This is an archival website for the IBRCS project. It was last updated in September 2004. For current information about the status of the NEON initiative, please visit

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The AIBS/NEON Project

IBRCS White Papers

  • NEON Science Workshop Series

    This series of reports reflects the recommendations of six workshops held in 2004 that aimed to provide guidance on the design of NEON. The topics were drawn from a recent NRC study of important, outstanding ecological questions that require the development of an infrastructure designed for national scale observation. The goals of the workshops were to identify key scientific questions, hypotheses, or issues around which NEON should be organized and recommend infrastructure design needs associated with the questions. The reports are intended to stimulate further discussion and debate within the scientific community in general and to provide a springboard for future NEON design efforts.

  • A Plan for Developing and Governing the National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON)

    The report is a synthesis of discussions that took place during a two part conference on the Coordination and Implementation of NEON. It describes a both an organizational and governance framework for NEON and a process for implementation. The report is the second white paper about NEON issued in association with the IBRCS project. The 23-page report is also available in hardcopy by contacting Jeffrey Goldman (), Director, IBRCS Program.

  • IBRCS White Paper: Rationale, Blueprint, and Expectations for the National Ecological Observatory Network

    This white paper, Rationale, Blueprint, and Expectations for the National Ecological Observatory Network, was developed by the IBRCS Working Group. It was released at an event held at the National Press Club on March 25, 2003 (see press reports). Its aim is to advance the National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) initiative by explaining the scientific rationale behind the need for NEON, how NEON will operate to meet that need, and the results that NEON is expected to produce. The IBRCS Working Group, which has diverse representation from the biological and scientific community, was aided in its preparation of the white paper by input from other scientists and organizations. As a result, this white paper represents the views of a broad segment of the scientific community. The 68-page report is also available in hardcopy by contacting Jeffrey Goldman (), Director, IBRCS Program.

NEON Workshop Reports

NEON planning workshops brought biologists and other scientists together to flesh out the NEON concept and to discuss the opportunities and challenges that it presents. All of the workshops reached consensus in their enthusiastic endorsement of the proposal to establish NEON.

Biodiversity Observation Network (BON) Workshop Reports

Discussions of proposals for BON preceded those for NEON and in some ways inspired NEON. However, NEON is broader in scope and approach and addresses issues beyond biodiversity.

Other Relevant Reports

Recent reports have outlined the current state of environmental and ecological research efforts and have proposed plans for focusing that effort in the future. Recommendations presented in these reports reflect the need for enhanced infrastructure and, in a way, foreshadow efforts such as NEON.

Note: Many of these reports are PDF files. You may need a copy of Adobe Acrobat Reader to view them.

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