McRae Creek, on the edge of the Lookout Fire this week, is home to an aquatic field site of the National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON). The continental-scale network collects long-term ecological data to understand how ecosystems are changing. The NEON study reach at McRae Creek includes a meteorological station and two in-stream sensor stations to characterize environmental conditions and water quality. Since 2017, NEON staff have collected water quality samples and monitor populations of fish, benthic microbes, macroinvertebrates, and more. In addition, NEON collects remote sensing data (LiDAR, hyperspectral imagery, and high-quality aerial photography) with periodic flights over the upper McRae Creek watershed. Check out NEON's website for more information or begin exploring NEON’s freely available McRae Creek data.