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Directors Update – September 2021

Welcome to our early Spring eNewsletter – its diverse articles range from news of a Nature publication that includes TERN authors and data to the rising use of TERN data by educators unable to do field trips during COVID lockdown – do take a look at all of the stories.

We understand that an ‘exposure draft’ of the all-important 2021 National Research Infrastructure Roadmap will be released in early to mid-October for comment. Let’s do our best to coordinate the responses we make as the terrestrial ecosystem community! In the interests of effective research infrastructure to support long-term ecosystem monitoring, some discussion and coordination in deciding what we say will improve the strength and consistency of the messages the Expert Working Group and Government receives. Once we find out the deadline for responses, we will be in touch to suggest how we might share ideas and work toward consistency.   

TERN has the next of its bimonthly webinars at 4pm AEDT on Wednesday 6 October via Zoom.  The topic being explored by our expert panel relates to the importance of data in understanding extreme events – we are talking about things like floods, bushfires, cyclones, droughts and more.  It is interesting to think about whether we need a new definition of extreme events – they have historically been deemed to be rare. That apparent rarity means there is not much data from which to track whether the frequency and severity are indeed changing. The panellists who are tackling issues around extreme events are Dan Metcalfe (TERN Advisory Board member and Oceans and Atmosphere Director at CSIRO), Tim Wardlaw (TERN’s Regional Ambassador for Tasmania and Principal Investigator at the TERN Warra Tall Eucalypt SuperSite and Warra LTER site) and NSW Government scientist, Dr Xihua Yang.  Dan and Tim will be talking from national and local perspectives respectively while Dr Yang will discuss how environmental data can be used in the post-event recovery process.

Also coming up soon – on 12 October – TERN will be leading a panel discussion at the virtual eResearch Conference with a number of other NCRIS projects, talking about how we can leverage our respective research infrastructure projects so users such as modellers can better access and reuse data needed for delivering their future Australian environmental prediction/forecasts.  It is expected the discussion will cover topics like the need for strong governance around infrastructure and information management; policies for seamless data sharing; and models that will be used in the predictions.

The NCRIS research infrastructure projects are a tight-knit community, so it is with considerable sadness that we learned this week that our colleague since 2019, Ian Griffiths, CEO of the Australian National Fabrication Facility (ANFF), passed away suddenly. Ian had a passion for research infrastructure and demonstrated how commercialisation activities within NCRIS projects can work.

We also had pleasing news this week concerning former TERN Advisory Board member, Dr Ian Cresswell. Ian has been appointed Chair of the NCRIS-enabled Atlas of Living Australia’s Advisory Board. Congratulations Ian

We wish you all happy reading of this September newsletter –stay safe!

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