Researchers around the world view NEON data as an excellent resource for doing science, but it is not always easy to download, interpret, and use data from an unfamiliar network. These researchers need an easy and quick way to orient themselves to NEON data so that they can access their data of interest and load those data into their preferred computing environment.
NEON’s educational resources provide a broad range of materials for researchers to self-teach the skills needed to access and work with NEON data products. In particular, the Download and Explore NEON Data tutorial (https://www.neonscience.org/resources/learning-hub/tutorials/download-explore-neon-data) walks the user through the steps to download three different data products, load them into the R programming environment, and perform some simple visualizations with those data. These clear step-by-step instructions help the user overcome the most common hurdles to getting started and facilitate the use of NEON data in the popular R programming environment.
NEON tutorial resources flatten the learning curve for scientists who seek to use NEON data in their research, which has led to greater adoption and use of NEON data within scientific community. This results in an impressive number of peer-reviewed publications that use NEON data, as well as many new websites, workshops, and educational curricula that highlight NEON data as real-world examples of environmental science. By reducing the barriers to adoption of NEON data, this tutorial streamlines the adoption of NEON data and accelerates scientific discovery and supports STEM education.
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