Barrow Environmental Observatory


71° 16' 56.676" N, 156° 37' 9.696" W
Brief Site Description: 
Barrow Environmental Observatory hosts a relocatable terrestrial NEON site.
Detailed Site Description: 

Barrow (c. 4000 inhabitants) is located at the northern tip of Alaska (USA) on the Arctic Coastal Plain north of the Brooks Range Mountains, at the junction of the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas. The adjacent Barrow Environmental Observatory comprises 30.21 km2 of tundra, a type of ecosystem in which tree growth is limited by low temperatures. The origin of the word is from the Kildin Sami word tūndâr, meaning "uplands" or "treeless mountain tract". In the northern..., lakes, and wetlands reserved for scientific research including long-term environmental monitoring and habitat manipulation experiments.


Located at the northern tip of Alaska on the Arctic Ocean, is a town ofabout 5,000 inhabitants, the majority of which are Alaskan Natives (Inupiat).Due to the fact that Barrow is only accessible by plane from Fairbanks, technicianswill typically spend several weeks at the site. The coastal plain tundrasurrounding Barrow is very wet; hip waders and rubber boots are essentialfor fieldwork. Barrow is well known for its diversity and abundance ofshorebirds and other migratory fowl, including endangered species, such asthe Steller’s Eiders. Polar bears can also be seen; however, encounterswith bears are rare. Barrow summer days are often overcast despite the 24hdaylight, and average summer temperatures are in the mid-40s. Mosquitoesare not as prevalent near the coast because of the wind. Barrow hasseveral small grocery stores, a gas station, a library, severalrestaurants, schools, a tribal college, and few other amenities.Researcher housing will be shared, and lab space is reserved in the BarrowArctic Research Center (BARC).

NEON data (Relocatable Terrestrial) from this site. 

Field Site Type: 
US affiliate
Study Start Date: 
Mean Annual Precipitation: 
115 millimeters / year
Average Annual Temperature: 
Average Summer Temperature: 
Average Winter Temperature: 
Land Cover: 
Barren Land
Herbaceous Wetlands
Open Water
unconsolidated materials
Soil Order: 
Hydrology: Name: 
Hydrology: Surface water stream order: 
First Order
Hydrology: Surface water - Stream Flow Performance: 
Hydrology: Groundwater: 
Arrangment of Aquifer Components - Single, dominant unconfined aquifer
Group visibility: 
Public - accessible to all site users