First meeting of all MSPN facilities

More than 30 people attended the first science and planning workshop of the Multi-Scale Plot Network (MSPN) at McLaren Vale on November 7 and 8.

The Coordinator of the Long-term Australian Multi-scale Plot System (LAMPS), Dr Nikki Thurgate, who organised the workshop, said it was the first time every sub-facility in the network was represented, and marked a milestone in the facility’s development.

Nikki said the sub-facilities made the most of the opportunity to give updates on their progress since March, when some of the sub-facilities met.

‘We had a rich discussion and debate about data licensing, data sharing and intellectual property that will be summarised in a group discussion paper,’ Nikki said.

‘We developed a vision that will bring us together as a cohesive network. To describe this, we will publish a brochure outlining our vision and the strength of each sub-facility and the way in which it integrates with the MSPN.’

The other main points to come out of the workshop are:

  • a review of the main information and spatial ‘gaps’ in the network, which included discussion about how these could be remedied
  • a review of the ‘big picture’ ecological questions that the MSPN is answering as a group
  • the progress on several manuscripts and publications being produced by the group, including one on the value of long-term ecological research
    and one on the science that underpins it
  • an agreement to review and describe the success factors integral to long-term ecological monitoring.

‘Another, exciting outcome is that MSPN members agreed to contribute to a book that will demonstrate the value of existing national long-term environmental research in Australia for evaluating environmental change across the continent, and how well it is already integrated,’ Nikki said.

‘One of our main reasons to write it is to align it to whole-of-TERN goals such as providing evidence to inform policy and management.’

Those who attended agreed to meet again in April 2012 to ensure the book remains on track and keep other network projects progressing.

‘We all need to do a lot of hard work between now and April 2012 to achieve all the goals the group has set,’ Nikki said, ‘but the good news is that people now seem to be operating as a network, which makes these goals achievable.’

For more information, contact Nikki Thurgate.

Participants at the MSPN workshop came from all sub-facilities

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