Daintree Rainforest Observatory
The World Heritage listed Daintree rainforest is the largest area of lowland rainforest in Australia and is home to a substantial proportion of Australia’s biodiversity. It is one of the best-known natural laboratories in the world for understanding the impacts of global environmental change due to the scientific research conducted there by the Far North Queensland research community. Furthermore the spectacular scenery and high biodiversity attracts around half a million national and international tourists each year.
James Cook University (JCU) has operated The Australian Canopy Crane Research Station (ACCRS) at Cape Tribulation, within the Daintree, for more than a decade. The opportunity now exists to maximise the physical and biological attributes of the ACCRS site to develop a highly visible, broad-spectrum, rainforest-focused research station which complements the internationally recognised reef-focused JCU Orpheus Island Research Station.
The Daintree Rainforest Observatory (DRO), a high profile education and research centre, will enable, support and showcase the best in Australian environmental and sustainability science. It will provide research opportunities unmatched anywhere else in the southern hemisphere, on national to local scales, and unbroken access from the atmosphere through the canopy and down to the soil. Integrated into JCU’s teaching program, it will provide an unforgettable hands-on field experience for Australian and International researchers and students.
eResearch JCU is participating in a multi-million dollar extension to the DRO and implementing a comprehensive environmental monitoring system. The technologies will be based on the Smart Environmental Monitoring and Analysis Technologies (SEMAT) project. More information regarding this project will be posted at a later date.