NEON scientist: a new career choice in ecology

It's 8:30 am and a touch chilly at –32°C and I'm standing around at the Caribou‐Poker Creeks Research Watershed site in central Alaska. I'm waiting while the space heater that's set up under a makeshift tent and plugged into the generator I slept with in my hotel room (to keep it warm enough to start here in the field) – is blowing hot air on the engine block of our drilling rig, so it too will start. This is what it takes to meet construction schedules, complete drilling holes for NEON soil temperature and moisture sensors, and supply the NEON Soil Archive with samples, which my colleagues and yours can request for their research. In my view this is the most exciting part of being a network scientist – not standing around freezing per se, but rather contributing to a national platform that will support scientific advancements in ecology over the next three decades. For me, it's the highly collaborative and altruistic nature of NEON that makes it most appealing. – MSC

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