Environmental engagement projects receive COVID-19 funding awards
Five innovative public engagement projects to tackle challenges caused by COVID-19 have received funding from the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC).
The projects have received up to £10,000 each and will help to understand, address and mitigate the impact of the pandemic on the environment and society.
Starting immediately and continuing until March next year, the projects are:
- An online lesson programme hosted by the University of Lancaster where children are taught about environmental science using Minecraft.
- A Queen Mary University of London scheme to develop an online observatory for the River Chess, a threatened chalk stream that is home to important wildlife.
- A collaborative partnership led by the National Centre for Atmospheric Science (NCAS) which will bring together an author, illustrator and web developer to make an interactive online short story for 7 to 11-year-olds. The story will explore changes in air pollution due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
- A citizen archaeology programme to gather crowd-sourced digital data and study evidence for rates of historic coastal change in Essex that will better inform regional flood resilience debates (Museum of London Archaeology).
- A Natural History Museum storytelling project using open data compiled by Google and other providers of mobility trends during the COVID-19 lockdown, gathering perspectives from the public and hosting a live online event with museum scientists.
Alison Robinson, Director of Corporate Affairs, Futures & Change at the Natural Environment Research Council, said:
“The COVID-19 pandemic has changed our interaction with the environment and environmental science. The environment has been a source of wonder and joy during this time – and this time has also demonstrated that tackling environmental challenges remain as important as ever to us all.
“This investment in public engagement signals our commitment to working with our community to ensure NERC-funded researchers can continue to make their science accessible to the public throughout the pandemic and to allow people to stay engaged with wider environmental topics in new ways.”
For more information about the projects visit:
- Lancaster Environment Centre, University of Lancaster
- Queen Mary University of London
- National Centre for Atmospheric Science (NCAS)
- The Museum of London Archaeology
- The Natural History Museum
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