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Director’s Update – December 2021

Welcome to our final 2021 TERN newsletter. It has been such an eventful year for everyone in our ecosystem-related community. Among TERN happenings, there have been Nature papers; a move to a new Brisbane site for TERN HQ; the destruction of the Wombat and Warra flux towers in extreme weather events; a successful virtual Science Symposium; opening of two new sensor-rich monitoring sites in Queensland’s two largest river catchments; a poster at the COP26 climate meeting; release of the draft 2021 National Research Infrastructure Roadmap; launch of the Threatened Species Index under TERN; and we were saddened by the loss of some of our valued colleagues and friends.

TERN has been working this year on developing training and educational materials to help our data users. We are very excited to share with you our data training video on the TERN ausplotsR package for the R statistical computing environment that provides a user-friendly interface to rapidly import, visualise, and analyse TERN plot data. Dr Samantha Monroe from TERN at the University of Adelaide developed the video and is the presenter. Sam is a passionate science communicator and was named a Superstar of STEM last year by Science and Technology Australia. As a research scientist, Sam designs ecosystem observation programs for TERN and creates advanced applications and databases that enable Australian research. Recent projects include the development of national plant trait datasets and models that predict plant distribution across the continent.

Also featured in this newsletter is the first of TERN’s planned virtual site tours – it shows off the location and equipment for our Robson Creek Rainforest SuperSite. With so many people having had their travel restricted in the past two years, TERN decided it was time to bring some of our sites to your computer screens.  Interestingly, TERN was not immune from travel difficulties while trying to get crews to filming sites. We have a second virtual tour almost ready to release – it is from a desert location, but more about that in the new year.

TERN thanks its Advisory Board, Science Advisory Committee, Regional Ambassadors, platform advisory groups, and TERN Executive Group for all the hours of time they have contributed to discussions about TERN’s strategic direction and supporting TERN through the National Research Infrastructure Roadmap consultations this year. TERN’s infrastructure operators, data people, and communication and administration crew have been fantastic over this second COVID19 year – take a bow.  We especially thank you, our newsletter readers for opening our monthly stories and those in Australia and around the globe who participate in our webinars, use our data and acknowledge TERN in your publications.

Publications using TERN data include an extensive network of  domestic and international co-authors.

In closing, we wish you a safe, healthy and wonderful Festive Season and we look forward to engaging again in 2022 through our newsletter stories.

Happy reading!

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