The book endorses the National Science Foundation's concept of the National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) for providing a nationwide network of facilities and infrastructure for ecological and environmental research that is impossible with existing infrastructure. The committee identified six grand challenges in environmental biology - biodiversity, biogeochemical cycles, climate change, ecology and evolution of infectious diseases, invasive species and land and habitat use -- that deserves high priority for research and needs to be addressed on a regional or continental scale. However, the book says that NEON needs a refined focus and a more detailed plan for its implementation to ensure the maximization of its contribution to science and to better fit within the purview of Major Research Equipment and Facilities Construction funding.
National Research Council. Neon: Addressing the Nation's Environmental Challenges. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 2003.
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