TERN at ESAus19

With this year’s Ecological Society of Australia conference just around the corner, we take the opportunity to highlight some TERN-related activities during the event. Hone your ecological monitoring skills on our field trip, provide your input to the National Environmental Prediction System, or just drop by the joint TERN – ALA booth and say hi.

Ecology: science for practical solutions’ is the theme of this year’s annual conference of the Ecological Society of Australia (ESA)in Launceston from 24 to 29 November. The 2019 conference will feature a diverse range of applications of ecology that demonstrates the field’s contribution to developing and implementing solutions for our planet as it faces unprecedented biodiversity and climate crises. ESA’s President-elect Dr Bek Christensen says:

“Ecological science is fundamental for understanding the world we live in, and informing the solutions we need now and for the future.

As it does every year, the conference will help to showcase the breadth and depth of ecological science, provide an opportunity for sharing knowledge across many audiences, and further strengthen connections amongst the ecological community.

In particular, this year’s conference will showcase the many ways ecologists are working across boundaries of disciplines, institutions, borders and more, to develop and implement ecologically sustainable practices.”

TERN is pleased to continue its affiliation with ESA’s annual conferences and is sponsoring two symposia on Thursday, 28 November:

We will also be sharing a booth with fellow NCRIS project, the Atlas of Living Australia, and will have staff on hand to answer your questions and share information on our open-access research infrastructure.

There are also two exciting TERN events on during the week that you’re invited to:

  1. TERN Ecosystem Surveillance Field Trip
  2. National Environmental Prediction System (NEPS) Scoping Study Consultation

In addition, a number of presentations throughout the week describe advances in Australian ecosystem science enabled by TERN’s infrastructure. A complete list of these presentations, their times and locations is below.

We look forward to seeing you at this year’s ESA…

Not going to ESA this year? Don’t worry, you can follow all the action via Twitter using the hashtag #ESAus19 and by following @TERN_Aus.

TERN Ecosystem Surveillance Field Trip: Plot-based ecological monitoring in Australia’s ecosystems

Wednesday 27 November 8:00 – 17:30

Participation fee: $65 inc GST per participant

Inclusions: morning and afternoon tea, lunch

TERN’s Ecosystem Studies platform provides the data, methods, field samples, networks, apps, training and opportunities and advice needed for improved monitoring and assessment of Australia’s major ecosystems. All outputs are freely available to anyone who would like to use them.

This field trip provides an overview of the TERN ecological surveillance plot-based monitoring methods and techniques. We will visit one of the 700+ plots Australia wide, provide an overview of how the plot location was selected, and run-through all the techniques used to mark the plot, and collect vegetation and soil measures.

Participants will obtain hands-on practical experience in the standardised, nationally accepted techniques, including:

To join the field trip please register via

National Environmental Prediction System (NEPS) Scoping Study Consultation

Wednesday 27 November 10:00 – 12:00

Room: Chancellor 8

Participation fee: $nil

This workshop is aimed at any interested Australian ecologists who would like to see the plan for a National capability for investigating, modelling, forecasting and predicting the state of our future environments for research and evidence-based policy development. Have a say in shaping a business and use case to the Australian Government for establishment of this proposed new environmental research capability.

There will be a presentation on the proposed National Environmental Prediction System (NEPS) Scoping Study followed by facilitated round table discussion on technical design, uses and the social architecture. A summary of the workshop discussion will form part of the feedback to the Australian Government from the Scoping Study’s Expert Panel when it submits its consultation and implementation reports in 2020.

Under the Australian Government National Research Infrastructure Investment Plan, released in the 2018-19 Budget, the NEPS is conceived as a federated form of national research infrastructure, enabling integration of environmental observations with predictive modelling. In addition to its importance to researchers, the NEPS would be expected to produce data and information products and services to be used by decision-makers to boost our economy through improved environmental knowledge.

This workshop forms part of the scoping study’s broad, nation-wide consultations, and is an opportunity for members of Australia’s peak body for ecosystem science, ESA, to have their say on Australia’s future environmental predictive capabilities.

More information on the NEPS Scoping Study here:


Presentations at ESA19 featuring TERN

The following presentations all feature research using TERN infrastructure, data or expertise. Some are given by TERN staff, but the majority by TERN users.

Monday, November 25, 2019
(1D) SYMPOSIUM: Field-based manipulative experiments for understanding environmental change (part 1)

11:00 – 13:00 Track 4

Alfredo Huete – Phenocam-observed pasture responses to variable rainfall: experiences from the DRI-GRASS drought experiment

Sally Power – Pastures and climate extremes (PACE): Understanding pasture responses to elevated temperature and drought

Glenda Wardle – Too much or too little: plant responses to nutrient and drought manipulations in arid grasslands.


18:00 – 19:30

Tina Schroeder – Effects of ecological restoration on soil condition in agricultural landscapes

Thursday, November 28, 2019
(6B) SYMPOSIUM: Vegetation science for decision-making (part 1)

11:00 – 13:00 Track 2

Siddeswara Guru – Towards harmonisation and integration of ecology data

Peter Lyon – The Habitat Condition Assessment System: big data analytics for the state of Australia’s ecosystems.

(8E) OPEN FORUM: Aquatic fresh

16:00 – 17:30 Track 5

Jenny Davis – The outback water project: combining citizen science & isotope hydrology to identify future aquatic refugia

Friday, November 29, 2019
(9B) OPEN FORUM: Forest ecology

11:00 – 13:00 Track 2

Sue Baker – Assessing habitat quality in forests managed for wood production

Katie Irvine – Wild Orchid Watch: creating a citizen science program

(9D) OPEN FORUM: Restoration

11:00 – 13:00 Track 4

Alan Andersen – Faunal standards for ecosystem restoration: rehabilitation of Ranger Uranium Mine

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