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24.05.2017 01:53 Age: 207 days
Category: Home Slider, IMOS

Marine environmental information in Australia- how NCRIS has made a difference

Last week the IMOS Director, Tim Moltmann and the IMOS Scientific Officer, Dr Ana Lara-Lopez attended the Greater Impact through Environmental Infrastructure Symposium in Canberra.

Deep water soft coral; Anthomastus. Image credit: CSIRO.

Deployment of the IMOS AUV "Sirius" in the Flinders CMR by Marine Biodiversity Hub researchers. Image credit: Margot Delaporte, IMAS/ Marine Biodiversity Hub.

The symposium celebrated the collaborative impact of Australia’s environmental infrastructure and showcased the impact of 10 years of investment into environmental infrastructure. The symposium also provided a platform to foster new collaborations and shape future innovations to enable impact into the future.

Mr Moltmann gave a presentation that reviewed how funding through the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS) has made a difference to marine environmental information in Australia.

“At the dawn of the 21st century, Australia’s efforts in marine observing and data management were inadequate, fragmented and discontinuous across time,” said Mr Moltmann.

IMOS was established in 2006/07 to address these issues. It has successfully achieved this by creating brand new national facilities to observe the marine environment, encouraging collaboration and open data access, and turning sustained observations into data sets and time series for use and reuse.

IMOS, like all the NCRIS capabilities, is a research infrastructure. IMOS observations and data need to be taken up and used by the research community, and it is through the research community we deliver relevance and impact to the users and stakeholders of marine science.

“We’ve worked very hard to ‘close the loop’ from infrastructure to impact,” said Mr Moltmann.

“For example, in the early years of IMOS we weren’t mature enough to engage with the Commonwealth Environmental Research Facility (CERF). As IMOS matured and consolidated we were able to engage with the National Environmental Research Program (NERP), making good progress with the Marine Biodiversity and the Tropical Ecosystems Hubs.”

“In the last couple of years this collaboration has matured to the point where IMOS is now a partner in the National Environmental Science Program (NESP) Marine Biodiversity and Earth Systems and Climate Change Hubs.”

IMOS data has also been taken up in the recent 2016 State of the Environment report and in the review of Commonwealth Marine Reserves.

IMOS Director, Tim Moltmann then looked forward in his presentation to new horizons in marine environmental information.

“As we enter the second decade of NCRIS, new horizons are emerging that we would not have been able to embrace without NCRIS,” said Mr Moltmann. “We are looking to combine platforms, sensors, data, computation, analytics and visualisation. Bringing new capabilities to bear on contemporary issues in Australia’s vast and valuable marine estate.”

Dr Ana Lara-Lopez spoke in several sessions including: demonstrating impact; international impact; and integrating earth observations for essential environmental monitoring in Australia.

The following NCRIS Facilities partnered together to host the Symposium:

Atlas of Living Australia

Australian National Data Service (ANDS)

Australia’s Urban Intelligence Network (AURIN)


Bioplatforms Australia



NCRIS Groundwater Project

National Collaboration Tools and Resources project (Nectar)

Queensland Cyber Infrastructure Foundation (QCIF)

Research Data Services (RDS) project

Terrestrial Ecosystem Research Network (TERN)