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NDSU Research Updates
  December 2010  |  Volume 1, Issue 5
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From Vice President Philip Boudjouk
and all the RCATT staff members—

Happy Holidays

Boost to Ecological Science:
NEON, Inc., Begins Construction

Like a canary in a coal mine, clues exist in nature that could provide a more complete picture of climate change and other important ecological findings. Measuring and analyzing this type of scientific data from points across the U.S. are key components of NEON. If you are in a field related to the ecological sciences, you are likely aware of NEON, a new first-of-its-kind project of the National Science Foundation, with many other organizations cooperating.

NEON, Inc.—the National Ecological Observatory Network, Inc.—is the nation’s first continental scale ecological observatory. In the planning stages for several years, it is now entering the construction phase. For the next three decades, NEON will collect a range of ecological data that will allow scientists and educators to understand, simulate and make forecasts for the future of ecological conditions on a national and even global scale, which has never before been possible. Distributed sensor networks, coordinated airborne observations and experiments, linked by advanced cyberinfrastructure, will be used to collect ecological data across the continental United States, Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico.

NEON partitions the U.S. into 20 ecoclimatic domains, each of which represents different regions of vegetation, landforms, climate, and ecosystem performance. Each Domain will have a core observatory site as well as several relocatable sites. North Dakota lies in Domain #9, the Northern Plains, and the core site for the Domain lies near Woodworth, North Dakota, northwest of Jamestown. NDSU was a founding member of NEON and serves as the lead institution for Domain #9. Dr Wei Lin, NDSU Associate Professor of Civil Engineering, serves as the Domain #9 contact person and liaison with national NEON headquarters in Boulder, Colo.

The data NEON collects and provides will focus on how land use change, climate change and invasive species affect the structure and function of our ecosystems. It will allow study of the impacts of large-scale environmental changes on natural resources and the complex interaction between climate and ecosystems. The data collected and generated across NEON’s network—all day, every day, over a period of 30 years—will be synthesized into information products that can be used to describe changes in the nation’s ecosystem through space and time. The data will be readily available in many formats to scientists, educators, students, decision makers and the general public.

During the construction phase, NEON sites will be built and data will begin to come in. Constructing the entire NEON network will take approximately five years, so NEON expects to be in full operation by 2016. To learn more about NEON, Inc. go to www.neoninc.org/. You may also view a short overview video about NEON.

Starting January 10, 2011 and every second Monday of each month, NEON, Inc., will be offering free monthly NEON overview webinars for individuals from member institutions. The webinars will run at 2:00 p.m. Central time for approximately 60 minutes and will be comprised of a short presentation followed by a Q&A. Advance registration is required and limited to the first 24 registrants. Multiple attendees at a given physical location (i.e. a single internet session) may register just once as a group. If interested or for more information, contact Dr. Wei Lin.

Extreme Makeover: Website Edition

Over the Holidays, the RCATT website will be revised to be more compatible with the look of the NDSU homepage. Although the “look” will seem quite different, the content and navigation throughout the site will remain the same. If you experience any problems with the site, please send notification to NDSU.Research.Update@ndsu.edu

Upcoming Events

Inventors Basic Training Boot Camp
January 11–12, 2011, 8:15 p.m.–5:00 p.m.

Kelly Inn—Bismarck, ND
NDSU Extension will lead a two-day workshop where participants will learn about patents, trademarks, trade secrets and documentation; designing, prototyping and product testing; developing business plans; branding and e-marketing; registration and licensing requirements; legalities and liabilities; funding; manufacturing decisions; global business; and why North Dakota is a great place to start a business. To register, visit http://tinyurl.com/inventorsbootcamp or contact Sandy Erickson at 701.328.9718.

Gear Up for Grants Seminar
NDSU’s Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) Program
January 18, 2011, 3:00–4:30 p.m.
NDSU Memorial Union—Meadowlark Room
NDSU’s Research Integrity Officer, Dr. Charlene Wolf Hall, will lead a presentation explaining new federal requirements for training of students and postdocs involved in research projects.
To register, email kay.sizer@ndsu.edu

Gear Up for Grants Seminar
Effort Reporting; Compliance is Crucial!
February 24, 2011, 3:00–4:30 p.m.
NDSU Memorial Union—Meadowlark Room
Presented by Grant & Contract Accounting Staff.
This seminar will provide valuable information for those who are planning grant projects as well as those who have active grants. It will focus on federal compliance requirements as well as a review of NDSU effort reporting policies and procedures.
To register, email kay.sizer@ndsu.edu

Office of Research, Creative
Activities & Technology Transfer
1735 NDSU Research Park Drive
P.O. Box 6050—Dept. 4000
Fargo, ND 58108-6050


Phone 701.231.8045
Fax 701.231.8098