Welcome to the winter edition of our ALA newsletter. We lead off this issue with the release of the ALA Strategy 2020-2025, explore our citizen science work in response to the bushfires, showcase three contemporary Australian research publications and provide a number of updates to ongoing projects.

Dear ALA community,

Welcome to the winter edition of our ALA newsletter. We lead off this issue with the release of the ALA Strategy 2020-2025 which has been developed in response to the findings from our 2019 ALA Future Directions national consultation process. Our communities’ feedback regarding what’s worked well and where the ALA needs to head to continue to remain relevant was instrumental in shaping the strategy and we are grateful for those contributions. Our strategy has also been informed by what our team understands needs to evolve to future-proof the ALA, for example with regard to the anticipated increase in the variety and volume of data we receive annually from our partners.

In response to our strategy we’ve already commenced both an architectural upgrade to our infrastructure, and the ALA data quality project both of which are described in further detail on our projects pages. These projects go to the core of our first two strategic objectives around delivering trusted data and provision of robust services. In addition to steering the ALA’s work program we see the strategy as an opportunity for our partners to identify points of engagement or alignment, and in coming months we’ll provide you greater clarity around our project roadmap.

In response to the summer bushfire crisis, ALA on behalf of CSIRO led a national coordination process bringing together the citizen science and research sectors to explore how best to support ongoing response and preparedness activities.  This activity resulted in the publication of a recommendations report which explores how to establish a national approach for ongoing citizen science and traditional science engagement. CSIRO have now appointed a program lead to further progress this work. Erin Roger, based with the ALA, will design and lead a program of work to engender greater coordination between both sectors with the aim of  better supporting current recovery, and future preparedness activities as we approach the coming summer. We are pleased to be working so closely with CSIRO’s bushfire and recovery program.

And finally, in this issue we showcase three contemporary Australian research publications that leverage the capability of the ALA to further our understanding of climate impacts on eucalypts and coral, the long-term shifts in the distribution of plant species that provide critical habitat for Koalas, and evaluating low-cost techniques for monitoring pollinators in open and wooded habitats. For our data partners and our team its always rewarding to see how our collective efforts enable such important science.

We hope you enjoy the winter edition of our newsletter.

Kind regards,

Andre Zerger