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Prof Bob Scholes (Wits University, South Africa) presenting at the AusLTER Forum 2018

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Prof Bob Scholes (Wits University, South Africa) presenting at the AusLTER Forum 2018

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Prof Bob Scholes (Wits University, South Africa) presenting at the AusLTER Forum 2018

  1. 1. EFTEON Enhanced Freshwater and Terrestrial Observation Network EFTEON Enhanced Freshwater and Terrestrial Observation Network South Africa’s ecological research infrastructure Bob Scholes EFTEON ‘champion’ University of the Witwatersrand TERN workshop, Ecological Society of Australia Brisbane, 27 Nov 2018
  2. 2. EFTEON Enhanced Freshwater and Terrestrial Observation Network An institutional map Department of Science and Technology South African Research Infrastructure Roadmap South African Environmental Observation Network 7 other RI’s 4 more possibles Enhanced Freshwater and Terrestrial Ecological Observation Network Shallow Marine and Coastal Research Infrastructure
  3. 3. EFTEON Enhanced Freshwater and Terrestrial Observation Network EFTEON Enhanced Freshwater and Terrestrial Observation Network Enhanced Freshwater and Terrestrial Ecological Observation Network Announced end 2016, now in startup phase, will by 2020 have ~ 6 landscapes Design features 1. Multi-user, long-term, large-scale social-ecological research platform, similar to TERN, ICOS or NEON 2. Modular, nested, landscape-based design 3. High degree of disciplinary integration: biogeochemistry, hydrology, biodiversity, human-ecosystem interactions 4. Tiered observation platform: satellites, highly instrumented core sites, sparsely instrumented linked sites, experiments, social surveys 5. Open data system, including legacy data, contemporary data and projected data on climate, soils, remotely-sensed land surface, fluxes etc.
  4. 4. EFTEON Enhanced Freshwater and Terrestrial Observation Network What is in the national interest? • Providing answers that will be needed, but unavailable from other sources • Exploiting comparative advantage in order to maintain a position in intenational research
  5. 5. EFTEON Enhanced Freshwater and Terrestrial Observation Network Monitoring and experimentation • EFTEON does not set out to be representative or comprehensive – National monitoring is a separate responsibility • One of the selection criteria for EFTEON landscapes is the inclusion of long term manipulative experiments – 70 year burning plots in the Kruger National Park – 60 year paired catchments at Cathedral Peak – 60 year sheep-grazing trials at Middleburg
  6. 6. EFTEON Enhanced Freshwater and Terrestrial Observation Network Science as a social process The biggest impediments to establishing and sustaining research infrastructures such as EFTEON or TERN are often cultural As much attention needs to go into ‘soft systems’ design as into hardware
  7. 7. EFTEON Enhanced Freshwater and Terrestrial Observation Network Bob.Scholes@wits.ac.za

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