Part of the NBN Conference 2018 includes a series of Network Knowledge Exchange sessions.  These sessions will be held on the afternoon of Wednesday 21 November and are an opportunity to find out more about a particular aspect of work related to Network business. Some will be presentation led, others will be discussion based.

The six sessions will run in parallel for the duration of the afternoon, with timings as shown below:

14.00 – 15:30  Parallel sessions
15.30 – 16:00  Coffee / tea break
16:00 – 16:50  Sessions continue

The available sessions are as follows, along with how they will be delivered and by whom. You will be asked to select your first and second choice session when booking your place at the Conference.

1. Taking on The Challenge: new horizons for BioBlitz – Session lead is Matt Postles

Between 27-30 April 2018, City Nature Challenge brought nature to life on our doorstep as the urban centres Bristol & Bath, Plymouth and London went toe to toe with 65 city regions across the globe in an epic citizen science contest: to collect as much biodiversity data as possible in 4 days.

Spawned from the international BioBlitz community, City Nature Challenge seeks to embrace emergent technologies and develop more inclusive narratives to broaden the reach and engagement of the biological recording community. With that comes inevitable challenges as established institutions and processes blend with evolving, cutting edge kit to meet the needs and expectations of these new audiences.

Session lead:

Matt is Senior Programmes Manager at The Natural History Consortium. He has been working with partners across the UK to promote and develop the concept of BioBlitz since 2009. Matt took over the lead of the BioBlitz strand at the Consortium in 2011 and is now involved in running and supporting several events as well as raising the public profile of BioBlitz nationally, as he coordinates the National BioBlitz Network.  Matt is also an NBN Trustee.

Format of the session:

Interactive. Join this engaging discussion session for a deep look into the power and challenges of engaging people with biological recording as we dissect the latest emerging format.

2. Data formatting for upload to the NBN Atlas – An introduction to Darwin Core – Session lead is Sophia Ratcliffe

The focus of the session will be to introduce the Darwin Core (DwC) biodiversity data standard, review how DwC is used in the NBN Atlas and recommend changes or additions to DwC to improve its use for biodiversity data in the UK.

Session lead:

Sophia is the Technical and Data Support Officer for the NBN Trust and she manages the formatting and upload of records to the NBN Atlas. She has experience in biological field recording and data management.

Format of the session:

Initial presentation of DwC and how it is used in the NBN Atlas, followed by a discussion using a whiteboard or flipchart for sharing ideas.

3. The challenges and solutions of running a successful local recording scheme – Session lead is David Nicholls

This session will cover technical requirements, funding, overcoming resistance, building a volunteer team, attracting new recorders and developing their skills, building local partnerships, the challenge of verification and where next.

Session lead:

David was the founder of NatureSpot in 2010 and has played a central role in maintaining and developing the organisation and its website ever since. He is a County Recorder (for Molluscs and Sawflies) and works closely with the Leicestershire and Rutland Environmental Record Centre.

Format of the session:

Seminar with Q&A followed by discussion with Q&A.

4. Identification good practice and future solutions – Session lead is Sue Townsend

With the growing number of Field Guides, Foldout Charts, online help and digital identification aids, developing skills in assigning a name to species is getting easier. What should we all be doing for the upcoming generation to ensure identification gets both accessible and accurate?

Session lead:

Working for an organisation (The Field Studies Council) which provides training, keys, guides, fold-out charts and online resources to aid species identification helps Sue to focus with others on helping people from all skill levels to become confident in accurate identification.   Through considering species recognition, accurate identification and verified records for over 40 years she would like to use experiences from the MMU certificate and Masters courses, BSBI field meetings and the FSC BioLinks to guide others to consider the issues for safeguarding sound records for the future.

Format of the session:

Intro through slides and discussion, then workshop style with discussion groups and feedback.

5. A day in the life of a LERC – Session leads are Pauline Campbell and Lizzy Peat

This session will give an overview of the work of two LERCs (CEDaR and HBIC), systems used and ways they each support recording. As many LERCs have been involved in assisting Chris Packham’s UK BioBlitz this summer, during the afternoon we will discover new ways to offer advice to potential BioBlitz organisers by using YouTube as a resource tool.

Session leads:

Pauline works for CEDaR – Centre for Environmental Data and Recording and Lizzy works for Hampshire Biodiversity Information Centre. Lizzy and Pauline collectively have many years LERC experience working with recorders, exchanging information and supporting species identification and data submission.

Format of the session:

During the first half of the session Lizzy and Pauline will chat about what their LERCs get up to, projects they are involved with and ways they support environmental recording. As they delve into what HBIC and CEDaR do, they will be asking for comments to be noted under three themes; What do you EXPECT your LERC to be doing? What do you NEED your LERC to do? and What would you LIKE your LERC to be doing?

The second half will start with a short talk about ways to develop support for recording and how to utilise YouTube as a resource library. They will begin with a brief chat about BioBlitzes and why these are important events for LERCs. They will then encourage team discussions about how support and advice can be offered to potential BioBlitz organisers. During these round table chats they plan to film informal snippets of advice (with permission from contributors). The group will then work through the process together and make a little movie for YouTube. If all goes well, this session will result in a short film giving practical advice to BioBlitz organisers, but ultimately will give delegates some idea of how to use YouTube as a tool to exchange knowledge on anything from identification skills to good recording practice, including survey techniques and methodology.

6. Build your own data collection app with Coreo – Session leads are Dave Kilbey, Joe Woodhouse, Jamie Forsyth 

In this session we will take you through the process of setting up a simple app and website for biological recording using Coreo.  Coreo is an ecosystem of services designed to enable you to effectively and efficiently build data collection projects for either personal use or for crowd-sourcing data from the public.

Session leads:

Natural Apptitude is a software development company which specialises in the creation of user-focused apps and websites for biological recording. It has created over 40 projects focused on crowd-sourcing biological data in recent years, including Mammal Tracker, Mammal Mapper, iRecord Butterflies and PlantTracker among others.

Format of the session:

This will be a hands-on, guided session. We will first show you Coreo and its various features.  We will then lead you through setting up an example project which can be deployed by the end of the workshop.

N.B. If you are particpating in this session, you will need to bring a laptop with you.