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KU-K-State field stations key sites 30 year continent-wide NSF Project

Climate Change

KU-K-State field stations key sites 30 year continent-wide NSF Project
Posted: December 2, 2014

Biological field stations at the University of Kansas and Kansas State University soon will be part of one of the most extensive long-term initiatives in the history of the National Science Foundation.

The NSF-funded National Ecological Observatory Network, or NEON, will gather data on the causes and consequences of climate change, land use change and invasive species. The project will span a 30-year period, officially beginning in 2017, monitoring sites across the U.S., from Alaska to Hawaii and Puerto Rico.

The University of Kansas Field Station and the Konza Prairie Biological Station at K-State will be among 106 key NEON sites, which include the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute and Harvard Forest. The Kansas sites are the only NEON sites in the multistate eco-climatic region designated through the project as the “Prairie Peninsula domain.”   Monitoring towers equipped with environmental sensors are being installed this fall at KU, and K-State field sites are expected to be drawing provisional data by spring 2015.

 

ABOVE, Field station workers on site. Photo courtesy of NEON.

“NEON is a landmark environmental study, and we’re thrilled by the opportunities this makes available for KU faculty, students and visiting researchers,” said Ed Martinko, director of the Kansas Biological Survey, which manages the KU Field Station. “All NEON’s data will go through extensive quality assessment as soon as it’s collected and will be made available quickly to the public. There’s never been an opportunity like this for scientists, teachers and people everywhere.” 

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