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Centre Spotlight: University of the Sunshine Coast Forest Research Institute

This month’s spotlight is aimed at the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC) Forest Research Institute. This group undertakes work in the broad spectrum of forestry research areas that make direct and meaningful contributions to the sustainability of our wooded landscapes, including important areas of studies such as smallholder and forest conservation-based research, along with work to ensure industries profitable while meeting regulatory requirements and public expectations.

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Site of the Month: Mitchell Grass Rangeland SuperSite

From on-ground monitoring plots, to high-tech sensor-laden towers and satellite measurements, all scales of TERN’s ecosystem observatory are coming together at TERN’s Mitchell Grass Rangeland SuperSite in Queensland to deliver critical data for research, policy, management and industry-led extension.

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Directors Update – July 2021

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.

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Building a global picture of plant ecological function

An international team of scientists hoping to uncover global patterns in the relationship between a plant’s form and the environment and climate in which it lives, were only able to explain <10% of the variation found in key functional patterns of leaves, the primary organ for light and carbon capture. In this, the first of several popular science articles from TERN, Prof. Andy Lowe explores alternative ways of solving this global scientific dilemma.

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Threatened Species Index has moved to TERN

The Australian government’s National Environmental Science Program (NESP) funding for the Threatened Species Recovery Hub finished in June this year, but the future of one of its achievements, the Threatened Species Index (TSX), has been secured with TERN becoming the new custodian of the index project.

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Long-term ecological research in Australia

In June, the Ecological Society of Australia and the Ecosystem Science Council asked Australian ecologists about their experiences and thoughts on long-term ecological research (LTER) in Australia.  Here’s a summary of the survey results and an invitation to attend or present at the 13th International LTER East Asia-Pacific Regional Conference, to be held online from 8-9 September.

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Science Symposium recap and revelations

The inaugural biennial TERN Science Symposium, held on 5-6 July 2021, provided two days of snappy and stimulating presentations revealing some of the innovative basic and applied research being conducted in Australia, and beyond, much of it using TERN ecosystem data and resources.

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Satellite calibration-validation: TERN’s runway to the world

From better weather forecasting and carbon budgeting to improved agricultural productivity forecasts, the on-ground data and research infrastructure TERN provides to space agencies, including NASA, are ensuring the accuracy of some of the planet’s most important ecosystem monitoring and prediction tools.

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All-weather, day and night, satellite radar images are now available for TERN sites, Australia and beyond

Australian researchers and industry now have access to more than 1,000 high-resolution satellite-collected radar images covering the Australian continent, with more data added every day.

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Helping to protect Australians from the dangers of bushfires

TERN is aggregating and harmonising bushfire fuel data on a national scale to better enable Australia-wide bushfire response and preparedness.

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