EFI-NEON Research Coordination Network

The Ecological Forecasting Initiative RCN:
Using NEON-enabled near-term forecasting to synthesize our understanding of predictability across ecological systems and scales (EFI-RCN)

EFI-RCN Overview

Vision: Solve the challenge of predicting nature and, ultimately, forecast the effects of alternative environmental policies and actions.

Goal: Create a community of practice that builds capacity for ecological forecasting by leveraging NEON data products.


  1. Define community standards and best practices for developing, sharing, and archiving forecasts and models
  2. Increase the number and diversity of NEON-enabled forecasts by developing and hosting the NEON Ecological Forecasting Challenge
  3. Create educational materials to empower scientists at all career stages to forecast using NEON data products
  4. Support the creation of software to produce NEON-enabled forecasts at intensive and collaborative coding-focused workshops
  5. Align forecast outputs and decision support with the needs of forecast users at mission-driven agencies to guide decision making, and
  6. Synthesize forecasts to examine how limits to forecastability vary across ecological systems and scales.

Workshops and Meetings:

The EFI 2023 Unconference will be held June 21-23, 2023 at NEON’s Headquarters in Boulder, Colorado

Applications are open through February 1.

The goal of the Unconference is for participants to work together on products such as developing forecasts, automating forecasts, developing teaching materials/tutorials, refining or creating software tools, analyzing forecasts for a manuscript, developing visualizations, or working on other activities proposed by the participants. Details on the Unconference webpage.

Details and resources from previous meetings can be found HERE.

January 2023 Report. A condensed and updated report from our December 2022 annual report to the National Science Foundation.
February 2021 ReportA condensed and updated report from our December 2020 annual report to the National Science Foundation.

Overview of the EFI-RCN and the NEON Ecological Forecasting Challenge

Actual and Proposed Network Activities:


Project PI: R. Quinn Thomas (Virginia Tech, rqthomas@vt.edu)

Steering Committee: Michael Dietze (Boston University), Melissa Kenney (University of Minnesota), Christine Laney (NEON), Jason McLachlan (University of Notre Dame), Carl Boettiger (University of California, Berkeley), Cayelan Carey (Virginia Tech), Andy Fox (UCAR), Leah Johnson (Virginia Tech), and Jake Weltzin (USGS)

Interested in being involved?  Join the Ecological Forecasting Initiative and sign-up for the EFI newletter to learn about EFI-RCN activities.