Using NBN data for research
NBN data is being used by various students in their coursework. Here are a few examples below.
University of Sheffield
An undergraduate student who is doing her dissertation on biodiversity wanted to get some data on species diversity from the NBN Gateway.
She is studying the link between biodiversity and geodiversity – local variability of soil, climate etc. She therefore wanted to produce an index of biodiversity for a large geographical area (the whole of GB) including a wide enough range of species to make a decent index. To do this, and for each of the datasets she was interested in, one of them being the invertebrate site register, she ideally wanted a file giving a count of the species in each grid square. She wanted to be able to extract the count per species group so that she could produce a total count by adding the group totals.
The count of species for each tenkm square across Britain, for records within selected datasets, was provided for the student. The counts reflected what records are present in the datasets as well as a general recording bias towards southern England (fewer records made in Scotland as compared to southern England).
We look forward to the outputs from the research in due course.
The Royal Veterinary College
We were recently contacted by a student at The Royal Veterinary College who wanted a custom download of data from the NBN Gateway for her studies into Rift Valley Fever.
She will be using the data to complete a part of her MSc project. For this she is doing a risk assessment on Rift Valley Fever and plans to design a map, showing vectors’ distribution in relation with the location of British airports.
University of Cambridge
This request was for access to sensitive records, full maximum best resolution, and attribute data for download. This was for a MPhil student at the University of Cambridge who was required to conduct an Environmental Impact Analysis Project and an Essay. They were particularly interested in the use of GIS and Remote Sensing for conservation, hence the reason for looking for data on the NBN Gateway.
One topic they were considering was modelling the restoration of wetlands after minerals to see if it can be truly successful. Another topic might be to map out sensitive areas in relation to demographic areas and analyse ways in which conservation strategies may be implemented in conjunction with sustainable development plans for the communities. Since there are a number of ways they could approach either of these topics they were likely to base theire final choice on the data available to them. This use would be for an academic purpose, with only a few students on the course and the data would not be going out to the public.
This request was from a student studying Environmental Geoscience at Cardiff University and who was required to do a project involving Geographical Information Systems. They planned to look at the distibution of Red Squirrel within the UK as the basis for their project. For this reason they required the raw attribute and sensitive data to manipulatate and analyse and compare this with information on climate etc.
University College, Dublin
This request came from a researcher at University College Dublin, working on a project on liverfluke in Ireland on which they were developing a GIS model on the disease in Ireland. They wanted to obtain access to available records on the distribution of the intermediate snail host Galba truncatula (=Lymnaea truncatula) in Ireland and needed access to data on the NBN Gateway at resolution greater than 10km. Full resolution would help them to correlate the distribution to other variables such as climate, soil type, elevation, land use etc. They only required accurate location data of the snails and did not require any access to sensitive records.
University of Leicester
A student in Leicester was carrying out her PhD on flood vulnerability in Yorkshire and Humber. Part of the study was about the risk of flooding to wild animals, so the number and location of wild animals was a base input for her analysis.
The data she needed was a total number of 5 species groups at the finest geographical resolution, which was 10 km. She was using the data as an environmental indicator and looking at the number of species within the flood catchment as an indicator of environmental exposure to flooding. Ultimately the research will help to map the vulnerability of Yorkshire to flooding, which areas are more vulnerable and therefore need more attention in decision making.