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Directors Update – July 2021

Welcome to TERN’s July e-Newsletter.  You will see from the broad range of stories this month that everyone is having a particularly productive winter with some great research showcased and new services announced – such as the Threatened Species Index, which has moved to TERN following the project end in June of its originator, the NESP Threatened Species Recovery Hub. 

July began with the inaugural biennial TERN Science Symposium – it provided two days of lively presentations that showcased across seven themes the type of research being undertaken in Australia on ecosystem science, much of it enabled and informed by TERN infrastructure and data. Do look-out for the report on the Symposium proceedings coming soon to the TERN website. Also, can visit the individual talks from TERN’s Vimeo account.

The TERN Advisory Board meeting ended our successful month of July. Its discussions focussed on the important topic of TERN’s future trajectory – where are the gaps in Australia’s ecosystem monitoring and data services and what investment planning and strategies are necessary for TERN to contribute to addressing these. In the interests of Australia’s multi-decadal ability to understand and predict environmental changes, TERN’s vision remains consistent – in 2030, Australia will possess a continuously growing time-series of environmental measurements for land-based ecosystems that enable science for decision-making about our valuable ecosystem assets and foster targeted research on emerging challenges for the future benefit of Australians.  

Successfully achieving TERN’s vision will require TERN to strategically extend its monitoring footprint so that it effectively contributes measures over space and time of all the parameters that collectively contribute to understanding condition and resilience of ecosystems.  Technologies and methods on TERN’s radar include eDNA for freshwater, soil and groundwater monitoring, instrumented survey drones with data interpreted using a combination of Indigenous knowledge, AI, data visualisation, and scientific research and new applications of TERN’s current instruments, such as flux monitoring of soil organic carbon and using flux and COSMOS soil moisture monitoring in the more intensively managed ecosystems.  TERN will continue discussions with its community about research infrastructure gaps and seek feedback on TERN’s draft Strategic Framework for 2021-2030. This will lead into a November Strategic Planning day, a meeting with the TERN Advisory Board, Science Advisory Committee and TERN’s platform leaders. More on this later in the year.

In the meantime, we wish you happy reading.

Beryl

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