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Battelle Names Sharon Collinge as New Director and Chief Scientist for National Ecological Observatory Network

Posted on Feb 7, 2018

BOULDER, Colorado (Feb. 7, 2018)—Noted ecological expert Sharon K. Collinge was recently selected as the Observatory Director and Chief Scientist for NEON, Battelle announced today.

The National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) is a continental-scale ecological observation facility, sponsored by the National Science Foundation and operated by Battelle since 2016. The NEON project collects and provides open data that characterizes and quantifies complex, rapidly changing ecological processes across the United States. The project’s comprehensive data, spatial extent and remote sensing technology will enable the user community to tackle new questions on a large scale.

Collinge, a professor at University of Colorado (CU) Boulder, was director of the Environmental Studies Program at the university from 2012 to 2015, after serving in a variety of roles in environment, ecology and biology research and education.

“As a professional ecologist for the past three decades, I have long been compelled by the NEON vision of long-term, continental scale ecological data collection and synthesis to guide societal understanding and response to environmental change,” Collinge said.

She holds a Bachelor of Arts from Kansas State University in Biology, a Master of Science from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in Biology, and a Ph.D. from Harvard University in Landscape Ecology.

“Sharon’s areas of expertise include leading large, complex and interdisciplinary environmental studies in addition to integrating research, teaching and community engagement,” said Rich Leonard, Vice President, Battelle Ecology. “This blend of scholarship and leadership will serve the NEON program well and we are happy to have her join us,” he said. 

“Her selection resulted from a months-long, rigorous search and interview process that was aided by members of the NEON Science, Technology, and Education Advisory Committee (STEAC).  We are delighted with this outcome,” said Michael Kuhlman, Ph.D., Battelle’s Chief Scientist. 

Collinge begins her new position on February 20 with a transition from her current responsibilities at CU Boulder to full commitment to the NEON project occurring during the next few months.

About Battelle

Every day, the people of Battelle apply science and technology to solving what matters most. At major technology centers and national laboratories around the world, Battelle conducts research and development, designs and manufactures products, and delivers critical services for government and commercial customers. Headquartered in Columbus, Ohio since its founding in 1929, Battelle makes the world better by commercializing technology, giving back to our communities, and supporting science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education. For more information, visit 

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Office: 1.614.424.7208

T.R. Massey

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Office: 1.614.424.5544