aspects of the National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON), NSF's Facilities Management and Oversight Guide, and Large Facilities Project Management. Online registration is required and space is limited.

For details contact Dr. Elizabeth Blood, Program Director, Directorate for Biological Sciences, Division of Biological Infrastructure, 615 N, telephone: (703) 292-8470, email: .


January 28-30, 2004: Organizational meeting of Mid-Atlantic Region Ecological Observatory - MAREO

A planning workshop for a Mid-Atlantic Region Observatory (a potential National Ecological Observatory Network observatory) will be held on January 28-30 at the Smithsonian Conservation Research Center near Front Royal, VA.

The workshop will bring together parties interested in developing a Mid-Atlantic observatory as part of the National Ecological Observatory Network. Interested parties should contact: Bruce Hayden (). Further details on this workshop are available at


November 10, 2003: NEON Coordination and Implementation Conference, Part 2

Part 2 of the NEON Coordination and Implementation Conference provides an open forum for the scientific community to discuss how to form, manage, and govern NEON. This session of the conference follows up on Part 1 during which member of the IBRCS Working Group, other NEON stakeholders, and experts in the formation and management of large scientific networks, facilities, and organizations convened for similar discussions. More information about the conference is available.


October 1-5, 2003: Workshop on managing large scientific projects

The workshop, which will be held in Aspen, Colorado, is intended to expose scientists to the practices and techniques, and the culture of large scientific construction projects. This program is supported by the NSF and is suitable for scientists entering or developing large projects in particle and nuclear physics, astronomy, gravitation, geology, life sciences and other fields. This workshop will cover the techniques used to organize, manage and track large projects and will make use of case studies in presentations by leaders from several large projects. We will also introduce some discussion of the management of computational projects, project difficulties, project management tools (software), and the role of the oversight agency. See the Project Science website for more information and to register for the workshop.


September 4-6, 2003: NEON Coordination and Implementation Conference

The American Institute of Biological Sciences (AIBS) is organizing a conference to explore the implementation and network-level coordination of the National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON). Approximately 40 conference participants representing the prospective NEON community; other extant and emerging research networks, large scientific facilities, and national organizations; and NSF have been invited to analyze the type of scientific undertaking needed to build and coordinate the geographically distinct observatories that will comprise NEON.

The conference will take place in the Executive Conference Room at the National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC. on September 4-6, 2003.

By all accounts NEON is a lofty endeavor that will require exceptional coordination at many levels. For example, the geographically distinct observatories that comprise NEON — each a subnetwork of distinct institutions — must coordinate certain aspects of their scientific endeavors to ensure that regional and national scale questions can be adequately address. At the same time, each observatory itself must have the flexibility to take advantage of unique aspects of its local environment. Coordination will be key even before the first NEON observatories are operational. Managing the implementation process to meet cost, schedule, quality, contingency goals will require an extraordinary coordination both within the network and with NSF. Doing all of these thing in a manner that will work within the culture of biologists adds a unique twist.

The aim of the conference is to develop a report for NSF and the broad scientific community that makes recommendations about the formation, management, and governance of NEON. In addition, the conference will recommend guidelines and review criteria for the formation of a NEON Coordinating Organization. The conference will build upon previous NEON planning workshop and the recommendations of the IBRCS working group as expressed in a recent white paper. Experienced representatives of other large scientific facilities, research networks and national consortia of universities and other organizations will join with members of the IBRCS working group, prior NEON workshop participants, and others to bring their expertise to bear on the specific needs for the coordination and implementation of NEON.

Because one of the goals of the IBRCS project is to reach out to the broad scientific community, AIBS will make a special effort to foster dialog and solicit input beyond the invited conference attendees. Following the conference in September, the draft report will be posted to this website for public comment. After a 4-8 week comment period, the report writing team and other volunteers will meet again (details to be announced) to revise the draft report in light of public comments. That meeting will begin with an open session during which members of the community will be encouraged to either attend in person or via telephone to discuss the report with the authors. This open session will also be webcast. The authors will spend the remainder of the meeting revising the report, which will be issued in final form as an IBRCS white paper.


June 10, 2003: NRC committee hosts public meeting/webcast on NEON

An National Research Council committee that is studying NEON is holding a public meeting on Tuesday, June 10, 2003 from 1:30-4:30 pm at the National Academy of Sciences Building (2101 Constitution Ave., Washington, DC). This will be an opportunity to learn about NSF's plans for NEON and about the view of relevant professional societies and other government agencies. Please RSVP with Bridget Avila by phone at (202) 334-2186 or via email at if you plan on attending this meeting.

For more information on the NEON study see the 'Dear Colleague' letter.


February 28-March 1, 2003: IBRCS working group meeting, Washington D.C.

The second face-to-face meeting of the IBRCS working group will focus largely on review of a draft the NEON white paper.

March 21-24, 2003: AIBS Annual Meeting, Board Meeting, and Council Meeting

The 2003 AIBS Annual meeting, Bioethics in a Changing World, presents an excellent opportunity for biologists to discuss new and continuing challenges in the ethical practice of their profession. Reports on IBRCS will be made to the AIBS Board of Directors and the Council of AIBS Member Societies and Organizations.

March 25, 2003: Public roundtable—Sensing the Environment: The Future of Environmental Observatory Networks

The IBRCS report on the National Ecological Observatory Network will be released at this public roundtable.

Free admission; Lunch buffet; Panel presentations; Audience discussion; Seating is limited to 80 persons and will fill on a first-come-first-served basis.

12 noon - 3:00 p.m.
First Amendment Room, National Press Club. 529 14th St. NW, 13th Floor, Washington, DC

RSVP to Marsha Brown, tel 202-628-1500 x 202; fax 202-628-1509;


Kent E. Holsinger
Dept. of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Connecticut, Storrs
Chair of the AIBS project, Infrastructure for Biology at Regional to Continental Scales (IBRCS)
Topic: "Release of the IBRCS report on the National Ecological Observatory Network"

O.J. Reichman
National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis, Santa Barbara, California
Representing the Organization of Biological Field Stations
Topic: "Field Stations: The Nation's Natural Laboratories for Sensing the Environment"

Cynthia Kolar
U.S. Geological Survey
Representing the Ecological Society of America
Topic: "Progress in Predicting, Detecting, and Tracking Biological Invasions"

John D. Aber
Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans and Space, University of New Hampshire
Representing the Association of Ecosystem Research Centers
Topic: "Tracking A Dynamic Environment: Success Stories From Existing Networks — and What's Needed Next"

Sponsored by the American Institute of Biological Sciences, the Organization of Biological Field Stations, the Ecological Society of America, and the Association of Ecosystem Research Centers.


Past Events
The AIBS/IBRCS Project is funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation. All Content (c) AIBS, 2000-2004