Sunday, 23 November 2014

Desk-bound days

Location: JSA portacabin, base of the Old Control Tower
Crew: 1
Contract: 2.5 years to date


I might be embellishing slightly, but these past couple of weeks have been pretty flat out; entering a backlog of data, carrying out analyses and updating the networked drives ready for Gatwick's main Biodiversity Benchmark audit this week.

 In 'Moon', Sam's computer would talk back to him and made him tea

A Biodiversity Benchmark audit is a full-on 2 day assessment by The Wildlife Trust, covering everything from monitoring methodology, staff training and communication, management systems, data tracking and analysis to the action plans themselves. With help from Hannah and Karen in Gatwick's Environment Team (plus the GAL I.T Helpdesk), I've been sorting/syncing all of Gatwick's biological data and old ecological reports together onto the one network, sometimes using three different laptops at once.

Oh gahd not the fish

The Biodiversity Benchmark Award comprises of stringent rules and requirements (as it should), which are continually refined and updated making it a rather more involved process than it first sounds. It is given to encourage big business to perform better with long-term land management practices, thus proving a continued environmental commitment.

Plus some other reasons.

Thankfully on Friday, I had a brief interlude from my own data underworld to attend the National Biodiversity Network Conference (for which I'm very grateful to Penny Green at the Sussex Biodiversity Records Centre). Here we learned what happens to the UK's biological data (and places beyond) through inspirational talks given by some fascinating speakers. Charles Roper's 'speed-talk' on Open Data particularly stood out for me; the incredible power of the world wide web, how far we have already come and the future possibilities of data sharing.

The bigger picture: an intricate web of linked datasets as tracked by Charles to date

As if I needed more proscrastination fodder, I then found Charles' awesomely-written article for Adastra 2014, the Sussex Biological Recording annual reviewThe Future of Data Sharing

Anyhoo, once this audit is all over with I'm straight back outside to dig/saw/chase/record something. Will let you know of the outcome as soon as we know!