News

Director’s Update – October 2020

Welcome to our post-2020 Australian Federal Budget TERN newsletter. Some of our community have been predicting over the past months that with an economic recession, national bushfire recovery costs and the unknown aftermath of COVID-19, long-term financial commitment to research infrastructure would be affected. But thankfully, it seems that may not be the case…

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TERN present and future

With the halfway point of TERN’s current NCRIS grant upon us and consultations for the 2021 Australian National Research Infrastructure Roadmap fast approaching, we take the opportunity to capture some of the thoughts of two key TERN Advisory Board members on the future direction of Australia’s terrestrial ecosystem observatory. 

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The botanists

We thank the botanists at Australia’s regional, state and national herbaria for their expertise, ensuring TERN’s open data accurately documents the diversity, distribution and state of the nation’s flora. Join our field botanists, at one of the first TERN monitoring sites established, as they re-survey the environment a decade later and remember the legacy of renowned botanist, David Symon.

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Hot and hostile. The links between temperature, aggression and crime in Australia.

TERN’s open-access data analysis tools have enabled researchers to put together a massive 13-year weather dataset to better understand the relationships between the environment and human behaviour. Meet the latest group of researchers using TERN’s free cloud-based virtual desktop, CoESRA, and learn how you can use it too.

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Monitoring Australia’s biodiverse west

The borders might be closed but collaborative environmental science is buzzing in Western Australia. Find out how the west is leading the way in piloting new ways to assess ecosystem health, stress and function, starting with an exciting new biodiversity monitoring capability.

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Director’s Update – September 2020

Congratulations to Professor Hugh Possingham on his appointment as Queensland’s Chief Scientist and to ICOS, the Integrated Carbon Observation System in Europe, on their 2020 science conference. Compliments should also go to the more than 30 dedicated TERN people who have just wrapped up a virtual strategic planning day, refreshing the prioritisation of TERN’s core data packages and signature products.

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Kangaroo Island post-bushfire surveys to track ecosystem recovery

In early October, a team of TERN ecologists will return to Kangaroo Island to re-survey 12 permanent environmental monitoring plots established by TERN in 2018, half of which were burnt in the 2019/2020 bushfires. The new data collected by the TERN Field Team will add to key baseline information collected pre-fire and enable the tracking of post-fire recovery rates and ecosystem resilience.

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Digital soil assessment: an essential component of a national ecosystem observatory

National scale soils information is critical for informing decisions across domains in environment, agriculture, engineering, and climate response, and enables researchers to measure changes in Australia’s ecosystems over time from local to continental scales. We talk to outgoing TERN platform co-lead, Mike Grundy, about the immense value digital soil mapping and assessment adds to a national ecosystem observatory.

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Centre Spotlight: Centre for Ecosystem Management

In this edition, we shine our spotlight on Edith Cowan University’s Centre for Ecosystem Management and its collaborative work with government, conservation groups, community, industry, consultants, and other research institutions to achieve effective ecosystem management, conservation and ecological research.

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Site of the Month: Alice Mulga SuperSite

More than a decade of ecosystem measurements in Australia’s Red Centre are providing an unprecedented understanding of the health and function of Australia’s vast arid ecosystems. The data tell a tale of a tough life in the desert, with highly variable rainfall patterns and carbon dynamics, but of which, thanks to research infrastructure investments, Australia’s scientists are developing an intimate understanding.

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