What is TERN?

The Terrestrial Ecosystem Research Network (TERN) connects ecosystem scientists and enables them to collect, contribute, store, share and integrate data across disciplines. Collectively this increases the capacity of the Australian ecosystem science community to advance science and contribute to effective management and sustainable use of our ecosystems.

TERN is delivering critical research infrastructure and supporting national and international networks of scientists, environmental managers and stakeholders, needed to improve understanding and management of Australia’s ecosystems.

We are working to bring about an Australian ecosystem science community that has undergone transformational change - from one in which effort was frequently fragmented, inefficient and short-term, to one that is national, multi-disciplinary, networked, collaborative and delivering for Australia’s future.

Click here for more information on how TERN works.


  • This brochure gives a brief snapshot of TERN's vision, infrastructure, and the benefits of TERN for Australia's ecosystem science and management community.
  • The TERN Science Enabling Plan (approx. 9.1MB) outlines the key themes and activities that will guide the planning and implementation of TERN's programs to 2025.
  • TERN Delivers (v3.3, approx. 3MB) includes a range of case studies and examples of the ways that TERN's infrastructure is having an impact by enabling stakeholders to work more collaboratively, efficiently, and productively than has ever previously been possible.
  • In this article, 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. TERN’s infrastructure is catalysing better returns on investment in ecosystem science for Australia.
  • The following presentation, by TERN Associate Science Director Stuart Phinn, also provides further information on TERN's role in enabling: improved use and re-use of data, improved collaboration to address key questions, and greater collective influence on ecosystem science and management in Australia (approximately 40 minutes long). You can access the powerpoint slides from this presentation here.

Sharing & Sustaining Ecosystem Data - TERN from Terrestrial Ecosystem Research Network on Vimeo.


TERN was created in 2009 by the Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research (DIISR) via a $20m funding program through the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS) and $4.1m from the Queensland State Government.  An additional $25.63m was provided to TERN in 2011 as part of an additional funding allocation from the Australian Government under the Education Investment Fund (EIF) Super Science Initiative. Further funding and in-kind contributions have been received from numerous other partners.

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