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Digital tools and training for environmental sciences in Australia

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Short introduction to a few digital platforms developed in Australia for biological and environmental data discovery and analysis (ALA, TERN, BCCVL, ecocloud), and the underpinning training program for these tools, ecoEd. Presented at Charles Darwin University on 20 November 2018 as part of the Data Readiness training for environmental researchers.

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Digital tools and training for environmental sciences in Australia

  1. 1. Digital tools and training for environmental sciences Dr Chantal Huijbers Training & Engagement Manager Biodiversity and Climate Change Virtual Laboratory / ecoEd
  2. 2. Understanding and predicting changes in environmental systems https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Cambio-climatico.jpg
  3. 3. Future climate data 170+ plausible future climates • 40+ global climate models • 4 climate change scenarios 984 monthly time steps to 2100 Mean future climate, bioclimatic indices, extreme events 510 million x 1 km pixels Current climate: mean climate, bioclimatic indices, extreme events Land cover: natural vegetation, primary productivity, land use change Soil, substrate Topography, altitude Hydrology: run-off, streams and lakes Climate and environmental data Species data Presence / Absence / Abundance ~1.6 million species catalogued ~310,000 plants ~1 million animals ~80% not yet described Other facets of biodiversity • Genetic diversity • Species traits • Functional units Requires a lot of different types of data…
  4. 4. …in different formats, and from lots of different sources Land Use of Australia 2010-11 Major vegetation groups Annual average rainfall (current)
  5. 5. Atlas of Living Australia (ALA) spatial.ala.org.a u www.ala.org.au
  6. 6. Terrestrial Ecosystem Research Network (TERN) www.tern.org.au
  7. 7. Biodiversity and Climate Change Virtual Laboratory (BCCVL) www.bccvl.org.au Species occurrence data Precipitation Max temperature Vegetation GPP Species Distribution Model Predicted distribution under current climate Climate Change projection Predicted distribution under future climate
  8. 8. Biodiversity and Climate Change Virtual Laboratory (BCCVL) current 2075 RCP 8.5 Range change current 2075 RCP 8.5 Range changeLeadbeater’s Possum Gymnobelideus leadbeateri Mountain Ash Eucalyptus regnans
  9. 9. Biodiversity and Climate Change Virtual Laboratory (BCCVL) current 2075Mountain Ash Leadbeater’s possum Overlap of distributions Large reduction in overlapping distributions by the year 2075
  10. 10. ecocloud www.ecocloud.org.au
  11. 11. ecocloud www.ecocloud.org.au
  12. 12. ecocloud www.ecocloud.org.au
  13. 13. ecocloud www.ecocloud.org.au
  14. 14. ecocloud www.ecocloud.org.au
  15. 15. Data sources Tools and Platforms Biodiverse
  16. 16. Need for training and support across research infrastructures
  17. 17. Pathway to integrated EcoScience training ecoEd
  18. 18. Aims • Educate and upskill the next generation of environmental scientists and managers • Provide a reference point for the environmental science community • Develop a network of enthusiastic professionals • Increase the reach and impact of Australia’s eResearch infrastructure
  19. 19. ecoEd modules 10 Eco Data Things Data Quality Spatial Data for Ecology Multi-criteria decision analysis Biodiversity & Climate Change ecoEd Environmenta l Metagenomic s
  20. 20. ecoEd modules 10 Eco Data Things Data Quality Spatial Data for Ecology Multi-criteria decision analysis Biodiversity & Climate Change Data Management Data analysis Data collection
  21. 21. ecoEd modules www.ecoed.org.au
  22. 22. ecoEd Champions • Enthusiastic communicators • Deliver training in their institution and related organisations • Act as a trusted advisor • Feedback • Exchange knowledge and ideas
  23. 23. ecoEd Champions training • 8 Champions from 6 institutions across Australia and NZ • 2 full face-to-face training days • Co-branded teaching material (presentation, workshop handout, teacher information) • Guide Champions in re-delivery within their own institutions
  24. 24. ecoEd future vision • ecoEd modules integrated in curriculum • Capacity building for next generation decision makers and research leaders • Integrated environmental management: ecology, genetics, human health, urbanisation and economics • Lift the number of professionals with post- graduate qualifications in data-science and ecoinformatics e.g. through Graduate/Diploma programs
  25. 25. UniversitiesNCRIS facilities Government & Industry Delivery of advanced skills and tools into curriculum Innovative pathways between industry and researchers ecoEd: integration between infrastructure, academia and industry Consolidated training and support for informed decision- making
  26. 26. www.ecoed.org.au Follow us on Twitter: @ECOEd_ Contact: c.huijbers@griffith.edu.au “Tools like BCCVL and ecocloud open the field to a whole new array of researchers who understand the systems they are working on, but do not have the technical skill-sets or hardware to properly answer their questions.” – Professor Shawn Laffan, UNSW

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