On the road talking data infrastructure

Out and about spreading the love of TERN’s national data infrastructure and how you can access and benefit from it

TERN’s data infrastructure exists to provide Australia’s science community with access to a wealth of ecosystem data and to enable researchers to easily publish data.

Some of the data available through TERN’s infrastructure includes species lists from more than 100,000 plots, high-resolution maps of soil, and remotely sensed data, and estimates of gross primary production  and transpiration from vegetation. TERN also offers tools and repositories for institutions and individuals to manage their own data.

Over the past couple of months several facilities have been on the road spreading the word about TERN’s national data infrastructure network, the role they play it creating it, and how it benefits users.

TERN’s Soil and Landscape Grid of Australia was first cab off the rank when, early this year, it conducted seminars in seven capital cities to show how, by bringing together all existing soil knowledge in a readily accessible form as well as supporting the development of new products, the ‘grid’ is now delivering information for researchers and managers dealing with complex land-management challenges.

The next facility to load up the Kombi and hit the road was AusPlots, which presented sessions in Darwin and Brisbane on how their national plot-based monitoring network is addressing knowledge gaps and ecosystem monitoring needs. Participants heard how they can benefit from the facility’s work, whether it’s by accessing data, samples, and methods, or through opportunities for collaboration.

Further south, in Adelaide, AusCover hosted a data users’ workshop where stakeholders learnt about the facility’s network of scientists and institutions, and the range of field, airborne and satellite image products that they provide free. AusCover staff demonstrated and got feedback on some of the tools to access AusCover data.

It was then over to Sydney for a data masterclass hosted by Macquarie University. With many fewer tears than one of the Masterchef variety, this masterclass gave an overview of all TERN’s available ecosystem data resources, how people can access them, and how they can take advantage of new tools and infrastructure to benefit their research and data management.

And lucky last was our Eco-informatics facility, which kicked off its national ‘getting started’ and feedback sessions at The University of Queensland and The University of Sydney earlier this month. Eco-informatics is showcasing two new research resources, SHaRED and ÆKOS, which allow students and academics alike to publish their data in ways that can raise their research profiles.

Those at TERN HQ thank everyone who organised or attended one of these great events. Without your input and participation our infrastructure network wouldn’t be able to deliver what it does for Australia’s ecosystem scientists, managers and decision makers. As one of our collaborators, Dr Peter Scarth, so succinctly put it: ‘People + Infrastructure = Awesome science.’

To find a TERN event near you be sure to keep an eye on the upcoming events page of our website.

Published in TERN newsletter June 2014

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