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Features

Australia’s ecosystem sample library

Australia’s national terrestrial ecosystems sample library has moved. Tens of thousands of soil and vegetation samples collected by TERN’s ecosystem surveillance monitoring are now housed at Waite and openly available for researchers to use.  Find out what’s available and how you can use the library to advance your research.

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Just part of the picture: camera traps reveal biodiversity at high-tech ecosystem observatories

TERN is revolutionising the way environmental change is monitored by creating an autonomous, wireless sensor network throughout Australia at its ecosystem observing sites. Remote camera traps, operating alongside time-lapse vegetation cameras, acoustic monitors and climate sensors, are helping researchers build complete pictures of biodiversity and providing early detection of environmental change. Join us as we share with you some of these remotely captured images.

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A universal model for predicting plant CO2 uptake

New research using TERN delivered data is set to change the way we predict photosynthesis in plants. Just published in Nature Plants, the research proposes a unified model of CO2 uptake by species and ecosystems that can be used to predict future global terrestrial sinks for anthropogenic CO2.

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EcoCloud: one of three new Australian Science Clouds

Open access to free, domain-specific, cloud-based research tools, virtual laboratories and platforms via a single interface that links multiple data sources and service providers is set to be delivered thanks to a new national e-research infrastructure investment: The Australian Science Clouds.  Learn more about the clouds and help TERN further tailor the Australian Ecosystem Science Cloud to meet your needs.

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Earth as an integrated system: don’t forget the groundwater

Water—or the lack of it!—is always a topic of interest to Australians, living and working as we do on the driest inhabited continent on Earth. TERN’s integrated ecosystem-observing infrastructure produces open data on multiple phenomena at the same time and location, ranging from biodiversity to hydrology. Here we bring you stories of the way some scientists are using TERN’s open access, co-located infrastructure to increase understanding of our groundwater resources and the terrestrial ecosystems that depend on them.

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Big data used to assess fire ecology of Kakadu

New research using decades of monitoring data available through TERN has identified significant problems with historic fire management in one of Australia's premier National Parks: Kakadu. Despite the data painting a somewhat negative picture of the past, the research proposes economically viable carbon-market based solutions and vindicates recent park management actions that are delivering more sustainable and ecologically appropriate fire management in the reserve.

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Responsible data publishing

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.

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People using TERN: Andries Potgieter

Dr Andries Potgieter of the University of Queensland is using TERN delivered remote sensing data to estimate grain cropping area and produce regular seasonal outlooks for sorghum and wheat.  When faced with the high impact of climate variability, advanced knowledge of likely crop size and its geographical distribution help industry make strategic decisions and avoid market volatility within Australia and globally.

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Measuring our breathing planet

Every hour, every day, over all seasons and across the changing years an international network of automated environmental observation towers watches the planet breathe in and out and measures its exchanges of gas and water. The pivotal role TERN plays in this global flux-measuring network was on display at the recent FluxNet Conference, which reported that the network’s Australasian component and the data and science it facilitates continue to punch well above their weight.

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Australia’s first state-wide ecosystem map

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.

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Decades of data sustaining the Australian Alps

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.

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Beyond pretty pictures: real data, real information, real impact from drones

The third annual Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) for Remote Sensing conference was on last month, and we were at the heart of the action discussing the latest technology and how best to continue providing world-leading remote sensing infrastructure and collaborative networks to support the use of UAS in characterising and monitoring environmental change.

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EcoEd training for first-rate science education

TERN has joined forces with the Atlas of Living Australia (ALA) and Biodiversity and Climate Change Virtual Laboratory (BCCVL) to deliver a new training program that builds on our past educational achievements and provides the training required to further incorporate NCRIS-developed services, capabilities and expertise into Australia’s higher education and research sector.

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Finding the lost forests of the drylands

A new global analysis of the distribution of forests and woodlands across dryland ecosystems using TERN data has increased current estimates of global forest cover by nearly 10%. The work, just published in Science, is a direct result of TERN’s on-going collaborations with the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization through their Global Forest Survey, which uses TERN data for crucial on-ground verification of satellite-based analyses.

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Listen up: new technologies for sound biodiversity monitoring

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.

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Data Driven Decisions

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.

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Big data, trusted services empower research and higher education

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.

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Making farms “more profitable in every sense”

20 years of biodiversity and farm health research at TERN monitoring sites will help ANU researchers and farmers better integrate the environment and farming to deliver increased productivity, improved conservation outcomes and more resilient farming communities.

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Taking TERN soil tools to near neighbours and beyond

TERN’s Soil and Landscape Grid of Australia continues to be used as regional role model and template in international cooperative soil information management. The Grid has recently been on show at the FAO in Rome and used in a suite of skill development and training projects with our near neighbours and beyond including Indonesia, Taiwan and Russia.

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

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.

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