Director’s Update – December 2022

As we farewell 2022 and with TERN’s recent Strategic Planning Workshop in Adelaide still on my mind, I can’t help but feel positive about the direction in which TERN is headed.

Hello again and Happy Holidays! 

As we farewell 2022 and with TERN’s recent Strategic Planning Workshop in Adelaide still on my mind, I can’t help but feel positive about the direction in which TERN is headed. I’m so impressed at the immense efforts, collaborations, innovations and achievements of our staff, partners and collaborators, both at TERN HQ and across the TERN Observatory in what continues to be difficult times with COVID and flu still taking their toll, particularly on our capacity to work physically close in teams. Nevertheless, we have been making great strides in setting out new field infrastructure such as the biodiversity monitoring framework in Western Australia. Also, our data services staff have just launched improvements to the TERN Data Discovery Portal to make it easier for you to access and retrieve data. On top of it all, the number of publications using TERN data and resources reached 2000 last month.

We’ve had some amazing opportunities lately for networking and collaboration. In particular, we had the pleasure of seeing so many of our colleagues from around Australia in Adelaide in early December when The Hon. Penny Wensley AC, National Soils Advocate, joined us to launch a new world-class facility for our collections of soils and plant materials. The Advocate also endorsed our fantastic booklet called Careers grounded in soils.  Additionally, we have been holding workshops, training researchers and giving talks at a number of conferences – luckily, we have our 1 minute video about TERN, made initially for National Science Week, which is the perfect introduction to community talks and workshops.

As we look ahead to 2023, there are many things already underway from a planning perspective. Importantly, January and February are going to be busy for grant-writing. We are preparing our case for the 2023-2028 NCRIS Research Infrastructure Investment Plan – most often in collaboration with other NCRIS-funded projects in the Earth and Environment domains and we are in deep discussion with potential co-investors. Apart from grants and engagement, we have two significant events in preparation – both mentioned in our newsletter. One is TERN’s Biennial Science Symposium, to be held over two days in July. I am looking forward to seeing abstracts starting to arrive in February so that I can start anticipating the great impact stories and world-leading science we will hear about from users of TERN in July. The second event, Integrated Earth 2023, will run in September and with the draft program and plenary speakers already being mapped out, it has the possibility of being a game-changer in the way we think about integrating and accessing data and our understanding of complex inter-relationships of systems from the Earth’s core to the upper atmosphere.

Before ending this last 2002 Update, I acknowledge and thank our TERN Advisory Board members, the Science Advisory Committee, our TERN Regional Ambassadors and the TERN Executive Group – without limit, they contribute time and passion to TERN in their already busy lives. I think it all matters – TERN’s observations, measures and data collections are contributing to Australia’s capacity to build its continental scale climate and environment predictive capability to support government and industry decision-making and solve regional, national and global challenges.

As always, I hope this finds you safe and well!


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