Integrated European
Long-Term Ecosystem, critical zone and
socio-ecological Research

Developing our service portfolio

eLTER RI will provide access to ~200 well equipped sites and platforms. Data gathered at these sites will be integrated with a wide range of other data from various sources, including remote sensing and official statistics. Research based on this wealth of information will provide insights into the functioning of our life supporting system.

We are developing our service portfolio to build on and complement these core activities to serve our stakeholder groups. These range from scientific research to decision-making and business & industry.

The service specifications and pilots are currently being developed under 6 Thematic Service Areas (see below). Additionally, the eLTER Head Office will lead central strategic and coordinating activities. Links to further information about existing and pilot eLTER services are provided in the boxes on this page.

As the detailed implementation plans for the service portfolio takes shape, we will identify a number of Topic Centres to add value to the operation and evolutions of the eLTER RI’s capabilities.

Head Office

Head Office (HO) services will be essential for the implementation and operation phase of the Research Infrastructure. They will include both outward facing services such as access to field sites for external researchers and internal services such as managing the RI communications strategy and related web sites.

Anticipated HO services include:

  • Project development and support

  • Liaison with a wide range of stakeholders

  • Developing strategic partnerships

  • Promoting eLTER RI

  • Encouraging access to eLTER RI sites, platforms, data, tools and services

  • Strategic planning for the RI

Data Management and Integration

Data from field site to user

These services will include both acquisition of data from the field site network, cataloguing of sites and related data, and the dissemination of quality assured data products through data portals and web services. They will encompass services to support Sites and Platform Coordinators in submitting their data and services that open eLTER RI data to a wide community of users.

Anticipated services include:

  • Registering and cataloguing new eLTER RI sites

  • Providing access to data and data products

  • Compiling data usage statistics

Optimised Design and RI Interoperability

Optimising the design of eLTER RI

The services in this set relate to the specification of the RI site network and its interoperability with other RIs, maximising potential for cross-RI research support (e.g. through multidisciplinary data sets). They will include specifying requirements for new measurements and protocols across the network and expertise on calibration of Standard Observations. These proposed services, which are mainly aimed at supporting existing and potential eLTER RI sites, would be part of support for site design in how best to configure sensors and facilities at sites including maintenance and calibration procedures. 

Anticipated services include:

  • Developing and maintaining a site design that enables a Whole System Approach

  • Establishing and reviewing a set of eLTER Standard Observations

  • Working with other relevant research infrastructures and networks

  • Supporting decisions about the purchase of high-cost instruments

Technological Innovation and Development

Enabling technological innovation

These services will be aimed at the commercial sector and other organisations that will benefit from the eLTER RI as a testbed for new sensors and observation technologies. Through these services eLTER RI will seek to collaboratively increase the technological capabilities of the RI through research and development of new commercial and open source technologies in environmental monitoring.

Anticipated services include:

  • Interfacing with relevant industry representatives

  • Coordinating activities aimed at testing and developing appropriate technologies (e.g. sensors) at eLTER RI sites

Analysis Tools and Modelling

Supporting the analysis and modelling of data

This suite of services will bring together the capabilities to develop new analytical methods and modelling techniques for extending the use of eLTER Standard Observations either through statistical interpolation, combination with other contextual data (e.g. with remotely sensed data) or as driving data for process models to produce forecast data (e.g. through combination with climate scenario data). These services will include calibration and validation techniques for remote sensed data.

Anticipated services include:

  • A set of tools and models for integrating and analysing a wide range of ecological and sociological eLTER RI data

  • A range of data products covering a range of scales and based on eLTER RI datasets

  • Tools to enable the calibration and validation of remotely sensed data using eLTER Standard Observations

Synthesis Toward Actionable Knowledge

Marshalling eLTER science to solve complex environmental problems

These eLTER services will provide a platform through which to develop solutions for complex environmental problems. This can be achieved by integrating the cross-disciplinary expertise gathered in eLTER with social sciences and decision-making processes. The services in this cluster will aim to provide an integrative framework for research in sustainability science, based on eLTER RI´s network of eLTER Sites and eLTSER Platforms. The implementation of these services will directly address the challenge of bridging the frequent gap between data acquisition and the actionable knowledge required for pursuing sustainable development using a whole system approach.

Anticipated services include:

  • Training in socio-environmental topics

  • Facilitating the transfer of knowledge between eLTER observatories and relevant stakeholders

  • Providing a range of bridging ‘platforms’ (workshops, labs, events, exhibitions, etc.)

Central Analytics and Measurement

Centralised analytical and measurement services

These services will address two aspects that complement eLTER’s Standard Observation and the Whole System Approach. First, certain analyses (eDNA, hydrochemistry, etc.) could be delivered through central laboratories that operate according to eLTER standardised protocols. Second, some data may be obtained through centrally organised campaigns (e.g. geophysics or aircraft-/drone campaigns) at eLTER sites. A sensor loan system is also anticipated to help reduce data gaps arising from malfunctioning sensors at eLTER sites, along with central facilities for cross-calibration at sites with in situ versus loaned central sensors.

Anticipated services include:

  • Centralised analytical laboratory services

  • Organised data collection campaigns

  • Sensor loan system and sensor cross-calibration programme