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.
A wide range of services will build on and complement these core activities to serve over 30 stakeholder groups. These range from scientific research to decision-making and business & industry.
eLTER RI services will be grouped into 6 Thematic Service Areas. Topic Centers (currently under development) will provide the service components. Additionally, the eLTER Head Office will lead central strategic and coordinating activities.
Head Office services are essential for the implementation and operation phase of the RI. They include 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.
These services 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.
These services relate to the specification of the RI site network, interoperability with other RIs and potential for cross-RI research support (e.g. through multidisciplinary data sets). This includes specifying requirements for new measurements and protocols across the network and expertise on calibration of Standard Observations. These proposed services would be part of support for site design in how best to configure sensors and facilities at sites including maintenance and calibration procedures.
These services are aimed at the commercial sector and other organisations that will benefit from the eLTER RI as a testbed for new sensors and observation technologies. These services seek to collaboratively increase the technological capabilities of the RI through research and development of new commercial and open source technologies in environmental monitoring.
These services 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 include calibration and validation techniques for remote sensed data.
These services provide a platform to integrate the cross-disciplinary expertise gathered in eLTER with social sciences and decision-making processes to solve the complex environmental problem that humans face on the ground. They 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.
These services address two aspects that complement eLTER’s Standard Observation and the Whole System Approach. Certain variables (eDNA, Hydrochemistry etc) could be delivered through central laboratories that are analysed according to eLTER standardised protocols or are 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.