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Engaging communities in ecosystem science

SERF technician Marcus Yates takes soil moisture readings at the Samford Valley site

Locals will have a chance to take a look behind the scenes at the Samford Ecological Research Facility (SERF) at a community open day in mid-June. Located in the Samford Valley on the edge of Brisbane, SERF is run by the Queensland University of Technology, and work there focuses on how urban development affects ecosystems.

The TERN-funded Australian Supersite Network has installed a range of measuring and monitoring equipment at SERF, including a weather station, water quality sensors, a carbon dioxide and water flux station, and automated greenhouse-gas monitoring chambers.

At the open day, staff will be on hand to explain to interested community members how this research infrastructure is being used to help answer pertinent questions such as: How does urbanisation affect creek flow, water quality, and greenhouse gases? How can the rural-residential transition best be managed to maintain ecosystem services? And can bio-acoustics be used to monitor ecosystem health? Events like open days are a great way to increase local community understanding and support for ecosystem science.

Published in TERN e-Newsletter May 2012

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