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Historically, the potential for collaboration between Australian ecosystem scientists and managers was limited by a number of factors, including the absence of any coordinated national capacity for data storage, licensing and management, which made it difficult for scientists and managers to share or discover relevant previous work and build upon it.

TERN is working closely with our many government, university, public and private stakeholders and partners to bring about a quiet revolution in the way things have traditionally been done. Our philosophy is “collect data once – make it discoverable – use it many times.” The infrastructure we’ve planned and built can now offer a one-stop-shop solution for data storage, data publishing and citation through DOI minting, licensing and discoverability. This new capacity to close the data management lifecycle is already delivering efficiency dividends for Australia’s ecosystem science community, and their efforts to understand and manage our ecosystems at the necessary temporal and spatial scales.

On this page you will find regularly updated links describing the data storage, management and discoverability infrastructure we’ve developed, and the people and projects already putting these tools to effective use.

Data Sub-Themes, Resources and Projects:

Responsible data publishing 

July 2017

Recent articles in Science highlight the possibilities of putting information about highly collectable rare and threatened species in the hands of poachers. Like the authors of these articles, TERN is grappling with this concern, becoming part of the national movement developing guidelines and tools that can help to reduce the risk.


Australia’s first state-wide ecosystem map

June 2017

Assisted by TERN data infrastructure, the Queensland government has released Australia’s first comprehensive state-wide regional ecosystem maps, providing unparalleled detailed online information on the status of Queensland’s diverse native vegetation.


Decades of data sustaining the Australian Alps

June 2017

Seven decades of long-term monitoring data from the Alps, now openly available via TERN infrastructure, are not only increasing our understanding of impacts such as fire, grazing and exotic species invasions, but also informing land-management decisions by government agencies and private enterprise and helping document a small but important part of the Alps’ natural heritage.


Big data, trusted services empower research and higher education

May 2017

In the first quarter of 2017 over a trillion data records were downloaded via TERN’s AEKOS data portal. These data and our trusted services that deliver them continue to support and extend Australia’s higher education and research sector enabling it to operate more open, collaborative, efficient and effective—an achievement a trillion times more valuable than the statistic.


Listen up: new technologies for sound biodiversity monitoring

May 2017

TERN is investing in a brave new world of biodiversity monitoring with remote sensors and artificial intelligence. Acoustic sensors at our nation-wide environmental observatories provide the infrastructure and data required by our stakeholders to monitor biodiversity at large spatial and temporal scales. Come hear their stories and the sounds they’re using to understand and conserve our ecosystems.


Data Driven Decisions

May 2017

What’s the future of Australia’s environmental observing systems and the eResearch platforms that underpin them? How can we ensure that they continue to facilitate world-leading science and management to support informed decision-making and genuine triple bottom line benefits? Earlier this month we joined fellow NCRIS projects to reflect on such questions and discuss the future of environmental research infrastructure in Australia.


Finding the lost forests of the drylands

May 2017

TERN’s infrastructure and expertise have proven vital to a new global analysis of the distribution of forests and woodlands across dryland ecosystems. The work, a direct result of our ongoing collaboration with the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation, has increased current estimates of global forest cover by nearly 10%. Just published in Science, these results will improve global carbon models and inventories.


London calling: TERN’s Earth observation infrastructure on the global stage

April 2017

Australia is a global leader in Earth observation thanks in part to TERN technologies, infrastructure and tools. Our ability to continue supporting Australian science communities in undertaking global impact science has been strengthened thanks to recent collaborations on the world science stage.


550 ecosystem surveillance plots and counting

March 2017

2017 sees TERN reach a milestone of 582 ecosystem surveillance plots sampled across our rangelands and tall forest ecosystems. Vegetation, soil and landscape data from over 500 plots are now openly accessible via TERN’s open access data infrastructure and represent an invaluable resource for ecosystem science in Australia.


Taking the pulse of Australia’s environment

March 2017

Researchers have taken advantage of TERN’s trusted national and long-term data to develop the recently released ‘Australia’s Environment in 2016’. The report, and its accompanying interactive website, provide an annual summary of 13 key environmental indicators and how they have changed over time.


TERN teams up with Google to deliver Australian science to millions worldwide

February 2017

TERN has again teamed up with Google, this time to make detailed information on Australia’s soil and landscapes available through the Google Earth Engine. As a result researchers can benefit from Google’s cloud computing power, cutting their data processing and analysis times from hours to seconds.


People using TERN: Andrew Edwards

February 2017

A research fellow from the Darwin Centre for Bushfire Research is using TERN delivered data to map fire severity across the Top End for more informed regional fire management and more accurate national carbon accounting.


New tools to improve state fire mapping

January 2017

The South Australian Government have partnered with TERN to develop new techniques that improve state fire mapping, and understanding of fire location, extent and timing. The new methods use TERN’s satellite data products, and align with those of neighbouring states, in a significant step towards nationally consistent fire mapping.


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