People, Land, and Ecosystems: Leveraging NEON for Socio-Environmental Synthesis Workshop

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Award Year: 
Principal Investigator: 
Andrew Elmore, SESYNC
Associated Program: 
Workshop Dates: February 10–12, 2020

                                                                      National Ecological Observatory Network Field Sites Map

National Ecological Observatory Network Field Sites Map 



The National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC) will host a three-day workshop in February 2020 focused on how National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) Airborne Observation Platform (AOP) data could be used in socio-environmental (S-E) synthesis and convergent research. The workshop will seek to address several systemic problems that currently limit convergent research that uses the highest remote sensing technology to study problems at the interface of ecology, land change science, and social science. 


During this workshop, participants will develop and gain an enhanced understanding of NEON-AOP data and previously developed workflows and computational tools. They will also help scope future needs for workflow development and relevant data management/sharing considerations. Outcomes of the workshop will include the establishment of a shared vision for how NEON-AOP data and future space-based hyperspectral resources could be used in S-E synthesis.

The workshop will address the following problems:

  1. With the increased availability of hyperspectral remote sensing, there needs to be a rapid growth in the number of people who understand data capabilities and workflows. 
  2. The capabilities of hyperspectral and LiDAR remote sensing must be explored in the context of socio-environmental synthesis that seeks to bring highly quantitative and advanced earth observations to a variety of research disciplines across the natural/biophysical and social sciences. 
  3. Methods for scaling from NEON AOP footprints to regional and national scales will be necessary to draw general conclusions from AOP data with limited extent.

This preparatory activity will introduce participants to ways to plan for and respond to a future SESYNC request for proposals for interdisciplinary Pursuits that may use NEON-AOP data for S-E synthesis. The workshop will also prepare participants to respond to NSF Macrosystems requiring the use of NEON data and to contribute to the development of social science applications relevant to NASA’s planned Surface Biology Geology mission.

Workshop Goals 

1. Expand the NEON AOP user community 

a) Expand the number of people who understand data capabilities and workflows. 
b) Build networks of scientists engaged in defining and answering S-E synthesis questions using advanced earth observations. 
c) Garner feedback on the best ways SESYNC can continue to expand the community.  

2. Answer the question (Q1): What enables the use of NEON AOP for the study of socio-environmental systems?  What limits its use?  

3. Answer the question (Q2): What are the unique opportunities and challenges for using NEON AOP data to scale understanding of S-E systems from sites to regional and national scales?


NEON Resources 

Click on the following links to learn more about NEON AOP 

"R-Basics" Tutorial Series 

NEON Airborne Observation Platform 

NEON AOP Assignable Assets 

NEON Data Tutorials 

Suggested Series

"Getting Started with NEON Data" 

"Primer on Raster data in R" 

"Introduction to Hyperspectral Remote Sensing Data" 

"Introduction to LiDAR" 

NEON Science YouTube Channel 

Suggested Playlists: 

About NEON 

NEON Science Explained 

Suggested Videos 

"Introduction to Hyperspectral Remote Sensing" 

"Introduction to Discrete LiDAR" 

"Introduction to Full Waveform LiDAR" 

"NEON Foliar Chemistry, Soil Chemistry and Microbial Data" 



For questions, please contact

Carrie Hritz, SESYNC
Kristal Jones, SESYNC
Kelly Hondula, SESYNC
Rachael Blake, SESYNC
Jason Julian, Texas State University
Elsa Ordway, Harvard University
Kelly Cobourn, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Vijay Lulla, Indiana University - Purdue University Indianapolis
Narcisa Pricope, University of North Carolina, Wilmington
Rosanna Guadalupe Rivero Morales, University of Georgia
Donald Nelson, University of Georgia
Jennifer Jensen, Texas State University
Matthew Richard Helmus, Temple University
Sonja Kolstoe, Salisbury University
Meredith Steele, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Laura Schneider, Rutgers University
John E. Quinn, Furman University
Cyril Wilson, University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire
Melissa Susan Chapman, University of California, Berkeley
Carlos Portillo, Texas Tech University
Jonathan Ocon, University of California, Los Angeles
Stephanie Pau, Florida State University
Tristan Goulden, NEON
Donal O'Leary, NEON
Mirela Tulbure, North Carolina State University
Guillermo Ponce-Campos, The University of Arizona
Yusuke Kuwayama, Resources for the Future
Megan Cattau, Boise State University
Morgan Grove, U.S. Forest Service
Matt Williamson, Boise State University
Dana Chadwick, Stanford University
Jeffrey Atkins, Virginia Commonwealth University
Rachel Swanwick, SESYNC
Associated SESYNC Researcher(s): 
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