QGIS tips - building a map background

DordogneI had a query today from someone who wants to use QGIS to show distribution maps of butterflies and moths for the Dordogne region of France. His question was about presenting a detailed background. Sourcing and creating map layers to build good looking backgrounds for distribution maps is probably one of the major hurdles for biological recorders wishing to use GIS to create distribution maps. To help answer his question I had a go at it myself and I thought it worth sharing what I found.

The Shropshire Cranefly Atlas has landed!

N Jones, licensed under Creative CommonsWe're delighted to report that FSC has a new publication - 'Shropshire Craneflies'. As well as being an up-to-date cranefly distribution atlas for Shropshire, it also includes a set of identification keys to the 245 taxa recorded in the county. Read more....

Gamification and Citizen Science

A new guest blog from Ben Deed, manager of Merseyside BioBank - the Local Environmental Record Centre for Merseyside - on gamification and citizen science. The concept of gamification has been around for a while. It is in essence making something enjoyable and 'game-like'. The reason for gamifying an activity could be to increase uptake or extend the use of a service or product by increasing interest, loyalty, enjoyment or otherwise affecting the behaviour or a user. With such a great potential for influencing the behaviour of people and their responses it is perhaps little wonder that gamification has been widely used, though often un-noticed, throughout our society. Gamification will generally include the implementation of a simplegame mechanics such as a straight forward reward based system using simple rules.

Solitary bee week - a review

The team photo!As we've all had cause to observe lately, a week is a long time in politics. But not, it turns out, when learning about solitary bees...

BioLinks workshops - register now!

Part of the micromoth collection at Liverpool Museum.  C BellEarlier this year I wrote about an exciting new project called BioLinks that the FSC is currently developing and hoping to bring to the West Midlands and the South East in 2017. I am currently part way through a series of workshops across the two proposed project areas, where I am consulting with biological recorders and sector professionals in order to determine how the project should be planned and what we should focus on. The consultations are providing amazing feedback and, as a result, I’ve organised extra dates and locations.

2016 UK Awards for Biological Recording & Information Sharing

Do you know an outstanding biological recorder or group? Why not nominate them for a UK Award? In their second year, these national awards have been set up by the National Biodiversity Network in partnership with the Biological Records Centre and the National Forum for Biological Recording and are generously sponsored by Swarovski Optik UK. They seek to recognise significant achievement and to celebrate success in biological recording.

The value of museum collections

Engaging butterfly collection at World Museum Liverpool.  C BellMuseum collections are an invaluable tool for taxonomists and biological recorders alike. As well as being invaluable, they are often under-valued and under-used. We should cherish and value our museum collections - and their curators - especially when so many of them are under increasing pressure.

New courses on Blowfly ID and ecology

Tomorrow's Biodiversity is delighted to announce a collaboration with Steven Falk on a new course introducing Blowfly (Calliphoridae) identification and ecology. In September 2016 Steven will be running two one-day workshops: one at FSC's new Bishop's Wood Centre in Worcestershire on Friday September 9th; and one at FSC Juniper Hall in Surrey on Saturday September 10th. This is a course suited to amateur naturalists who would like to increase their recording portfolio, forensic entomologists requiring training on identifying adults, and vets involved with sheep-strike analysis.

Shropshire Club Tail Survey - guest blog by Genevieve Dalley

Gomphus vulgatissimus. Photo: David KitchingThe British Dragonfly Society is excited to share with you the opportunity to get involved in the hunt for the elusive Common Club-tail Dragonfly!

BioLinks - we need your views! - guest blog by Keiron Brown

My name is Keiron Brown and I recently joined the Field Studies Council Biodiversity team. I would like to let you know about a project we are planning called BioLinks. BioLinks is an exciting new Heritage Lottery Fund biological recording project that the FSC is hoping to bring to the South East and West Midlands regions of England from 2017 for five years. Read more...

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