Discovering Australia's ecosystem data made easier

Winter 2016

A new version of the TERN Data Discovery Portal makes it even easier for users to search and download diverse ecosystem science open data from a single point of entry. Find out what’s new then come explore the more than 2200 published data records.

Budding scientists build better maps

Winter 2016

TERN’s infrastructure continues to be used by Australia’s leading universities. We look at our Geo-Wiki crowdsoucing infrastructure that’s delivering mutual benefits for next generation scientists and the Australian research and management communities.

NCRIS partnerships developing complementary data services

Winter 2016

A recent collaborative initiative with the Atlas of Living Australia has enabled significant advancement towards the delivery of more integrated, efficient and effective data and services to our users.


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.


TERN Eco-Informatics Facility Director Craig Walker and colleagues view the Advanced Ecological Knowledge and Observation System (ÆKOS). Upon release, AEKOS will offer a single point of access for browsing, searching, displaying, and extracting ecosystem data. (Photo source: eResearch SA)


More data news:

Decades of observations on Australia’s iconic arid plants and animals are now available via TERN’s data infrastructure. Our advanced data infrastructure and links to international portals enable intelligent data reuse by arid ecologists around the world.

  • Data and Stories from landmark TERN book: Biodiversity and Environmental Change

    A number of the long-term data sets from research featured in the book 'Biodiversity and Environmental Change: Monitoring, Challenges and Direction' have just been published by our Long Term Ecological Research Network (LTERN).  These data and their stories, now openly available via LTERN's web site, and are an invaluable resource for ecologists, environmental managers and policy makers.

  • TERN announced as first Australian DataONE node

    TERN has partnered with the US’s DataONE to expand the discoverability of our data. TERN datasets can now be accessed using DataONE’s OneMercury search tool, increasing data sharing and opening up new opportunities for Australian ecosystem data to be used in new global science.
  • Long-term satellite data for natural resource and land-management

    >35 years of satellite-derived time-series biophysical map products are now freely available. Capturing seasonal, episodic and historical changes in land-cover, and the impacts of extreme events, the data are invaluable for Australia’s environmental management industry and are already being used by researchers and government programs.

  • 90-years of data track change in rangeland ecosystem

Data from one of the world’s longest running arid-zone ecological monitoring projects, now openly available via TERN’s infrastructure, is helping environmental managers answer important questions about the ecology of arid zone vegetation and the changes grazing and climate change have on arid ecosystems.

More than 100 years of platypus observations for 277 waterways across the breadth of Tasmania are now available for download via TERN Eco-informatics’ ÆKOS data portal.


Data update

  • Winter 2016 - We feature ecosystem surveillance monitoring data collected from over 500 monitoring plots across Australia's rangeland and tall forest ecosystems; and flux data used in a number of recent collaborative research studies.

  • Autumn 2016 - We feature data from Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park collected by Parks Australia, who we work with to provide open-access via our data portals. We also feature just some of the decades worth of available data from TERN’s Warra Tall Eucalypt SuperSite that are helping researchers predict how eucalypt forests will respond to changes in climate or disturbances such as fire and forestry.

  • Summer 2015 - This quarter we feature acoustic sensor data collected at TERN’s nation-wide monitoring SuperSites and openly provided to the research community for monitoring biodiversity at large spatial and temporal scales.

  • September 2015 - This month we feature national ground cover data collected by the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES), just one of our partners who we work with to provide Australian industry with open-access via our data portals.  Also featured are arid ecosystem data from rangelands in SA and QLD.

  • June 2015 - This month we feature three more national soil datasets currently available thanks to the National Soil and Landscape Grid of Australia. We also feature soil, geology and plant data from Queensland; and capital city pollen data collected by the national pollen monitoring network.

  • April 2015 - This month we feature data on the extent and condition of remnant vegetation on roadsides in South Australia, including metropolitan Adelaide; climate data that are being used in fire hazard reduction and climate adaptation research; and data on ecosystem change from long-term research in Victoria's alpine region.

  • March 2015 - This month we feature an eclectic mix of datasets recently created or made available thanks to TERN's collection of data tools. Data on the Norfolk Island Green Parrot, human population, phenology, rangeland biodiversity, energy and water fluxes and more are now available.

  • February 2015 - This month we feature data on the nation’s estuaries alongside recently released data on a variety of ecological attributes along two of our subcontinental monitoring transects - the ‘SWATT’ in Western Australia and the ‘TREND’ in South Australia.

  • January 2015 - This month we feature fire history and fuel hazard data generated by scientists using TERN’s research infrastructure in WA and QLD.

  • December 2014 - This month we highlight three nation-wide soil datasets that were recently made available thanks to the launch of our National Soil and Landscape Grid. We feature the grid’s ‘Available Water Capacity’, ‘Effective Cation Exchange Capacity’, and ‘Australia-wide 3D Soil Property Maps’ products.

  • November 2014 - This month we highlight three recently-updated datasets relevant to research in managed landscapes – ground cover data from rangeland grazing environments; vegetation cover data from a Tasmanian production forest; and flux data that help explain the interactions between logging practices and carbon stocks.

  • October 2014 - This month we feature the coastal video datasets that are now available through TERN’s Data Discovery Portal, as well as new phenology data from LTERN’s Victorian Alpine Plot Network, and flux data from our Howard Springs OzFlux site in the Northern Territory

  • September 2014 - This month we highlight data from TERN's Alice Springs OzFlux site, which has been used in a recent collaborative study, published in the Journal of Hydrology.  In addition, we also feature a selection of recently updated data from TERN monitoring sites in northern Queensland.

  • August 2014 - This month we're featuring a selection of raw and modelled datasets produced by TERN's Ecosystem Modelling and Scaling Infrastructure (eMAST).

  • July 2014 - This month we highlight a selection of vegetation datasets submitted to TERN by the New South Wales Office of Environment and Heritage, including diverse locations such as Lord Howe Island, the Australian Alps and the Cumberland Plain in western Sydney.

  • June 2014 - This month we highlight four recently-added datasets relevant to research in desert and alpine environments and an exciting new portal that’s tracking Australia’s decline of small mammals - one of the nation's most pressing conservation issues.

  • May 2014 - This month we feature ground and airborne LiDAR data that’s freely available for download via the AusCover data portal. As well as showcasing the data submission tool, SHaRED, we also feature pollen data from 11 sites around Australasia that are definitely nothing to sneeze at.

  • April 2014 - This month we feature the coastal video datasets that are now available through TERN’s Data Discovery Portal, as well as a new collaborative tool that makes ecosystem data modelling easier and quicker, without compromising quality or accuracy.

  • March 2014 - Ecosystem data of many kinds continues to be made accessible to all, via the data infrastructure being provided through TERN. This month we're featuring a selection of our northern Australia datasets.

  • February 2014 - Ecosystem data of many kinds continues to be made accessible to all, via the data infrastructure being provided through TERN. This month we highlight two recently-added datasets relevant to research included in our book, involving long-term studies at sites in Kakadu National Park in the NT, and Alpine National Park in Victoria.  

  • January 2014 - This month’s data update highlights some of the datasets relevant to understanding extreme events in Australia, which have been used in a number of recent collaborative research studies featured in this month's newsletter.

  • December 2013 - December’s data update highlights some of the datasets being made available through TERN’s OzFlux Facility that have underpinned recent publications in the research fields of ecology, plant science, forestry, meteorology and atmospheric science.

Sign up for our monthly news bulletin:

Please send me the TERN e-Newsletter
I agree to the Privacy Policy
Please send me the TERN e-Newsletter
Please send me information about TERN events (e.g. Annual National Symposium)


P: +61 7 3346 7021
TERN is supported by the Australian Government through the National
Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy(NCRIS).