On the 24th November members of NRG BESS met to discuss the ‘next steps’ for the group at the AGM in York. Short and long term aims were discussed for the group. Alongside this a revised structure for the Development Committee was designed and should ensure the successful implementation of these goals. A summary of the meeting can be found here: NRG BESS Next Steps Meeting Summary. The meeting also provided a great chance to welcome some of the new members in person and for older members to update one another on their research.
Following the meeting a training day was held and provided all members a chance to get hands on experience in filming and interviewing one another. In addition to this training on participatory GIS was provided.
Postdoctoral researchers are of inestimable value to the BESS programme, but the postdoctoral stage also poses many challenges. The BESS directorate has produced a guidance note on developing our postdoctoral community. The note aims to highlight best practice when managing postdoctoral researchers in order to support their continuing professional development:
NRG BESS has reached 50 members! Welcome to our latest members Ben Taylor, Kate Simpson and Carla-Leanne Washbourne. We are all early career researchers working on BESS goals or related research on biodiversity and ecosystem services.
Congratulations to NRG BESS member Zoe Holden on being awarded a NERC/BBSRC/AHRC policy internship at the Government Office for Science. Take a look at Zoe’s blog.
Paper Makers: bringing science to life through art We’re really excited about Lydia Bach’s project that brings together early career artists and scientists to explore questions about human impacts on biodiversity. The artists and scientists will be working together to creatively interpret a scientific paper. Paper Makers is funded by the British Ecological Society.
NRG BESS members Phoebe Morton, Sian de Bell and Laura Harrison discussed the benefits we get from nature with visitors to the European researchers’ night YorNight. Together with the urban pollution monitoring research programme CAPACITIE, we created a map showing the most and least valued places for nature around York.
On September 8th – 10th NRG BESS held its first Early Career Researcher Conference on Biodiversity, Ecosystem Services and Sustainability at the University of Southampton, sponsored by BESS, Geography & Environment at UoS and Sustainability Science at Southampton.
The event was a success with close to 60 delegates from all over the UK as well as the Netherlands, Spain, Germany, Brazil and Bangladesh. There was plenty of opportunity to hear about exciting research from the twenty-four ECRs who gave talks and the twenty who presented posters, as well as our three keynote speakers Prof Georgina Mace (UCL), Prof Katrina Brown (University of Exeter) and Dr Sandra Nogué (University of Oxford). Furthermore, the breakout session “Future Directions” highlighted the essential research questions that the next research generation thinks science and society must tackle. There was also a very popular introduction to Arc GIS training day.
The feedback was overwhelmingly positive and so we hope that this is just the beginning and that next year will see an even bigger and better NRG BESS Conference 2015!
– Sarah Pogue (Conference Officer 2014)
When le tour came to Yorkshire, visitors at the York Grand Dèpart also saved coastal ‘villages’ from flooding and collected enough ‘nectar’ to see three ‘bee hives’ through the winter. The estimated 2000 visitors to the University of York marquee were taking part in the ‘love your salt marsh’ and ‘be a bee’ activities designed and run by NRG BESS members.
Salt marsh participants used their chocolate coins to make choices about hard and soft coastal defences – getting only slightly soggy in the process. ‘Be a bee’ participants foraged amongst other activities for nectar and pollen with their bee syringes, inadvertently pollinating various fruit crops.
Further activities related to water quality and urban ecosystem services are also being developed. Activity instructions will be available to download from nerc-bess.net and nrgbess.net. For further information about NRG BESS knowledge exchange activities please contact firstname.lastname@example.org