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Country Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Email The National Science Foundation (NSF) has decided to look for a new organization to build its National Ecological Observatories Network (NEON) in hopes of saving the troubled project.“NSF… has minimal confidence in NEON Inc’s ability to manage the remaining construction and initial operations of the NEON project,” the head of NSF’s biology directorate, James Olds, wrote today to the Boulder, Colorado-based organization that has managed the project since its inception in 2007. In August, NSF decided to shrink the size and scope of the $434-million facility after discovering that it was running $80 million over budget and a year behind schedule. A month later Olds told a congressional science panel that it had asked NEON Inc. to submit a new management plan by 1 December.That plan projected additional costs and a further delay of 2 years, according to NSF’s letter. In response, NSF has decided to find someone else to do the job. “Responsible stewardship by NSF requires the immediate pursuit of management options under an expected new award for construction and commissioning,” Olds wrote to James Collins, chairman of NEON Inc.’s board of directors, and Eugene Kelly, its interim CEO. “NSF is dedicated to ensuring that further re-scoping will not occur,” Olds added.center_img Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) NEON Inc. was created to build and operate NEON, which will monitor environmental changes at dozens of sites across the United States representing 20 different ecosystems. But its inexperience created insurmountable problems that NSF is hoping to avoid the next time around.“Despite all the questions we asked, in retrospect there were things we could have done better,” says Kelvin Droegemeier, vice chairman of NSF’s oversight body, the National Science Board, and head of an ad hoc task force formed after the recent descoping to monitor the project. “We’ll be looking for a company experienced in managing a large and complicated project.”The chairman of the congressional committee that has been monitoring NEON warned NSF officials today that it will hold their feet to the fire. “Now that NSF has decided to terminate its contract with NEON Inc., NSF must find a competent partner to complete the project,” Representative Lamar Smith (R–TX) declared in a statement to ScienceInsider. “This unfortunately must include downscaling the project to offset the $80 million cost overrun that has been left behind.  In order to regain the confidence of American taxpayers, NSF must ensure that NEON is completed on budget and also must take steps to prevent similar problems in future construction projects.”An advisory committee to NSF’s biology directorate recently reaffirmed NEON’s value to the community and told NSF officials that the project should not be further descoped. “They drew a line in the sand and said this is as far as you can go,” Droegemeier says.NSF expects to complete a new cost estimate for the project by next spring. It has no timetable for choosing a new contractor to manage the project, which NEON Inc. officials had hoped to complete by the end of 2017.last_img


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