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New research expands the potential of environmental DNA techniques in river monitoring

Environmental DNA survives for less than two days in small fast-flowing rivers, providing highly localised and current information on species composition, new experimental research has shown. This is crucial new evidence as biologists turn increasingly to new DNA sampling techniques to assess aquatic ecosystem health.

 

Environmental DNA (eDNA) sampling is being adopted more and more by government agencies and commercial contractors in biodiversity assessments because it uses far less manpower, needs less expertise and could reduce costs. The technique involves taking water samples from aquatic habitats and screening for remnants of DNA (e.g. cells and secretions) originating from the species present. The hope is that this rapid approach could be automated to replace more laborious methods of sample sorting and identification that are currently needed.

UKEOF's insight:

News of research (involving UKEOF partner, NERC CEH) to understand more about the potential of environmental DNA (eDNA) as technique for monitoring rivers and streams

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UKEOF's curator insight, February 6, 2018 2:21 PM

News of research (involving UKEOF partner, NERC CEH) to understand more about the potential of environmental DNA (eDNA) as technique for monitoring rivers and streams

UK environmental observations
Environmental monitoring, modelling, remote sensing / earth observation, citizen science, natural capital assessment and the management of environmental data.  |  Sign-up to receive our monthly Scoop.It newsletter: http://eepurl.com/dbrybf  |  Scooping does not indicate endorsed by UKEOF or its partners.
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NCI summit 2019

NCI summit 2019 | UK environmental observations | Scoop.it

NCI is bringing people together in May 2019 to discuss the most interesting and innovative natural capital science, policy and practice.

 

The Natural Capital Initiative’s 10th anniversary summit offers an independent platform for people in science, policy, NGOs, businesses and local communities to discuss and debate innovative natural capital solutions that enhance the environment and strengthen society. It builds on two influential summits in 2014 and 2009, which helped to shape natural capital thinking in the UK.

 

UKEOF's insight:

This event involves several UKEOF partners and is relevant to one of our key themes, natural capital. The lead sponsor is UKEOF partner the UKRI Natural Environment Research Council.

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UKEOF's curator insight, February 11, 10:55 AM

This event involves several UKEOF partners and is relevant to one of our key themes, natural capital. The lead sponsor is UKEOF partner the UKRI Natural Environment Research Council.

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Biological Conservation (Journal; ScienceDirect)

Biological Conservation (Journal; ScienceDirect) | UK environmental observations | Scoop.it

Paper by Lindsay Maskell, et al. (2019): Exploring relationships between land use intensity, habitat heterogeneity and biodiversity to identify and monitor areas of High Nature Value farming.

 

Understanding how species richness is distributed across landscapes and which variables may be used as predictors is important for spatially targeting management interventions. This study uses finely resolved data over a large geographical area to explore relationships between land-use intensity, habitat heterogeneity and species richness of multiple taxa. It aims to identify surrogate landscape metrics, valid for a range of taxa, which can be used to map and monitor High Nature Value farmland (HNV).

 

[Photo: © A. Sier]

UKEOF's insight:

This paper, led by UKEOF partner, CEH, used fine-scaled field survey data collected at regular intervals, in conjunction with remotely sensed data, to map High Nature Value farmland. The study, which was part of the Welsh Glastir Monitoring and Evaluation Programme (GMEP) was part-funded by UKEOF partner, Welsh Government (funding also came from the European Commission).

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UKEOF's curator insight, January 30, 10:14 AM

This paper, led by UKEOF partner, CEH, used fine-scaled field survey data collected at regular intervals, in conjunction with remotely sensed data, to map High Nature Value farmland. The study, which was part of the Welsh Glastir Monitoring and Evaluation Programme (GMEP) was part-funded by UKEOF partner, Welsh Government (funding also came from the European Commission).

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Greenhouse gases from Scottish industry at 10-year low

Greenhouse gases from Scottish industry at 10-year low | UK environmental observations | Scoop.it

Greenhouse gas emissions by Scottish industry are at a 10-year low, according to new figures. The drop is credited to a change in pollutants emitted by businesses, as Scotland moves to become more sustainable and resource-efficient. The latest data comes from the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA). The release of specified pollutants to air, water and land are monitored at SEPA-regulated industrial sites.

UKEOF's insight:

Some positive news on greenhouse gas emissions, courtesy of UKEOF partner SEPA. Scottish Pollutant Release Inventory (SPRI) data returns can be viewed here: https://www.environment.gov.scot/data/data-analysis/scottish-pollution-release-inventory/

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UKEOF's curator insight, January 8, 9:34 AM

Some positive news on greenhouse gas emissions, courtesy of UKEOF partner SEPA. Scottish Pollutant Release Inventory (SPRI) data returns can be viewed here: https://www.environment.gov.scot/data/data-analysis/scottish-pollution-release-inventory/

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Our Strategy | Ecosystems Knowledge Network

Our Strategy | Ecosystems Knowledge Network | UK environmental observations | Scoop.it

"Our vision is for wellbeing and prosperity for everyone in the UK through a healthy natural environment. Why not make it your vision too? Our mission is to equip a diverse range of people with the necessary skills and expertise to make this a reality. Join in our mission today as a member, a Corporate Partner or a sponsor?

Our track record, our independence and the expertise and drive of our 1,600 members mean that we are well-placed to achieve our mission and fulfil our objectives."

 

UKEOF's insight:

The Ecosystem Knowledge Network recognises the importance of natural capital assessments. This is the EKN strategy.

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New soil-sensing method enables more detailed, rapid and efficient environmental monitoring of soil carbon stocks and condition

In-depth soil information is increasingly required to achieve an array of environmental and economic goals. In particular, accurate estimates of soil carbon stocks are necessary to guide land-management practices and climate-related policymaking. To help meet this need, Australian scientists have developed a new sensing method to analyse cylindrical soil samples (soil cores), known as the Soil Condition ANalysis System (SCANS). By integrating a novel automated soil-core sensing system (CSS) with advanced statistical analytics and modelling, the SCANS provides a level of detail that is difficult to achieve with existing alternatives. SCANS is not only rapid, accurate and inexpensive, but is likely to be a useful tool for farmers, land managers and policymakers, as the improved assessment of soil functions, structures and carbon stocks will facilitate more informed, sustainable decision-making.

UKEOF's insight:

This may prove to be a useful tool for farmers, land managers, environmental decision-makers and scientists.

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Value of location data to be unlocked by government investment

Value of location data to be unlocked by government investment | UK environmental observations | Scoop.it

The Geospatial Commission will invest £5 million to help unlock the value of geospatial data held by its six expert Partner Bodies - the British Geological Survey, Coal Authority, HM Land Registry, Ordnance Survey, UK Hydrographic Office and the Valuation Office Agency.

 

Location information, or geospatial data, is changing the way we see the world and live our lives - from helping us to avoid traffic jams to easily finding local services or deciding where to buy a house: through cutting edge analysis of GPS, satellite photography and historical data.

UKEOF's insight:

This investment could help to realise the full potential of a range of geospatial datasets.

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NERC - The Goldilocks effect: Weighing the world's forests

NERC - The Goldilocks effect: Weighing the world's forests | UK environmental observations | Scoop.it

It is an old complaint: not being able to see the wood for the trees. But the grumble is being smashed thanks to a new dimension from a European Space Agency (ESA) mission soon to launch.

 

The question: working out how much wood is growing on Earth. The problem: most of it is hidden from view by leaves in the forest canopy. It seems surprising. Forests are clearly visible from space and satellites have been monitoring them for decades. But they give only a two-dimensional view of the area covered by leaves. The canopies hide the trunks and branches beneath, where the mass mostly resides. That makes an accurate measure of the total mass of wood a daunting task.

UKEOF's insight:

The BIOMASS satellite, soon to launch, will provide 3D maps of the world's forests. British researcher Professor Shaun Quegan, based at Sheffield University and belonging to the National Centre for Earth Observation (NCEO), was instrumental in the selection of BIOMASS for the European Space Agency's seventh Earth Explorer satellite.

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Free satellite data to help tackle public sector challenges

Free satellite data to help tackle public sector challenges | UK environmental observations | Scoop.it

The UK Space Agency’s Space for Smarter Government Programme (SSGP) will provide access to archives of images and radar data for research and development projects. This will stimulate further growth in the UK’s world-leading space industry, which already employs around 40,000 people, while benefitting the public sector in areas such as planning and development. The images will provide an unprecedented level of detail of major British cities, transport networks, national parks and energy infrastructure. There is expected to be high demand for the images which offer sub 5m resolution with less than 15% cloud cover, for public sector research and development.

UKEOF's insight:

UKEOF partner UKSA is able to offer access to an archive of satellite imagery through it's Space for Smarter Government Programme.

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UKEOF's curator insight, November 16, 2018 4:09 PM

UKEOF partner UKSA is able to offer access to an archive of satellite imagery through it's Space for Smarter Government Programme.

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Innovative environmental research programme will be launched

Innovative environmental research programme will be launched | UK environmental observations | Scoop.it

The Centre for Ecology & Hydrology is inviting scientists and policy-makers to register for an engagement event to launch the programme UK-SCAPE (UK Status Change and Projections of the Environment). Researchers from across the UK science community as well as policy-makers are invited to attend the launch of UK-SCAPE on Wednesday, December 5, to find out more about the objectives and planned outcomes of this exciting new programme, plus share their views on its four main activities.

UKEOF's insight:

UK-SCAPE is a major 5 year CEH research programme funded by the Natural Environment Research Council.

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UKEOF's curator insight, November 13, 2018 9:38 AM

UK-SCAPE is a major 5 year research programme of UKEOF partner CEH. It is funded by the Natural Environment Research Council, also a UKEOF partner.

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Datatree - Data Training Engaging End-users

Datatree - Data Training Engaging End-users | UK environmental observations | Scoop.it

Data Tree is a free online course with all you need to know for research data management, along with ways to engage and share data with business, policymakers, media and the wider public. The self-paced course will take 15 to 20 hours to complete in eight structured modules. The course is packed with video, quizzes and real-life examples of data management, along with plenty of additional background information. The materials will be available for structured learning, but also to dip in for immediate problem solving.

UKEOF's insight:

Good data management is vital for environmental observation, where large and/or complex datasets are generated. This course may be of benefit to anyone who produces such data.

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UKEOF's curator insight, October 31, 2018 9:52 AM

This course is funded by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), a UKEOF partner.

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GEO Highlights 2017-2018 Report Now Available

GEO Highlights 2017-2018 Report Now Available | UK environmental observations | Scoop.it

The GEO Highlights report showcases some exemplary efforts the international Group on Earth Observations (GEO) community has made over the past year transforming Earth observations into knowledge and tools for sustainable development.

 

Featuring global stories on the use of Earth observations for critical issues relating to land degradation neutrality, air pollution, food security, disaster risk reduction and other planetary challenges, this publication is a collection of use-cases gathered from across GEO’s Work Programme activities, and represents contributions from among the 100 GEO member countries and more than 120 partners supporting GEO’s mission.

UKEOF's insight:

The GEO Week 2018 conference is taking place this week in Japan, and the international GEO community has just released its GEO Highlights report.

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ACCE: A Doctoral Training Partnership funded by the Natural Environment Research Council

ACCE: A Doctoral Training Partnership funded by the Natural Environment Research Council | UK environmental observations | Scoop.it

ACCE is a partnership between the Universities of Sheffield, Liverpool and York, and the NERC’s Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (CEH) providing doctoral training in the biological components of the natural environment and related disciplines. Our vision is to develop motivated, confident and multi-skilled PhD students, undertaking cutting edge research and tackling environmental science questions of global significance.

UKEOF's insight:

The ACCE DTP will train - to PhD level - a new generation of scientists studying global and local environmental change, with a focus on biological components of the environment.

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UKEOF's curator insight, October 18, 2018 9:53 AM

ACCE partners include NERC and CEH, both UKEOF partners.

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Following the path of chemicals through the soil

Following the path of chemicals through the soil | UK environmental observations | Scoop.it

A new and quick way to predict the transport of chemicals through the soil has been developed.

 

Where do pesticides and their degradation products go once they enter the soil? And how long does it take them to get to groundwater or drainage systems? That depends on a number of factors, but researchers at Aarhus University have come a step closer to finding quick answers. For the first time ever, they have used visible/near-infrared spectroscopy to predict the transport of dissolved chemicals through intact soil.

UKEOF's insight:

A novel use of visible/near-infrared (vis-NIR) spectroscopy to predict the transport of dissolved chemicals through intact soil. According to the researchers, the efficiency of this technology in terms of cost and speed of measurement may outweigh expensive and precise measurements using conventional methods.

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Missing! £10ms from woodland in England and Wales

Missing! £10ms from woodland in England and Wales | UK environmental observations | Scoop.it

Many tens of millions of pounds in timber, fuel, amenity value and ‘public goods’ could currently be locked up in the UK’s unmanaged woods and forests, suggests a new report from the Royal Forestry Society (RFS).

 

With only around 59% of woods in England and 57% in Wales under active management, total lost value of timber and woodfuel sales is estimated at over £20m a year, with Defra calculations [1] indicating additional lost environmental and social benefits of up to £80m.

 

RFS Chief Executive Simon Lloyd admits that while bringing all unutilised woodland into production would be impracticable, far more could be done relatively easily to realise both financial returns and social or environmental benefits from currently unutilised woods.

 

[Photo: © A. Sier]

UKEOF's insight:

This report considers the natural capital value of the UK's unmanaged woods and forests.

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CEH Training Courses

CEH Training Courses | UK environmental observations | Scoop.it

CEH offers a range of training courses, many of which may be relevant to the environmental observation community. Current training courses include using drones for habitat mapping, synthesising evidence to inform decision-making, field electronics and sensors and lake ecology.

UKEOF's insight:

Some of the courses listed on CEH's training offer page may be of interest to the environmental observation community.

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UKEOF's curator insight, January 10, 2:42 PM

Some of the courses listed by UKEOF partner CEH may be of interest to the environmental observation community.

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Rapid Assessment of Wetland Sites Using Multispectral Mapping and Drones | Drone Below

Rapid Assessment of Wetland Sites Using Multispectral Mapping and Drones | Drone Below | UK environmental observations | Scoop.it

Long-Term Ecosystem Research (LTER) is an essential component of world-wide efforts to better understand ecosystems and the environment we depend on. LTER capitalizes on research infrastructures such as the in-situ network of sites and information technology. LTER sites nowadays need a periodic assessment of the state of their ecosystems and services in order to monitor current trends as well as prevent irreversible changes in this field. This is the subject of a new paper that focuses on the ecological integrity (EI) framework that opens the door towards many aspects of this ecosystem. The focus of the authors is to measure the indicators of the ecosystem, as well as its structure and processes. Their approach is mainly geared towards gauging the sustainability of conservation management actions in the case of protected areas. The main technology deployed focuses on remote sensing (RS) provided by satellite, airborne or drone-borne sensors.

UKEOF's insight:

A recent paper from European long-term ecosystem researchers on the use of UAVs (drones) for rapid assessment of wetlands

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Ocean research device found after 8,699-mile five-year journey

Ocean research device found after 8,699-mile five-year journey | UK environmental observations | Scoop.it

The measuring device was found on a beach in Tasmania, 8,700 miles away from where it was deployed.


Via NERC Press Office
UKEOF's insight:

The deep-ocean lander, developed in Liverpool by the National Oceanographic Centre was thought to be lost, but now the data it still carries will be examined.

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NERC Press Office's curator insight, December 18, 2018 11:37 AM

The National Oceanography Centre (NOC) is a NERC-supported centre.

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UK Lakes Portal 2.0 - NBN Atlas, Connectivity, Old Maps & More!

UK Lakes Portal 2.0 - NBN Atlas, Connectivity, Old Maps & More! | UK environmental observations | Scoop.it
The UK Lakes Portal was launched in March 2016 to showcase the wealth of physical and environmental data that’s been collected on lakes across the UK, helping to make it easily accessible to the public. Since then, the portal has gone from strength to strength, and it’s really exciting to be able to publish a major update, after working together with other institutions and projects to bring some really great new features.
UKEOF's insight:

The UK Lakes Portal has recently been updated to include new features and a new-look home page. A GIS-based inventory of lakes for Great Britain was originally developed by University College London and the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology in 2004. The development of the database was jointly funded by the Environment Agency, Natural England, Countryside Council for Wales (now Natural Resources Wales), and the Scotland and Northern Ireland Forum for Environmental Research (SNIFFER).

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UKEOF's curator insight, December 17, 2018 2:26 PM

The UK Lakes Portal has recently been updated to include new features and a new-look home page. Several UKEOF partners have made the portal possible, including CEH, EA, NE, NRW and members of SNIFFER. A GIS-based inventory of lakes for Great Britain was originally developed by University College London and the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology in 2004. The development of the database was jointly funded by the Environment Agency, Natural England, Countryside Council for Wales (now Natural Resources Wales), and the Scotland and Northern Ireland Forum for Environmental Research (SNIFFER).

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eLTER Information Management Training — LTER in Europe

eLTER Information Management Training — LTER in Europe | UK environmental observations | Scoop.it

This training workshop - organised within the framework of the eLTER H2020 project - will demonstrate and provide training on the different aspects of eLTER-related information management. It will be an important forum enabling the exchange of ideas between Long-Term Ecosystem Research (LTER) scientists and those in the information management community. By bringing your own data, you can learn how to use and contribute to the eLTER Information System.

UKEOF's insight:

This workshop is organised by the European Long-Term Ecosystem Research (eLTER) community, that several UKEOF partners are involved in. Experts from CEH, a UKEOF partner, will deliver some of the training.

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UKEOF's curator insight, November 29, 2018 2:58 PM

This workshop is organised by the European Long-Term Ecosystem Research (eLTER) community, that several UKEOF partners are involved in. Experts from CEH, a UKEOF partner, will deliver some of the training.

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Protected Planet Digital Report

Protected Planet Digital Report | UK environmental observations | Scoop.it

Protected Planet Reports are biennial landmark publications that assess the state of protected areas around the world. They are based on the data contained in the World Database on Protected Areas (WDPA), jointly managed by UNEP-WCMC and IUCN, as well as other relevant resources.

UKEOF's insight:

The Protected Planet Report 2018 tracks progress towards global targets for protected areas.

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Natural Capital Indicators: for defining and measuring change in natural capital - NERR076

Natural Capital Indicators: for defining and measuring change in natural capital - NERR076 | UK environmental observations | Scoop.it

The Natural Capital Indicators report identifies key components of the environment, essential for the long term provision of benefits on which society relies. This report fills a gap in the understanding of these vital properties of the environment. Indicators are identified for measuring change in natural capital, using a logic chain approach, enabling natural capital assets to be clearly linked to ecosystem services and benefits. Where possible, corresponding data sets have been found and linked to each indicator and a resulting list of data gaps detailed. 

UKEOF's insight:

This report from UKEOF partner Natural England presents a new and systematic approach to develop indicators of natural capital change. It also highlights which indicators can act as early-warning indicators of change.

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UKEOF's curator insight, November 13, 2018 10:02 AM

This report from UKEOF partner Natural England presents a new and systematic approach to develop indicators of natural capital change. It also highlights which indicators can act as early-warning indicators of change.

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Watching whales from space

Watching whales from space | UK environmental observations | Scoop.it

Scientists have used detailed high-resolution satellite images provided by Maxar Technologies’ DigitalGlobe, to detect, count and describe four different species of whales. Reported this week in the journal Marine Mammal Science, this study is a big step towards developing a cost-effective method to study whales in remote and inaccessible places, that will help scientists to monitor population changes and understand their behaviour.


Via NERC Press Office
UKEOF's insight:

With a resolution of 30cm, this is the most detailed imagery of whales captured by satellites to date. According to Dr Jennifer Jackson (BAS), one of the paper's authors, it "could be a game-changer in helping us to find whales remotely." The UK Natural Environment Research Council was one of the funders of this work.

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NERC Press Office's curator insight, November 1, 2018 9:27 AM

The British Antarctic Survey (BAS) is a NERC-supported centre.

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NRFA Peak Flow Dataset Version 7 released

NRFA Peak Flow Dataset Version 7 released | UK environmental observations | Scoop.it

The National River Flow Archive has released an update to its peak flow dataset including the files for use in the WINFAP software for flood estimation. The dataset includes Annual Maxima (AMAX) and Peaks over Threshold (POT) data for 956 gauging stations which have been updated with an additional water year of data (October 2016 to September 2017) in England, Northern Ireland, Wales and for those stations previously included in the Data Review in Scotland (released in Version 6). It also includes a period-of-record review of data and metadata for 20% of stations across the UK.

UKEOF's insight:

Maintenance of the NRFA peak flow dataset is carried out under a collaborative project between four UKEOF members: Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, the Environment Agency, Natural Resources Wales and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency, along with Northern Ireland’s Department for Infrastructure – Rivers.

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UKEOF's curator insight, October 31, 2018 9:36 AM

Maintenance of the NRFA peak flow dataset is carried out under a collaborative project between four UKEOF members: Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, the Environment Agency, Natural Resources Wales and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency, along with Northern Ireland’s Department for Infrastructure – Rivers.

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NBN Conference 2018

NBN Conference 2018 | UK environmental observations | Scoop.it

The National Biodiversity Network (NBN) Conference is taking place on Wednesday 21 and Thursday 22 November at the Albert Hall, Nottingham. The theme of this year’s conference is “The NBN in a changing climate”. Over the course of the two days we will be covering topics such as data from citizen science, data for delivering environmental planning, tools for online resources, “life” in changing environments, using species and habitat data to prioritise biodiversity action, improving biodiversity on farms and much more! 

UKEOF's insight:

The NBN conference should be of interest to anyone involved in biological recording, biological data management (species records, etc.), citizen science, the state of the UK's natural environment and the importance of good biological data.

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‘Little Data, Big Data, No Data? Data Management in the Era of Research Infrastructures’ workshop report — LTER in Europe

In light of the eLTER Research Infrastructure (RI) being accepted on the ESFRI roadmap, the organisers of a recent workshop are keen to share their workshop report. Their workshop, which was called ‘Little Data, Big Data, No Data? Data Management in the Era of Research Infrastructures,’ was one of the initial steps in Finland towards being able to contribute data to the eLTER RI. The aim of the workshop was to provide an introduction to data management in the ecological and related sciences as well as the place of local data management within the emerging larger data and RI context, i.e. within the data landscape.

UKEOF's insight:

This workshop report may be of interest to anyone involved in the management of ecosystem research and observation data

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