Argonne National Laboratory

Workshop on Sensor Needs for Terrestrial
Biogeochemistry Measurements

July 23-24, 2013
Argonne National Laboratory
Argonne, IL 60439

This workshop brought together a small group of both ecosystem scientists needing measurements, and engineers and researchers with sensor development capabilities and deployment experience. With an overarching objective of enhancing our understanding of processes and functions of terrestrial ecosystems, we sought to identify technologies that show promise for the creation of new ecosystem sensors and attempted to document the current needs and technological gaps in ecosystem sensing/measurement. This workshop also aimed to create a community voice for the need for new sensors for ecosystem function research.


Lack of cost-effective sensing technologies for measurement of terrestrial biogeochemistry impedes our understanding of the spatial and temporal variability of terrestrial ecosystem properties. The general absence of spatially and temporally rich measurements of such ecosystem variables as soil P content, water pH, or vegetation N concentration is a major impediment to developing, testing, and validating ecosystem models and scaling them to watershed and biome predictions.


The workshop aimed to identify the emerging needs and technological gaps in biogeochemistry measurements for terrestrial ecosystem function research through discussions about: (1) current sensing instruments, acquired parameter types, data quality, and needs for biogeochemistry measurements; and (2) current and emerging sensor technologies for terrestrial biogeochemistry measurements. The forum was used to initiate partnerships between institutions and industries for developing sensing technologies based on needs identified by the research community.


The program consisted of a combination of (1) presentations on science needs for biogeochemistry measurements, current and emerging sensing technologies, and sensor data aggregation and processing infrastructure; and (2) working group discussions on identifications of emerging needs, existing and anticipated technological gaps, and future focus areas for bridging them. PDF Agenda Discussion Questions

Workshop Organization Committee

For additional information, contact Yuki Hamada, Ph.D., 630-252-0087,