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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:

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.


Relief in sight: countrywide pollen monitoring and mapping for early warning

December 2016

TERN’s collaborative networks and data infrastructure have provided the platforms from which to establish the inaugural national pollen-monitoring network and a new, high-tech approach to pollen mapping and forecasting. Together, these initiatives are bringing unprecedented and timely public health benefits, including helping to predict future outbreaks of thunderstorm asthma.


People using TERN: Ellen Miech

December 2016

An honours student at the Australian National University has used TERN data to identify drivers of Proteaceae declines on Western Australia's islands and where ongoing monitoring and conservation efforts should be focused.


500 ecosystem surveillance plots and counting

November 2016

TERN has collected environmental data from over 500 ecosystem surveillance plots across Australia’s rangeland and tall forest ecosystems. These vegetation, soil and landscape data represent an invaluable resource for surveillance monitoring of Australian ecosystems and are helping scientists and land managers nationwide to better monitor, understand and manage our landscapes.


AEKOS: Your gateway to Australian ecology data

November 2016

A new version of TERN AEKOS makes it easier for users to search and download diverse, well-described, Australia-wide ecological data from a single point of entry. Find out what’s new then come explore almost 100000 sites of published plot data.


NASA to use TERN data in ECOSTRESS mission

November 2016

An exciting new data sharing collaboration between NASA and TERN will lead to a better understanding of how climate change will affect water use by plants from different biomes, and the implications for agricultural and natural ecosystems. Thanks to this collaboration, Australian science will also benefit from the delivery of new NASA data.


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