Multicompartment and multiscale long-term observation and research are important prerequisites to tackling the scientific challenges resulting from climate and global change. Long-term monitoring programs are cost intensive and require high analytical standards, however, and the gain of knowledge often requires longer observation times. Nevertheless, several environmental research networks have been established in recent years, focusing on the impact of climate and land use change on terrestrial ecosystems. From 2008 onward, a network of Terrestrial Environmental Observatories (TERENO) has been established in Germany as an interdisciplinary research program that aims to observe and explore the long-term ecological, social, and economic impacts of global change at the regional level. State-of-the-art methods from the field of environmental monitoring, geophysics, and remote sensing will be used to record and analyze states and fluxes for different environmental compartments from groundwater through the vadose zone, surface water, and biosphere, up to the lower atmosphere.