Linda Davies` presentation

Report
Anyone can send in records!
But who wants them?
Dr Linda Davies
Imperial College London
[email protected]
Making environmental monitoring more accessible
1.
2.
3.
4.
Background
OPAL programme
A case study: British Lichen Society
Widening participation in environmental
monitoring
5. Challenges
6. Next steps
Concept
‘It is not only scientists and government
that should be involved in monitoring but
the wider community, particularly young people.’
K. Mellanby (Editor) Environmental Pollution (1974)
Background: Environment
“Growth which meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future
generations to meet their own needs.”
Earth Summit, Rio (1992), Rio+20 (2012)
 Agenda 21 – Action plan for sustainable development
 Convention on Climate Change
 Convention on Biological Diversity + protocols
Survey and document the extent of biodiversity on their own territories;
Promote conservation and sustainable use of land, air and water;
Improve education and public awareness about the value of biodiversity.
Our responsibilities
 ‘Governments alone cannot resolve the problems.’
 ‘Everyone has a part to play.’
 ‘Think global, act local.’
Background: People
• Contact with nature is important for good physical and mental
health
(Pretty et al 2005, 2007, 2009 ; Dillon, 2011, Dickie, Ozdemiroglu & Phang, 2011; WCMC, 2012)
•
Contact with nature is important for childhood development
(Thomas & Thompson 2004; Louv, 2006;
England Marketing 2009;Natural England, 2011;
National Trust, 2012)
“If you lose your interest in the natural world you’ve lost a very
precious possession and something which could give you great pleasure
for the rest of your life.” (Sir David Attenborough, 2012)
“As children become disconnected from the natural world they
understand it less.” (Bird, 2007)
OPAL Objectives
1. Get more people outside exploring and recording the
world around them;
2. Develop an innovative environmental education
programme;
3. Inspire a new generation;
4. Strengthen collaboration between the statutory, voluntary
and community sectors;
5. Gain a greater understanding of the state of the natural
environment.
Newcastle University
National Centres
Soil: Imperial
University of Central Lancashire
Air: Imperial
Water: University College London
Climate: UK Meteorological Office
University of York
University of Nottingham
Biodiversity:
Natural History Museum (Taxonomy)
Open University (iSPOT)
University of Birmingham
Support Services
Natural History Museum
Portal/database/media
Field Studies Council Imperial College London (Silwood Park)
Schools/field packs
National Biodiversity
Network
University of Plymouth
Recording software
Royal Parks
University of Hertfordshire
Imperial College London
Associates: Environment Agency, Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra)
OPAL Natural History Societies Small Grants (NHM)
• NHM Consultation - 800+ organisations contacted
• 19% responded 81% did not
What did they need?
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86% want more members
More training in whole organism biology
Help with recording, validation of records and uploading data to the NBN
Good websites and apps
Organised programme of events to bring societies together with each
other and with the public
A national body to represent societies
Regular sources of funding for societies
Education: taxonomy and fieldwork in schools and universities
• 96 small grants totalling £219,498.00
• Nature Groups Near You – 2013
• Taxonomy resources, publicity and events
Case study: British Lichen Society
British Lichen Society founded in 1958
25 founder members – several still active in the Society
Council & Board of Trustees
Committees: Membership, Data, Conservation, Education &
Promotions, Finance.
Current membership >650 (50% overseas)
Objectives:
• to promote and advance the teaching and study of lichens;
• to raise public awareness of the beauty of lichens and of their
importance as indicators of the health of our environment;
• to encourage and actively support the conservation of lichens and their
habitats.
British Lichen Society: Data
1958
1963
Lists were first combined and published through the Society
First formal recording scheme (pre1960/post 1960)
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Mapping cards
Mapping of data
Fascicles published and sold
Data now available on NBN
Encouraged recorders to visit areas where data was scarce
1990s BLS Database – Biobase
2000s Recorder 2002 – Recorder 6 (current)
2003
Scottish records digitised
2009/12 England & Wales data digitised
2012
1.2 million lichen records available through NBN
2012
0.5m records from the mapping scheme shared through NBN
2,383 species, varieties and forms
2012
Available through GBIF – 34,000 Xanthoria parietina 23,000 from UK
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British Lichen Society: Data
• Costs and data sharing
• Data quality: huge effort with data validation
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Rare and scarce species go through ‘expert review’
Duplicate records have been removed
Grid reference errors - 6% new records still incorrect
NBN Data cleaner
• Recording bias: Traprain Law,Scotland:
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Brian Coppins -168,676 records
Francis Rose – 126,758 records
Chris Hitch – 73,446 records
Peter James – 61,681 records
• 50% of 1.2m records from six recorders
• 99% of records from 30 active recorders
• BLS uses a paper-based recording system
Location
Grid ref
VC
checked?
Recorders
Date(s)
Altitude Site and visit comments
BLS no.
Species
British Lichen Society & OPAL Survey
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Research questions
Design of the OPAL National Survey on Air & Lichens
Testing with members and the public
Training programme
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Video
Powerpoint on lichens
Training days across England
• Instant feedback system – what does your data mean?
• Educational pathway: resources for primary schools, teachers etc.
• Promotion of OPAL programme through radio broadcasts and
interviews
• Events: Specimens, equipment and enthusiasm
Air & Lichen Survey
Social questions, location information
Activity: record lichens and invertebrates on
2-4 trees
Tree girth and tree species
Lichens: abundance score on trunk and twigs
Invertebrates identified to broad groups
Tar spot on sycamore
NITROGEN
SENSITIVE
LICHENS
+1
INTERMEDIATE
LICHENS
0
Pollution score automatically calculated when
data is entered into the OPAL database
Online results map
NITROGEN
TOLERANT
LICHENS
-1
BLS: Engaging the public
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20,000 packs to schools & 20,000 through regional network
Lichenologist assigned to every community scientist
Focus on hard-to-reach areas
Schools – expert help to students involved in projects initiated by OPAL
Royal Society Summer Exhibition 2012
One day training courses for beginners at field centres across England
part funded by OPAL and part by BLS
• BLS funded Next Steps - a new BLS course to build knowledge
from the initial 9 lichens to include another 20.
• Improvements to the membership form to
encourage newcomers
• On going support for all OPAL initiatives
Engaging the public
Impact of OPAL Surveys
3,700 responses to online questionnaire on completion of air
survey
50% of survey participants could not identify a lichen
75% would recommend OPAL to friends
87% have learnt new skills
92% have learnt something new
600 responses to detailed online survey (all surveys)
84% are likely to do another survey
45% think differently about the environment
40% are likely to join an environmental group or society
37% would change their behaviour towards the environment
• Fun is the word most often used to describe OPAL
• Taking part in research was a key motivating factor
• Teachers more confident about fieldwork
• Evidence of improvements to health
• Evidence of improved community cohesion
OPAL Data – who wants public records?
• Lichen records from over 4,000 sites
• Surveys submitted vs completed estimated at 1:5
• Data
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Participants do not like entering data!!!
>50% of data are from school children
Confidence in species identification is low but
• 95% correctly identified Xanthoria parietina in field validation exercise
• majority of errors within one of the three classes thus not affecting main
conclusions
• Analysis to be completed early 2013
• OPAL Soil survey data fully analysed
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Public data broadly followed existing data (BGS,EA)
Species level validation 60-70% correct
Analysis identified interesting trends confirmed by targeted fieldwork
Provided data from sites not previously surveyed
Raised awareness of the importance of soil and soil research
Series of publications
Data quality – what can we do to minimise error
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Help with identification
Help with recording
Use of photography
Rank expertise
Use numerical data
Online validation
Field validation
Source / metadata
iSPOT: Social network for species
identification from photographs
submitted online
• 900,000 visitors+ to the website
• 17,000 registered users
• 100,000 photographs
• 88% photographs identified within 24hours
• 86 natural history societies
• Photographic records passed on to Societies
• Bayesian Keys - NBN mapping scheme
Consortium for the Barcode of Life (CBOL)
• to promote the exploration and development of DNA barcoding as a global standard for
species identification
Indicia: Basic kit to build a wildlife recording website
• 500,000+ users from Plantlife to British Dragonfly Society
– UK & EU wide
New Technology – Identification, recording, location
Summary: local knowledge is important
1. Exploring outdoors is fun and important for our well-being
2. All sectors of society should and can be involved in monitoring
3. All aspects of the environment can be monitored: water, biodiversity, climate
4. Contributing data makes people feel valuable
5. We need to maximise the value of the information recorded by the public:
Survey design
New technology
Data controls
Validation systems
Metadata
Reputation management
6. Data storage
7. Data accessibility and usability (mapping)
8. Data analysis, interpretation and application in conservation
9. Feedback to data providers essential
10. Support expertise in natural history societies and groups
OPAL Earthworm Records on NBN
OPAL
OPAL Community Report published January 2013
7th National Survey May 2013
Tree Health – pests and diseases
OPAL charity
European NGO for lay knowledge
Working in partnership with similar developments in the USA
Acknowledgements
British Lichen Society:
Big Lottery Fund
OPAL Partnership - NBN
Natural History Societies
Janet Simpkins
Barbara Hilton
Pat Wolseley

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