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EOIs open for two working groups: Ecosystem Surveillance and Long-Term Research

Our ecosystems are vital national assets that can only be effectively managed if they can be tracked and monitored, AND if we understand their long-term dynamics. Foundations for the future identified two out of six Key Directions that specifically focus on building Australia's capability to understand and monitor our ecosystems through two different mechanisms:

  • Enabling ecosystem surveillance: Development of systematic, continental-scale monitoring of essential ecosystem variables that reflect the health of our ecosystems.
  • Supporting long-term research: Dedicated funding for long-term (a decade or longer) ecosystem research, complementing existing support for short-term research.

The Ecosystem Science Council is now inviting Expressions of Interest (EOI) for two new working groups who will help to advance progress towards these Key Directions. This is your chance to get involved and have an impact on the future of Australian ecosystem science. Details for each working group, including how you can submit your EOI, are provided below.

 

Working Group: Enabling Ecosystem Surveillance

The priority for this Key Direction is to facilitate and promote the development of systematic, continental-scale monitoring of essential ecosystem variables that reflect the health of our ecosystems. There are three components to this as identified in the Foundations for the future:

  • Catalogue and assess existing ecosystem monitoring programs that have potential for contributing to ecosystem surveillance. This assessment is to be collaborative across local, state and national agencies and organisations, across different disciplines, and across all ecosystem science domains.
  • Discuss widely the options and priorities. Consistency, continuity and adaptability of monitoring will be the priority as the aim is for future generations to be in a position to look back objectively over past changes. To achieve continuity over coming centuries, proposals need to be modest enough that sustained bipartisan government commitment can be forthcoming. Alternatives could be developed and adapted to different levels of resourcing. Our commitment is to, in the first instance, resolve internal debates about what to measure, and to bring forward agreed and costed proposals.
  • Advocate to relevant parties for establishment, implementation, and enduring long-term support of the proposed surveillance program.

The Working Group will promote, coordinate and participate in activities to achieve the priority for this Key Direction as noted above. It is intended that the Working Group will include representatives of the ecosystem science community that have a direct experience with undertaking ecosystem surveillance within research institutions, governments, industry, community groups and NGOs.

Information about the responsibilities, roles, tasks, membership criteria and the selection process are detailed in the Terms of Reference available here.

EOIs should include a 1-page summary of your CV and a short statement of interest with respect to the priorities and responsibilities of this Group. EOIs should be emailed to Dr Alex Kutt (alex.kutt@unimelb.edu.au ) before COB 21 December 2015. Further information can also be sought from Alex using this email address.

 

Working Group: Supporting Long-Term Research

The priority action for this Key Direction is to promote and entrench dedicated funding for long-term (decade or longer) ecosystem research, complementing existing support for short-term research.  There are two components to this as identified in Foundations for the Future:

  • Review funding models from around the world, alongside current Australian arrangements, and develop recommendations about how selected long-term ecosystem research can be dependably supported in Australia; and
  • Develop a plan for advocating recommendations to government and other appropriate and relevant organisations.

The Working Group will promote, coordinate and participate in activities to achieve the priority for this Key Direction as noted above. It is intended that the Working Group will include people with experience and/or influence in designing and implementing long-term research (in any area of ecosystem science); experience in sourcing long-term funding for research; and knowledge of governance structures and funding mechanisms within government and non-government agencies domestically and internationally. It will include representatives from across the research, government, non-government, private industry and philanthropic sectors. Members should be able to commit at least 1 day full-time work per month.

Information about the responsibilities, roles, tasks, membership criteria and the selection process are detailed in the Terms of Reference available here.

EOIs should include a 1-page summary of your CV and a short statement of interest with respect to the priorities and responsibilities of the Group. EOIs can be emailed to Prof Alan Andersen (alan.andersen@csiro.au ) before COB 21 December 2015. Further information can be sought from Alan.