Tuesday, 16 April 2013

‘Soils to Satellites’ shines at TERN Symposium

The annual TERN Symposium is an opportunity for anyone and everyone ecologically-inclined to gather in a single location and discover what projects the various TERN facilities have been working on since the previous year. This year’s event was held over three days in February, at Old Parliament House, Canberra and featured a host of prominent guests including plenary speakers Lord Robert May (former Chief Scientist of the UK) and Professor Kris French (President of the Ecological Society of Australia) Dr David Schimel (Jet Propulsion Lab, NASA) and Professors Andy Lowe and Stuart Phinn (Associate Science Directors of TERN). The Symposium was attended by over 350 people from all across Australia, including many travelling from overseas, demonstrating an increasing interest in Australian ecosystem science infrastructure and science outputs across the country.

This year, a presentation on 'Soils to Satellite'(S2S), a collaborative project funded by the Australian National Data Service (ANDS) was given by Craig Walker (Director of the Eco-informatics Facility of TERN) and Peter Doherty (Atlas of Living Australia Programme Manager).  The presentation outlined the gains of greater synergies and collaborations between the NCRIS capabilities and how S2S addresses these. 

Craig described how the NCRIS capabilities had vast volumes of data and high levels of expertise especially in advanced technology and technical infrastructure covering the Australia's environmental information landscape. 

'For example, the Australian Ecological Knowledge and Observation System (ÆKOS) built by Eco-informatics has well-described, raw scientific ecological data as its focus and complements the Atlas of Living Australia which focuses on data and profiles of species and specimens (biodiversity data)', said Craig.

'ÆKOS as part of its development has leveraged ALA's expertise in systematics, biodiversity and spatial platforms.'

Peter said the S2S incubator project demonstrates the integration of disparate data (independent of structure and standards), as well as strong collaboration and cooperation between NCRIS capabilities and the value and power of the mature ALA web services. 

'It also contributes to and enriches ANDS Research Data Australia platform and generates 'real world' feedback for future iterations'.

'S2S brings together technical expertise and technological infrastructure for mutual benefit', agree Craig and Peter.

'There are many benefits enabling raw ecological plot and biodiversity data to be explored to support species, community and ecosystem distribution modelling to address climate change science questions in new ways not previously possible.'

No comments: