OPAL scientist's blog

Developing our next generation of environmental scientists

By Matt Keyse
OPAL Community Scientist, FSC Scotland

It was a cold but bright morning at St. Maurice’s pond in Cumbernauld. The weary February sun hovered just above the tree line, reflecting off of the thin layer of ice forming over the water.

With some trepidation a group of Greenfaulds High School students, currently studying the new Higher Environmental Science course, grabbed a variety of sampling equipment and made their way gingerly away from the car park towards the water. 

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What do you get when you mix mud, museums and minibeasts?

By Joanne Dempster
OPAL Community Scientist, Glasgow City of Science

Last month, we brought all these ingredients together to hold a weekend of citizen science workshops at the Glasgow Museums Resource Centre (GMRC), the first time we had run an event with the centre.

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Pond dipping with the Flintshire Disability Forum

By Iwan Edwards
OPAL Community Scientist, North Wales Wildlife Trust

One of OPAL’s objectives is to ensure everyone can get involved in exploring and monitoring their local environment.

And it was with this goal in mind that we first visited the Flintshire Disability Forum, a group which helps and supports people in the county who have physical disabilities.

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Lichen spotting and tree maths with Fairview Primary School

By Anna Lavery and Gretta McCarron
OPAL Community Scientists, Northern Ireland

We were delighted to welcome Fairview Primary School to Queen's University in Belfast this month as part of the university’s ESRC Festival of Social Science.

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Ashfield Girls get to grips with lichens

By Anna Lavery and Gretta McCarron
OPAL Community Scientists, Northern Ireland

On 6 November, the School of Education at Queens University and the Field Studies Council were delighted to welcome Ashfield Girls School to participate in the Economic and Social Research Council Festival at Queens.

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Help shape the future of OPAL surveys

By Laura Gosling
OPAL Evaluation and Data Manager

It’s starting to get cold, rainy and windy outdoors, so we don’t blame you if you're reluctant to go out and carry out OPAL surveys!

However, we have a nice, easy survey that you can fill in while sat at your computer (or on your mobile and tablet, of course!).

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Durling's designs on science

By Dr Poppy Lakeman Fraser
OPAL Coordinator

Ever wondered what air pollution looks like? Well, normally it’s rather difficult to see, but a talented OPAL participant, Jack Durling, embarked on a challenging project: to raise awareness about the (not-so-visible) environment, through the medium of design.

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Students study Scarborough tree health

By Dr Charles Lane
Consultant plant pathologist, Food and Environment Research Agency (Fera), York

Earlier this month I was joined by entomology colleagues from Fera, Neil Audsley and Howard Bell, to train a group of undergraduate students from Leeds University as part of their week-long field studies course at Scarborough with Prof Elwyn Isaac.

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