We are delighted to announce that Kit Macleod from the James Hutton Institute will be undertaking the latest SEFARI Fellowship. Kit will be working with colleagues from Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) and the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA), who are co-sponsoring this fellowship, to assess new opportunities for environmental monitoring in Scotland.
SEFARI Gateway fellowships aim to develop shared understanding between the Scottish Government Portfolio researchers and stakeholders, and prioritise areas for common effort that could be supported by research within the Strategic Research Programme.
Based on discussions between SEFARI Gateway, SEPA and SNH the fellowship will focus on two important topics:
- Improving the data pipeline, i.e. moving more swiftly/efficiently from the point at which data are gathered, through interpretation and analysis (including integration with other datasets) to the point of making data (and interpretations) available. This includes sharing of data between partners to make the widest possible use of those data that are collected.
- Using new technologies (and increasing the understanding of the potential for new technologies) to gather and process data, including new approaches (e.g. eDNA, earth observation), sensor platforms (e.g. automated recorders, satellite or drones), and data analytic tools (e.g. AI image processing), and possibly bridging the recorder age gap (might new technologies bring in a new generation of recorders).
These discussions have also indicated a clear need for development of a common understanding of the state of play regarding environmental monitoring - spanning both the physical and biological components of Scotland’s environment - and the opportunities that innovative monitoring techniques could bring. This could include, for example, integrating data relating to protected areas and the wider landscape to give a clearer picture of the ‘State of Nature’, or sharing understanding of current and potential monitoring and data-handling processes between stakeholders or identifying priorities for future research work on innovative monitoring techniques.