People using TERN: United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization

Winter 2016

TERN’s national monitoring infrastructure, data and expertise is being utilised by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations as part of their Global Forest Survey, which is helping improve greenhouse gas emissions inventories.


Simile, forests, you're on camera

Winter 2016

TERN’s national vegetation surveillance infrastructure and data is helping researchers monitor vegetation and better understand how climate change will affect ecosystems around the world.


Science community capitalises on TERN flux monitoring infrastructure

Winter 2016

An impressive compendium of ecosystem science research facilitated by TERN infrastructure and data products has just been released in a special issue of the international journal Biogeosciences.

Delivery of Research Infrastructure

Until the advent of TERN, ecosystem science efforts in Australia tended to be fragmented, localised and short-term in terms of both capacity and tenure. TERN has worked closely with many partners to successfully deliver shared research infrastructure that is allowing Australia’s ecosystem scientists to collaborate and synthesise effectively across regions and disciplines. This powerful network approach means Australia’s ecosystem science and management communities now have the capacity to monitor, understand and manage Australia’s ecosystems at the national scale and in the long term, more comprehensively and meaningfully than ever before.

The view from the top of the Calperum-Chowilla OzFlux tower in South Australia. The OzFlux network of towers offers 'hard' infrastructure to support research across Australia. Each tower measures the flux of carbon dioxide, water vapour and energy in the surrounding environment.
The Citizen Science app developed by the Transects for Environmental Monitoring and Decision Making, part of TERN's MSPN. The app provides the 'soft' infrastructure for standardised data collection and submission.


This research infrastructure takes two main forms: “hard” infrastructure, such as the networks of diverse sensors, the long-term monitoring plots and transects, and national sample archives; and “soft” infrastructure, such as the standardisation of data collection, handling, meta-data, licensing and storage methods and tools, the new and enduring collaborative networks between ecosystem scientists, and the capacity for cross-disciplinary synthesis that is essential if we are to fully exploit TERN’s capacity to deliver for Australia’s ecosystems.

On this page you will find regularly updated links describing the diverse research infrastructure delivered through TERN, and some of the ways in which Australia’s ecosystem science community is already using it to work more effectively and efficiently.


More infrastructure news:

  • 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.


  • Data in demand: Australian flux data downloads surge thanks to new global open-access

    Autumn 2016

    Data on the exchanges of heat, water and carbon dioxide between key Australian terrestrial ecosystems and the atmosphere collected by TERN OzFlux are now openly-accessible via the global flux measuring network FluxNet. We take a look at who’s downloading the data and what they’re doing with it.

  • Catchment to coast via the city: TERN expands ecosystem monitoring infrastructure in NSW

    Summer 2015

    New TERN monitoring sites along the Biodiversity and Adaptation Transect Sydney are set to deliver more cohesive ecosystem information at multiple scales and lead to improved understanding of spatial and temporal environmental changes.

  • New ecosystem monitoring plots established to address biodiversity threats in WA’s Pilbara

    Working in collaboration with the people of the Fortescue River catchment in WA’s Pilbara region—pastoral and mining land managers and the indigenous community—the Pilbara Corridors project has established the first of its AusPlots ecosystem monitoring sites to help identify spatial and temporal changes in biodiversity.

  • TERN is becoming an international model for success

    International ecosystem research networks have been closely evaluating TERN infrastructure as recent collaborative information sharing exercises in China and Chile strengthen ties with partners from all corners of the globe.

  • Critical infrastructure for National Environmental Science Program. January 2015 marks the start of the National Environmental Science Programme’s planning phase so we take this opportunity to chat with hub leaders Dr Helen Cleugh and Professor Hugh Possingham about their hubs’ plans for the coming year and the importance of TERN’s infrastructure to their research.
  • Safeguarding Australia’s critical research infrastructure. We all rely on the technology that’s orbiting the Earth, some of us more than others. Safeguarding our critical research infrastructure ensures you don’t miss a minute of the World Cup and, more importantly, can continue to access detailed remotely sensed imagery for scientific studies from networks like TERN.
  • On the road talking data infrastructure. 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. 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.
  • Value of airborne infrastructure soars sky high. Airborne LiDAR data are becoming an integral part of Australian ecosystem science and the infrastructure TERN provides is enabling researchers around Australia and the world to access it. LiDAR data are currently available for download for nine sites around Australia with data from AusCover’s latest field campaign in Tasmania available soon.
  • Global problems need global solutions, and TERN’s close ties with the US National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) is just one way we’re enabling new approaches to address critical ecosystem science questions across the globe. TERN’s infrastructure has much to offer other nations, and it is a wonderful outcome for the program to see it contributing to the global community.
  • The international value of TERN’s collaborative networks and infrastructure was clearly on show in August 2013 when a group of scientists from around the world came together in Australia using TERN’s infrastructure to test and compare the latest terrestrial laser-scanning technology for measuring and monitoring vegetation.
  • Cosmic help for down-to-earth environmental monitoring.The Australian Supersite Network's field infrastructure will soon include new sensors for monitoring soil moisture as part of the international COSMOS initiative
  • From tall trees to high country, TERN infrastructure measures Victoria. Ecosystem science – and the research infrastructure provided locally through TERN – is making considerable contributions to the sustainability of these industries in the region.
  • TERN's Soil and Landscape Grid of Australia is in the thick of land evaluation activities that will map the suitability of northern Australian landscapes for agriculture. The new landscape information tools they’re producing will inform policy makers and planners to help guide choices in investment for the future. Click to read more.
  • The AusPlots Rangelands survey team, more used to the arid zones of inland Australia, has shifted its focus north this month to begin surveys in western Queensland. By targeting often-remote rangeland ecosystems AusPlots is filling critical data gaps, and providing a foundation to better understand the bulk of Australia's interior and northern regions.
  • Drought, temperature extremes, and fire are just a few of the challenges facing Western Australia's local communities and ecosystems. TERN's strong presence in our largest state is providing infrastructure and capabilities to better understand and respond to these challenges. Read more here.
  • Effective monitoring and management of the Northern Territory's ecosystems is essential to support the livelihood of communities in Australia's most sparsely populated state or territory. TERN's infrastructure has the territory covered, and is providing practical benefits to local communities on issues such as land-use change, carbon farming and fire management. NATT the backbone of NT research.
  • Extreme rain not a dampener for new flux tower. The practical challenges posed by the extremes of Australia’s natural environments are well known to any field researcher. Earlier this month, the team at the FNQ Rainforest Supersite had to work through unseasonably wet conditions – more than 120 mm of rain – to install a new 40 m flux tower
  • TERN's December 2012 eNewsletter celebrates the many kinds of research infrastructure that have been successfully delivered through TERN, as well as the positive impacts for ecosystem scientists, managers and for Australians more generally.
  • A partnership between TERN, CSIRO and Google is about to deliver a quantum leap in the accessibility and international reach of Australian science: detailed satellite imagery of Australian landscapes and associated data tools will soon be publicly available through the Google Earth Engine. Click here to read more.
  • A case study on the value of TERN's infrastructure: an ecologist's perspective on TERN's approach to providing data infrastructure relevant for terrestrial ecosystem researchers.
  • The TERN Data Discovery Portal was released in October 2012! For the first time, the TDDP allows users to search for and explore a wide range of ecosystem data and metadata from a single point of entry.  Read more here.
  • TERN's Associate Science Directors Stuart Phinn and Andy Lowe explain how TERN’s national ecosystem data infrastructure is delivering efficiency gains, increasing effectiveness and increasing integration across disciplines for Australia’s ecosystem scientists and managers.
  • Read about the benefits that OzFlux's soft infrastructure has had for other flux projects
  • AusPlots Rangelands has made an important soft infrastructure contribution to Rangelands science in Australia through its development of a survey protocols manual and training sessions
  • TERN's Data Licensing Policy and Framework is a significant precursor to the TERN Data Discovery Portal, and establishes key principles for licensing and sharing ecosystem data in Australia
  • The e-MAST Facility is leading the world to fill gaps in ecosystem modelling
  • TERN's 2012 Annual Symposium was a great opportunity to showcase the TERN data delivery infrastructure
  • The Australian Supersite Network is just one of MSPN's five sub-facilities, helping TERN to address novel ecosystem questions and respond to key policy and management issues
  • AusCover's workshops on the newly launched  Visible Infrared Imager Radiometer Suite’s (VIIRS) processing software gave participants the essential tools for the reception, display and analysis of VIIRS satellite data
  • AusCover's December 2011 WA workshop allowed participants to learn more about AusCover's range of products and explore ways that these are already being used by some West Australian organisations
  • Read the TERN paper from the 5th eResearch Australasia Conference Nov 2011

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TERN is supported by the Australian Government through the National
Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy(NCRIS).