TERN is Australia’s land ecosystem observatory.
We observe and measure the cause and effect of ecosystem change—from site to continental scale—and deliver data streams that enable environmental research and management.
Our three key themes are Biodiversity, Land & Terrain, and Carbon & Water.
TERN was established in late 2009 as Australia’s first Commonwealth Government NCRIS grant-funded research infrastructure to deliver a national terrestrial ecosystem observatory providing standardised and integrated measures of changes in Australia’s land-based ecosystem biodiversity.
The goal of TERN is to provide open access for researchers to Australia’s land-based ecosystem monitoring infrastructure, data and research tools and thus contribute to a broader understanding and long-term sustainable management of Australia’s ecosystems.
To achieve its goal, TERN uses consistent and standard ecosystem measures over time to observe and measure ecosystem change across the continent.
From the beginning, the TERN ecosystem field observatory was structured around three key scales of observation:
TERN’s data services manage datasets derived from its terrestrial ecosystem field observatory. Within its data services capability, TERN data infrastructure also enables the Australian community of ecosystem researchers to collect, contribute, store and share data.
TERN’s project management team ensures the observatory and data components of its national infrastructure are fully integrated. Integration of the observatory’s components delivers an exponentially more powerful set of information.