Senior Fellowship in the Role of Digital Technology in Understanding, Mitigating and Adapting to Environmental Change

Lead Research Organisation: Lancaster University
Department Name: Computing & Communications

Abstract

Digital technologies have a crucial role to play in helping scientists and other key stakeholders to more deeply understand the natural environment and its complex web of interconnected ecosystems. This deeper understanding also supports the development of more grounded mitigation and adaptation strategies in response to environmental change. This fellowship will enable myself to establish a rich, cross-disciplinary research programme at Lancaster with the goal of carrying out world leading research in the role of digital technologies in deriving such strategies. The research programme is built on three key pillars:

Digital innovation as an enabler. Technology is having a profound impact on the digital economy and many areas of society, but its role in managing environmental change is significantly under-developed. This programme will focus on three major (and complementary) areas of digital innovation, namely the Internet of Things (IoT), cloud computing and data science: IoT has the potential to provide rich, real-time data about many facets of the natural environment at a scale previously unimaginable; cloud computing offers elastic storage and computational capacity to bring together diverse data-sets from different geographical locations and at different scales and open this up to a range of stakeholders; data science provides an abundance of analysis techniques to then make sense of the data and hence to inform mitigation strategies and associated policies.

Science as a conduit. Science has a crucial role in interpreting big data but, crucially, to achieve this, science must change. The programme will investigate how technology can support a paradigm shift in science towards an approach that: i) is more intrinsically open and collaborative through a philosophy of open data, as enabled by the cloud (e.g. including support for citizen science); ii) represents a more integrative, holistic science whereby different scientific disciplines work together, alongside social, data and computer scientists, to facilitate deeper and more meaningful data-driven understanding of ecosystems and their intrinsic complexities (again supported by cloud computing); iii) embraces complex systems thinking taking input from research on ecosystem services, complexity science and systems of systems approaches; iv) recognises the importance of uncertainty and seek technological solutions that help manage uncertainty in all its dimensions and support decision making in an uncertain and complex world.

Impact as intrinsic. One major success of the Digital Economy programme was to develop a research community and set of approaches that emphasised stakeholder engagement and impact on society. This programme builds on this experience and adopts an experimental, agile and iterative methodology involving a close collaboration with a wide range of partners/stakeholders. This inherently participative approach is carefully designed to enable insights and breakthroughs in mitigation and adaptation strategies related to water/food/energy security, national infrastructure and biodiversity loss.

Planned Impact

This is an ambitious programme both in terms of the targeted scientific and technological discovery and also in terms of its intended impact. The impact strategy involves five strands: i) to influencing future research and funding agendas in digital technology and environmental change; ii) to support a paradigm shift in science towards an approach that more intrinsically open and collaborative, integrative, that is data-driven, and that deals intrinsically with complexity and uncertainty; iii) to support the development of well-informed policy policies and strategies for mitigation and adaptation in the face of environmental change; iv) to seek pathways to innovation based on the research results and insights; v) to use a range of novel means, including digital media, to communicate with the general public.

These all require the deep involvement of a range of stakeholders, and having a vibrant community underpins the whole impact strategy. The programme of work therefore emphasises community building and engagement.

One major success of the Digital Economy programme was to develop a research community and set of approaches that emphasised stakeholder engagement and impact on society. This proposed programme builds on this experience and adopts a methodology, called Speedplay developed in the CaTalyST project. Speedplay combines elements of agile, iterative development with principles drawn from action research and participatory design. The former allow experimental projects to be built rapidly with limited resources; the latter allow for a proper understanding of the societal context and needs of stakeholders. Developing this further, in the approach stakeholders are not simply 'involved' in the software development process but they jointly set the research agenda and pro-actively engage in the design and development process.

A range of other mechanisms are also planned to enhance community building and engagement, and the impact of the work, including: i) the organisation of facilitated community events, for information exchange and sharing but also to explore equipping the community to enhance its impact and influence policy; ii) the organisation of a high profile summit focusing on digital technology and LWEC; iii) the production of a set of policy and production notes for the associated LWEC series; iv) the running of an open competition offering five small grants of £10,000 as seed-corn funding for potentially impactful innovations in this space (hence drawing in other parties); v) the production of a series of short films (available through a youtube channel) to communicate results (mirroring an impact strategy used successfully in CaTalyST); vi) the pro-active offering of seminars nationally/internationally on the topic of the research. The PI will also exploit existing links, particularly with research councils and the Belmont Forum to further disseminate the results.

Research collaborations and partnerships are crucial to our mode of working and to our impact strategy, and organisations involved include the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (CEH), Small World Consulting, JBA Trust, Microsoft Research, the Alan Turing Institute, the JRC Science Hub, the Environment Agency and the Digital Catapult. The LWEC network is also very important to the project and is strongly encouraged to participate in sprints and events (the PI has links with at least eleven of the members).


The programme of research will be overseen by a Steering Committee and its membership and terms of reference will be established in close cooperation with the LWEC and DE programmes. This steering committee will ensure the relevance of the research to the funding bodies and greater LWEC community.
 
Title Dataflow poem 
Description Reflections written by Harriet Fraser on final flood sprint workshop and data / flooding. 
Type Of Art Creative Writing 
Year Produced 2018 
Impact Adds a different dimension to the use of data and flooding 
URL https://youtu.be/FDnlIDwAINM
 
Title Six attempts to catch a river 
Description A response in prose and images to the process of writing about flooding. 
Type Of Art Creative Writing 
Year Produced 2018 
Impact Published in Lune 02: Dislocation December 2018 
URL https://lunejournal.org/02-dislocation/
 
Title The Lost Sounds workshop resource kit 
Description Artefacts made: display, prototype cloud system for gathering creative commons of images and audio for workshops. Sets of differentiated handouts and videos of bird call sonograms - an education kit that can be borrowed. 
Type Of Art Artefact (including digital) 
Year Produced 2019 
Impact TBC 
 
Title The River Library (Claire Dean) 
Description The River Library is a set of three books to inspire storymaking that contain miniature models of rivers. People are invited to throw story dice into the books and to use these as prompts to help them tell their own stories of rivers and flooding. The symbols on the story dice include people and animals, landscapes, characters from folklore, and objects that might help in a flood. The more dice someone throws the more chance there is of a significant flood, but they could also get more elements to use in their story 
Type Of Art Creative Writing 
Year Produced 2017 
Impact Public Engagement - It was enjoyed by visitors of all ages and 95 stories were made and shared on the day. 
URL https://www.ensembleprojects.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/The-River-Library-CDean.pdf
 
Title The Tide Jar (Claire Dean) 
Description The Tide Jar is a prototype story lantern that is only illuminated in the early evening when there is a full or new moon. This is when spring tides bring higher water levels and a greater chance of flooding to properties beside tidal rivers. 
Type Of Art Creative Writing 
Year Produced 2018 
Impact Public engagement 
URL https://www.ensembleprojects.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/The-Tide-Jar-CDean.pdf
 
Title We Are Riverish (Claire Dean) 
Description We are Riverish is a story that won't last. Printed on water-soluble paper the story is made to dissolve in water and is inspired by the fact that over time many libraries and people's book collections have been lost to flooding (including, very nearly, the researcher's own). The story's narrator tells us about their childhood in a house beside an urban river. Unexpected things happen when the river decides it wants to see more of the city and takes on human-like forms, so it can leave its banks to explore. 
Type Of Art Creative Writing 
Year Produced 2018 
Impact Public engagement 
URL https://www.ensembleprojects.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/We-Are-Riverish-CDean.pdf
 
Title What is soil: Poetic collection of words 
Description Blog entry from Rob and Harriet Fraser reflecting on the soils workshop 
Type Of Art Creative Writing 
Year Produced 2020 
Impact Not aware of any 
URL https://www.ensembleprojects.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/What-is-Soil-Poetic-collection-of-words....
 
Description We are really starting to understand how digital technologies incl. new ways of capturing data (such as IoT), new ways of storing and processing data (incl. cloud computing) and new ways of making sense of this data (through data science) can strongly influence the nature of environmental science and direct it towards a more open, collaborative and integrative discipline. Our work on virtual labs is also supporting this.
Exploitation Route Virtual labs are being rolled out via our partner UK CEH through their Data Labs project, influencing future generations of JASMIN (the infrastructure for data analytics run on behalf of NERC and others).
Sectors Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Environment

URL https://www.ensembleprojects.org/
 
Description The research is having a strong impact on practice in this area, through the Environment Agency and JBA in particular (for our early flood work) and the Eden North Project for our biodiversity work. We are now working with the soils community. Further, more specific results will be reported after ongoing knowledge transfer activities conclude.
First Year Of Impact 2018
Sector Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Environment
Impact Types Societal,Policy & public services

 
Description Ask Me Anything (Prof. Blair): An Initiative within the School of Computing and Communication to share knowledge
Geographic Reach Local/Municipal/Regional 
Policy Influence Type Influenced training of practitioners or researchers
 
Description DAFNI (Data & Analytics Facility for National Infrastructure) mid-year review (as member of expert review board) - DAFNI is an EPSRC funded initiative intended to develop a national platform to satisfy the computational needs in support of data analysis; infrastructure research; and strategic thinking for the UK's long term planning and investment needs.
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Membership of a guideline committee
URL https://www.dafni.ac.uk/
 
Description DAFNI Expert Review Board (Prof. Blair)
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Membership of a guideline committee
URL https://www.dafni.ac.uk/about/expert-review-board/
 
Description Data science opportunities for the environment
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a advisory committee
 
Description Digital Economy Fellows Meeting (sharing of best practice, feeding into funding policy)
Geographic Reach Europe 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a national consultation
URL https://epsrc.ukri.org/newsevents/events/digital-economy-programme-advisory-board-meeting-october-20...
 
Description Invitation to NERC Digital Environment - Infrastructure Thinking Group
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a national consultation
URL https://nerc.ukri.org/innovation/activities/environmentaldata/digitalenv/
 
Description Morecambe Bay Curriculum Primary Schools Working Group (Dr. Edwards)
Geographic Reach Local/Municipal/Regional 
Policy Influence Type Membership of a guideline committee
 
Description NERC Strategic Priority Fund
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a national consultation
Impact I fed into thinking about the Strategic Priority Fund, also suggesting that there was real potential to work across councils, and this has been picked up
 
Description NERC's RIDE Forum for Environmental Change - talk on the role of Digital Technology in Environmental Change
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Membership of a guideline committee
 
Description UKRI Climate Resilience Workshop (Prof. Blair)
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a national consultation
 
Description UKRI Constructing a Digital Environment programme: member of Expert Network (Prof. Blair)
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Membership of a guideline committee
URL https://digitalenvironment.org/home/digital-environment-expert-network/
 
Description UKRI Infrastructure Roadmap Environment Sector Thinking Group meeting
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a advisory committee
URL https://www.ukri.org/files/infrastructure/landscape-analysis-2-pdf/
 
Description 10 week internship - development of Flood Box and Flood Resilient Home
Amount £2,500 (GBP)
Organisation Lancaster University 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 07/2018 
End 09/2018
 
Description ABC: Adaptive Brokerage for the Cloud, funded by the EPSRC (Responsive Mode)
Amount £388,701 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/R010889/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2018 
End 12/2020
 
Description AI 4 Earth grant for Azure
Amount $15,000 (USD)
Organisation Microsoft Research 
Sector Private
Country Global
Start 02/2019 
End 12/2019
 
Description CROP-Net: Monitoring and Predicting the Effects of Climate Change on Crop Yields
Amount £27,753 (GBP)
Funding ID NE/5017208/1 
Organisation Natural Environment Research Council 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 02/2019 
End 01/2020
 
Description Computing at Schools - Lost Sounds
Amount £1,500 (GBP)
Organisation Lancaster University 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2018 
End 03/2019
 
Description Data Science of the Natural Environment, New Approaches to Data Science EPSRC Call
Amount £2,656,400 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/R01860X/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 04/2018 
End 03/2023
 
Description Detecting soil degradation and restoration through a novel coupled sensor and machine learning framework
Amount £811,651 (GBP)
Funding ID NE/T012307/1 
Organisation Natural Environment Research Council 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2020 
End 12/2022
 
Description ESRC IAA funding for Lost Sounds project
Amount £12,000 (GBP)
Organisation Economic and Social Research Council 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 06/2019 
End 06/2020
 
Description EnvChain - Exploring the viability of using blockchain-based approaches to build trust in the creation, audit and use of synthesised data products to support a broad range of environmental data use cases
Amount £43,189 (GBP)
Organisation Natural Environment Research Council 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 02/2018 
End 03/2018
 
Description Environment Agency Small Grant on an eDNA software pipeline in the cloud
Amount £2,000 (GBP)
Organisation Environment Agency 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2018 
End 03/2019
 
Description Faculty Staff Travel Grants
Amount £350 (GBP)
Funding ID TG 16/69 
Organisation Lancaster University 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 08/2016 
End 07/2017
 
Description Faculty Student Travel Grants
Amount £114 (GBP)
Funding ID GSTG-17-103 
Organisation Lancaster University 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 08/2016 
End 07/2017
 
Description Knowledge Transfer Partnership with JBA Consulting on digital technology and flood risk management
Amount £116,414 (GBP)
Organisation Innovate UK 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 05/2019 
End 11/2020
 
Description Lancaster University FST Outreach Grant - Lost Sounds
Amount £1,500 (GBP)
Organisation Lancaster University 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2018 
End 03/2019
 
Description Methodologically Enhanced Virtual Labs for Early Warning of Significant or Catastrophic Change in Ecosystems: Changepoints for a Changing Planet
Amount £203,419 (GBP)
Funding ID NE/T006102/1 
Organisation Natural Environment Research Council 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 11/2019 
End 11/2020
 
Description Monitoring and predicting the effects of climate change on crop yields
Amount £27,752 (GBP)
Funding ID NE/S017208/1 
Organisation Natural Environment Research Council 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 02/2019 
End 01/2020
 
Description Collaboration with RSPB to develop a Digital Tern Lure 
Organisation Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB)
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution Collaboration with RSPB on the development of a digital Tern Lure. Dr. Edwards met with Calum Booth to discuss technical challenges for RSPB work which led to the development of the Tern Lure, to attract the birds to suitable, safe breeding sites. The modular system is transferrable and we have begun to discuss how the principles might be used to manage other remote technologies, like electric fencing.
Collaborator Contribution Advice on development.
Impact Development of the Tern Lure, to attract the birds to suitable, safe breeding sites.
Start Year 2018
 
Description Collaboration with Small World Consulting 
Organisation Small World Consulting
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution As part of the fellowship, we have an ongoing relationship with Small World Consulting. This included working with them and supporting a project on 'Current Global Food Production is Sufficient to Meet Human Needs in 2050'.The fellowship supported the development of a model that traces every human-essential nutrient from field to fork and other end-points at the global regional and national level. A paper was submitted called Current global food production is sufficient to meet human nutritional needs in 2050 provided there is societal adaptation, submitted to Elementa: Science of the Anthropocene, and currently under review. The findings were also presented as one of the keynote talks at the N8 Agrifood conference in January 2020. This may result in a collaboration with the Environmental Change Institute in Oxford.
Collaborator Contribution TBC
Impact TBC
Start Year 2016
 
Description Creation of a new Centre of Excellence in Environmental Data Science (CEEDS) 
Organisation Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (CEH)
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Prof. Blair is Co-founder and now Co-Director of the Centre of Excellence in Environmental Data Science (CEEDS), a joint initiative between Lancaster University and CEH, and we held the launch event on the 9th and 10th May 2019.
Collaborator Contribution It's been a joint venture in terms of setting up and running the Centre with significant investment from both sides including the creation of 3 senior (professorial level) posts - one still to be filled.
Impact Further funding secured: Data Science of the natural Environment £2.65m Cropnet: £28 000 Changepoint: £240 000 Disciplines involved: Computer Science, Maths and Stats, Social Science and Environmental Science
Start Year 2019
 
Description Lost Sounds Project (collaboration with National Trust) 
Organisation National Trust
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution Dr. Edwards met with staff at Clumber Park to discuss potential for running a Lost Sounds pilot project. She returned to run a demo with a small group of staff from different teams (including Rangers, Education and Visitor Experience). During the event we discussed how the activities might be used with different groups (e.g. as a drop-in, half term activity etc). As a result we have booked in a first full workshop with Youth Rangers with a view to creating interpretation for the property, with other activities to follow.
Collaborator Contribution Provided a venue and advice to run the project.
Impact As a result we have booked in a first full workshop with Youth Rangers with a view to creating interpretation for the property, with other activities to follow.
Start Year 2018
 
Description Lost Sounds Project (collaboration with RSPB) 
Organisation Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB)
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution Collaboration with RSPB, Computing at Schools (including Code Ambassadors) and West End Primary School, Morecambe on Lost Sounds project. Dr. Edwards met with RSPB staff to discuss a project involving fieldwork, arts activities. We collaborated to create a workshop involving fieldwork and other activities. We identified potential target schools for the pilot project. We approached the school and made a plan. We developed the activities with the support of Computing at Schools with a view to sharing materials for dissemination to other schools.
Collaborator Contribution Advice on birds in Morecamble Bay for project.
Impact A number of workshops held with school children.
Start Year 2018
 
Description Mathematical and statistical challenges in landscape decision making 
Organisation Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical Sciences
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Prof. Blair attended initial planning, and then launch and closing events of 'mathematical and statistical challenges in landscape decision making' - 3-5th July 2019, then 31st July-2nd August 2019 resp. He worked in particular on a sub-theme: model coupling and gave a presentation on this topic. The workshop strongly influenced the UKRI SPF call on Landscape Decision Making.
Collaborator Contribution Building a community around Landscape Decision Making.
Impact See calls from https://nerc.ukri.org/research/funded/programmes/landscape/
Start Year 2019
 
Description 11th International Conference of the ERCIM WG on Computational and Methodological Statistics 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Presentation: Understanding and communicating widespread flood risk; Presenter: Ross Towe, Lancaster University, United Kingdom, Co-authors: Jonathan Tawn, Rob Lamb
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description ACM Computing Across Disciplines Podcast 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Gordon Blair interviewed by ACM Computing Across Disciplines podcast about his research at the intersection of distributed systems and teh environmental sciences.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://acm-fca.org/2019/03/04/gordon-blair-computing-environmental-science/
 
Description Big Data and The Earth Science Conference 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Ross shared about Ensemble's work at the Big Data and The Earth Science workshop in California, 31st May - 2 June, promoting the project and disseminating initial research ideas.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://prp.ucsd.edu/BigDataEarthScience_Agenda_FINAL.pdf
 
Description Biodiversity launch workshop at Brockholes 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact 2 day workshop at Brockholes in Preston (12th-13th March, 2018) to launch the biodiversity sprint. Team shared their research aims and biodiversity partners shared the challenges they face - project ideas were formed for the team to carry forward. The workshop was important to build a community around the work going forward. The workshop also involved a strong element of disseminating our work to key stakeholders including Natural England, JBA Consulting, JRC, CEH and the Eden Project.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Blog article by Watermark about Data Drift 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact TBC
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://watermarkfund.org/calderdale/a-day-at-warland-farm/
 
Description Blog article from JBA Consulting about Manchester Science Festival 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact TBC
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://www.jbaconsulting.com/knowledge-hub/flood-impacts-science-technology/
 
Description Dagstuhl seminar on Modeling for Sustainability 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact I co-organised and participated in a Dagstuhl seminar on Modeling for Sustainability
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.dagstuhl.de/18351
 
Description Data drift walk 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Data walk near Todmorden, arranged and led by Louise Mullagh as part of her PhD (which is strongly linked to the work of the Fellowship). This walk visited the Todmorden catchment - and area that has experienced severe flooding, and included researchers, local flood action groups, and representatives of JBA consulting and the environment agency allowing dialogue across these groups in a more informal setting. The walk was also used as a data gathering exercise to capture insights and views about flooding in that catchment, including consideration of mitigation strategies. This has led to future plans fro collaboration building on these insights. This walk took place on 20th July 2017.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Eden Project North Community Conversations 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact 18 October 2019: Show and Tell involving Liz Edwards, Claire Dean at Eden Project North, Community Conversation Day. Morecambe's Winter Gardens - involved Zoetrope and Lost Sounds project.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.edenproject.com/media/2019/10/morecambe-community-to-engage-in-eden-project-north-conver...
 
Description Extreme Value Analysis for Natural Hazards Conference 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Disseminating project outputs and discussions about how research could be used in practice. Further evidence from US Army Corps of Engineers about the benefits of the research.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://evan2017.wordpress.com/programme/
 
Description Flood Modelling Sprint Workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Flood Modelling Sprint Workshop, 20th-21st March 2017

This workshop is co-organised by Lancaster University and JBA Trust and is a key stakeholder engagement event driving the first sprint associated with the Senior Fellowship - targeting the role of digital technology in transforming future flood modelling architectures.

This overall goal of the workshop is to drive innovation in flood modelling tools and provide initial input to the sprint team, funded by the fellowship.

The more specific goals are to:
1. Map out the policy/business drivers and applications that require an understanding of flood risk
2. Identify innovations in digital technologies that could be exploited for flood risk modelling
3. Inform and advise the Sprint team on priorities for innovation and experimentation

The audiences consists of key individuals with strategic and/or high-level technical interest in flood risk modelling and data, in particular with a focus on decision making over a range of time and spatial scales, from local to national, and from event scale to climate change adaptation.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Flooding Non-Stationarity Workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Ross Towe input into non-stationarity for flooding workshop and presented his research.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Green Data Event 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Gordon Blair gave Keynote talk at a Green Data Event in London - industrial focused event. My talk was on Environmental Data Science: Making Sense of Complex Environmental Data.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://eic-uk.co.uk/event/green-data-how-digitalisation-is-transforming-environmental-policy-and-pra...
 
Description Hosted presentation from Theresa Griffin MEP 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Hosted Theresa Griffin (MEP) for a session looking at how researchers can translate data-driven science into policy including practical steps to influence key policy development. This was an important session for the team and for the broader Data Science Institute, helping us to develop (often very practical) skills for how to engage with politicians and how to influence policy. The meeting also had a very positive side-effect in terms of Theresa Griffin becoming aware of the important research being carried out at Lancaster around technology, data science and society..
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description HydroInformatics Conference 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Ross spoke at the HydroInformatics Conference, Alabama, 25-27th July, promoting the project and disseminating initial research ideas.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description ICDCS conference presentation 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Gordon Blair gave a presentation entitled Complex Distributed Systems: The Need for Fresh Perspectives.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.ensembleprojects.org/on-complexity-in-distributed-systems/
 
Description IS-GEO webinar 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Gordon Blair held an online webinar to the IS-GEO group looking at Intelligent Systems for the Geosciences. His topic was Digital Technology and Living with Environmental Change
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://is-geo.org/
 
Description International Workshop on Data Science for High Impact Weather and Flood Prediction 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Talk presented on the research being carried out in the fellowship, eh talk being entitled: A
Data Science of the Natural Environment: Applied to Flood Risk Management. The event took place from 20th-22nd Novermber 2017 in Reading and included a broad audience of academics and practitioners.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Living with Environmental Change Fellows Workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact A workshop bringing together EPSRC's Living With Environmental Change Fellows to explore the interconnections between this exciting and varied new programme of research. The workshop also provided an opportunity to discuss Lancaster's interdisciplinary approach to 'living with environmental change' research, including the innovative new links between the Data Science Institute and the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology focused on creating data science for the environment; and the Pentland Centre for Sustainability in Business's approach to bringing science and business together to co-create sustainable solutions.
This event was hosted in Lancaster on 9th and 10th February 2017.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2008,2017
 
Description Manchester Science Festival 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact TBC
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://www.ensembleprojects.org/manchester-science-festival/
 
Description Manchester Science Festival 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact The Fellowship team joined with others from JBA Trust, the Environment Agency, the Cuidar project and HighWire Centre for Doctoral Training to deliver a series of installations at the Manchester Science Festival (21st October 2017). The installations, which were located on the 'Pi Platform' in the Power Hall at Manchester Museum of Science and Industry, attracted nearly 2000 visitors in a single day, the highest number of visitors to any Pi Platform event during the festival this year.

The activities addressed flooding from a variety of perspectives including flood risk, flood preparation and resilience. Outputs of the day included educating public and interest in developing some installations for further distribution.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://www.ensembleprojects.org/manchester-science-festival/
 
Description Meeting with ECMWF 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Team travelled to Reading to meet with ECMWF team to hear about their work and and the challenges they face in terms of technical infrastructure. We also described our approach incl. our use of cloud computing and also the use of triple stores/ linked data together with emerging notebook technology. This was very well received and will be considered for ongoing work at ECMWF.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Newsletters 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Newsletter in Summer 2018 and Winter 2018/19 were distributed to people who had signed up to publicise work of the project.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Presentation at 11th International Conference on Extreme Value Analysis 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Presentation by Lancaster team (Christian Rohrbeck, Emma Simpson and Ross Towe) of the results of the EVA2019 data challenge. A paper is being written based on the results.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://web.math.pmf.unizg.hr/eva2019/
 
Description Presentation at DARE workshop (Data Assimilation for the Resilient City) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact TBC
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://research.reading.ac.uk/dare/events/workshop-on-data-science-for-high-impact-weather-and-floo...
 
Description Presentation at EnvironInfo 2017 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Graham Dean presented paper entitled: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Finding and Using Data for Complex Environmental Modelling Problems: A Soil System Example
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Presentation at Environmental Intelligence Summit 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Presentation and panel session by Prof. Blair on environmental data science
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.exeter.ac.uk/news/events/details/index.php?event=9167
 
Description Presentation at Flood & Coast 2019 Conference 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Barry Hankin presented at a workshop at the Flood & Coast 2019 Conference (industry's main flood risk management conference) in Telford. He shared about the flood table project which was seed-funded by the Fellowship, his presentation included who they have engaged with, feedback from users and critiques. He mentioned Ensemble in his presentation. There were discussions around the new FCERM strategy (Flood & Coastal Erosion Risk Management Strategy) and may have fed into the EA's thinking for their new strategy.

(Gordon - I have more details on this in Barry's email if needed, 1/11/19)
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.floodandcoast.com/conference/2019-speakers/barry-4/
 
Description Presentation at International Glaciological Society ECR workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Presentation of "Environmental data science and its transformative potential" at the International Glaciological Society ECR workshop hosted at Lancaster Unviersity
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Presented paper at Data for Policy conference 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Presented paper by Prof. Blair at Data for Policy Conference, London on Trusted Brokers?: Identifying the Challenges Facing Data Centres
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://zenodo.org/record/2798468#.XVWIEfZFwYt
 
Description Press Release - Senior Fellowship 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Press release announcing Prof. Gordon Blair's senior fellowship on 'The role of digital technologies in understanding, mitigating and adapting to environmental change.'

This press release was picked up by the THES, and featured in their gran winners section.

The press release was also featured on Lancaster University and EPSRC websites.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL https://www.timeshighereducation.com/news/grant-winners-27-october-2016#survey-answer
 
Description Press Release for Manchester Sceince Festival 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact TBC
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://www.lancaster.ac.uk/news/articles/2017/flood-impacts-brought-to-life-through-science-and-tech...
 
Description RIDE Forum Presentation 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Presentation by Prof. Blair at the Research & Innovation for our Dynamic Environment (RIDE) Forum event, London, 27th November 2019 on "Digital Technology and Environmental Change"
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://nerc.ukri.org/research/partnerships/ride/
 
Description Research visit to U. Griffith, Brisbane 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Talk presented at University of Griffith on 12th February 2018 on Digital Technologies for Environmental Science. This visit also included discussions with researchers working on the Biodiversity and Climate Change Virtual Laboratory - with plans to collaborate closely in future activity.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Revealing the Mill Race 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Louise Mullagh & Justin Larner organised a walk along the way of the Mill Race in Lancaster to explore how communities and businesses who experience flooding can contribute their knowledge, experiences and memories about these events in the city and to the data collected by environmental and data scientists. The Mill Race is a stream that lies underneath the city and once fed the mill near Dye House Lane in the city centre. It started close to what is now Ladies Walk and can still be seen where it empties into the Lune, underneath Millenium Bridge. It sparked local interest in a hidden feature of the city and how it may have influenced recent major flooding events as a peculiarity of the place.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.ensembleprojects.org/join-team-walk-lancasters-mill-race/
 
Description Soil sprint opening workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Workshop to launch the soils workshop. 28 attendees, held in Grange-over-Sands. Projects launched, priorities and goals set, and participants agreed to work together on a future bid to the UKRI Constructing a Digital Environment, demonstrator call (now submitted).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.ensembleprojects.org/soil-modelling-a-changing-landscape/
 
Description Speaking at Lancaster University's Eden Big Conversation 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Prof. Blair presented at Big Conversation with Eden North, Lancaster University - feeding into vision of Eden North, in particular the idea for a Morecambe Bay Virtual Observatory
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/eden-big-conversation-22nd-march-tickets-57785078726
 
Description Statistical Modelling of Environmental Extremes Seminar 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact External Seminar given by Ross Towe at University of Nottingham, 15th February 2018
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.nottingham.ac.uk/mathematics/events/seminarsp20180215.aspx
 
Description Steering Committee meeting 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact As per EPSRC funding proposal, we gathered a steering committee to Lancaster University to present the work we had done so far and gain feedback and input into future work. Outputs of the day were recommendations for the fellowship team with regards to working style, content, processes, etc. The meeting also included a strong element of disseminating results to the members present, which included people from the EPSRC, the Universities of Cambridge, Oxford, Reading and Heriot Watt, JNCC, JRC, Microsoft and the Met Office. The event took place on 27th September, 2017.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Summit: Role of Digital Technologies in Responding to the Grand Challenges of the Natural Environment 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact A Summit on the Role of Digital Technologies in Responding to the Grand Challenges of the Natural Environment was held to discuss ways forward for the future. Collaborations have arisen from the event along with a paper to be published.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.ensembleprojects.org/the-windermere-accord-addressing-the-role-of-digital-technologies-i...
 
Description Talk at Faculty Christmas Conference 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Prof Blair presented a talk on Environmental Data Science: Addressing Global Challenges through Data-driven Innovations at the Faculty of Science and Technology Christmas conference, Lancaster University on 19th December 2017. This disseminated results of the fellowship to a broad audience from across the university and was also used to inspire researchers to carry out work in this area. Members of teh general public were also present.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Team meeting to Environment Agency office 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Team travelled to meet with partners at Environment Agency in Leeds. The meeting involved dissemination of the interim results of the flood sprint and getting feedback on the work to date. This is part of a deep interaction with the Environment Agency which is influencing their thoughts on the role of data and data science in future flood planning.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Team members at Leeds and Bradford Royal Statistical Society 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Session focusing on statistics, the media and public engagement and included dissemination of the results of the flood spring in the fellowship.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Teleconference with United Utilities 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Demonstrate the outputs of the flood sprint and how these might feed into the MENTOR bid. Potential crossovers with the operations of United Utilities.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description The Lost Sounds Project: Workshops 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact 12 events in total involving 19 days, delivered at:
5 formal education settings, (4 primary schools and 1 nursery), approx 170 people directly reached , 750 indirect
7 informal / other settings (2 National trust properties, 3 community outreach events) Approx 170 people reached, 1150 people indirectly reached.

Also had meetings with Dunham Massey, Birkenhead Primary School, SandyLands primary school, and Wildlife Trust in Heysham.

Project has resulted in collaborations with RSPB, Eden North, national Trust, Wildlife Trust, The Exchange CIC (Arts Organisation),

Offered Intern - Ryan, paid 4 other students and external person, team of 6 volunteers to assist workshop delivery.

Employed Julia Swarbrick, printmaker, resulting in artist wanting to incorporate more digital elements in her workshops.

Deepened existing connections between wildlife organisations and schools, and facilitated new connections.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019,2020
URL http://wp.lancs.ac.uk/thelostsounds/events/
 
Description Trip to Eden Project, Cornwall 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Involved discussion and input into ideas for Eden Project North, an initiative to by the Eden Project to create a major new attraction in Morecambe, Lancashire, designed to help the regeneration of the area socially, economically and environmentally. A key part of their thinking is to have an Eden Bay Observatory allowing access to a rich variety of data about the many aspects of the bay ecosystems, and we have been working with them on how such a virtual observatory may be constructed (using contemporary cloud-based tools), and how complex and heterogeneous data may be interpreted and presented.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.ensembleprojects.org/667-2/
 
Description UKRI Constructing a Digital Environment Programme: Workshops 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact John Watkins (CEH) attended Edinburgh (16 Oct) and Mike Brown (CEH) Cardiff (4 Oct): Constructing a Digital Environment workshops

Presentation of current UKRI funding landscape and opportunities for collaborations. Facilitation of discussions for potential research in constructing digital environment grant rounds.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://nerc.ukri.org/innovation/activities/environmentaldata/digitalenv/news/workshops/
 
Description University of British Columbia, Master of Management Summer School, Talk by Dr. Edwards on Design Artefacts and Stakeholder Engagement 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Presentation to staff team, Master of Management Summer School, University of British Columbia, about the use of design artefacts for use for stakeholder engagement; has led to delivering at this year's summer school.

Writing paper with Mike Chiasson on research through design and its relationship to management.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Visit to CEH, Edinburgh 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Prof. Blair presented a talk on a Data Science of the Natural Environment to CEH (Edinburgh site) on 24th October 2017. This helped disseminate results of the fellowship to a broader audience and also led to further collaboration with the Edinburgh site of CEH.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Visit to JRC, Ispra 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Prof. Blair presented the work of the Fellowship and also Models in the Cloud to the EU's Joint Research Centre, in Ispra Italy, disseminating results of this work and also building partnerships for ongoing collaboration. This is important as JRC are at the heart of work to influence European policy based on scientific evidence. The visit took place between 5th and 7th July 2017.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Visit to thr Informatics Lab, Met Office 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The Ensemble group visited the Met Office, Informatics Lab on 28th November 2018 to discuss common interests around digital technology and environmental change, and to discuss future collaborations, for example around the concept of virtual labs. The Informatics Lab (https://www.informaticslab.co.uk/) has a mission to rapidly develop prototypes which explore how we can use new technology, science and design to make our data useful, and hence there is a significant overlap with the work in Ensemble.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.ensembleprojects.org/667-2/
 
Description Workshop for flood sprint launch 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact A two day workshop with the team and project partners to launch the flood sprint, held in Kendal (20th-21st March, 2017). This workshop helped shape the agenda for the activities of the next year and also built a community to support the research, with strong participation from the Environment Agency, JBA Trust, ECMWF, Oasis and United Utilities, along with a number of leading academics from flood risk and hydrology.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Workshop on Software Engineering for Sustainability 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact A two day workshop was held involving members of Lancaster University and INRIA, held in Rennes on 28th February - 1st March 2017. The purpose was to share our research on the topic of software engineering and sustainability/ living with environmental change, and to look at specific collaboration around the role of model-driven engineering in supporting such work.
This workshop builds on a previous visit by Benoit Combemale to Lancaster University on 5th and 6th December 2016.
It is anticipated that this will be an important ongoing collaboration for the Models in the Cloud project and the greater Living with Environmental Change activities at Lancaster.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Workshop to conclude flood sprint 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Two day workshop in Kendal to conclude the flood sprint (23rd-24th January 2018). The team presented the work and, with partners, developed further projects to embed the findings into industry. Outputs included requests for further involvement, future project plans, as well as plans for artistic outputs. Influencing key stakeholders, esp EA, DEFRA and JBA, influencing future directions for NAFRA 2 and DAFNi. It is very likely that there will be at least three further research proposals emanating from this workshop, all targeting knowledge transfer, and these will be reported in future through Research Fish.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018