From the initial NSF/NCEAS Proposal:
"With the advent of new satellite sensors (e.g. MODIS sensors on the AQUA and TERRA platforms), we are now entering a new age of Earth System Science where daily whole-Earth observations of biospheric states and processes (e.g. carbon flux) are now possible. Increasingly, carbon cycle science is being asked to provide a basis for carbon policy (e.g. Kyoto Protocol). The new satellite sensors are beginning to provide the relevant datasets, including leaf area index (LAI), fractional light interception by green vegetation (FPAR), and net primary production (NPP). Yet, a recent review of the science from the MODIS sensor (e.g. MODIS meeting, Missoula MT, July 16-18, 2002) reveals that much work remains to validate and refine these products if they are to provide defensible estimates of biosphere-atmosphere carbon fluxes."
SpecNet seeks to fill this gap. Since the inception of the project, through well-attended meetings, SpecNet has expanded to include new technologies (phenology stations), new participating field sites, and several published papers including a SpecNet Special Issue published in Remote Sensing of Environment.