Research Opportunity With Tyne Rivers Trust and Newcastle University

Research Opportunity: Monitoring the impact of Green Infrastructure using Citizen Science in Urban Rural Catchments

Lead Supervisor: Dr Claire Walsh, National Green Infrastructure Facility, Newcastle University

Project Description:
Urban and rural environments face a range of pressures and impacts as a result of extreme weather events, including flooding, which are projected to increase in frequency and severity with climate change. Green infrastructure (GI) measures, such as sustainable drainage systems (SuDS) and natural flood management (NFM), are being used across the UK and internationally as a result. Although GI techniques have the potential to offer multiple benefits, the evidence-base is still inadequate as interactions are complex, preventing widespread uptake [1]. Citizen Science (CS) has enabled the general public to work alongside scientists and researchers to co-produce new knowledge across a range of environmental disciplines. This participatory approach has been implemented in the water management sector, and policy frameworks welcome the involvement of communities [2,3]. However robust monitoring methods are yet to be developed. This cross-disciplinary project aims to co-develop, test and evaluate a GI orientated CS monitoring toolkit which uses a range of cost-effective and innovative techniques. Working in various community settings for comparison, the monitoring programme will provide evidence associated with the value of CS (as a monitoring technique) and report on the effectiveness and maintenance of various GI measures investigated. The candidate will work alongside the National Green Infrastructure Facility (NGIF), Northumbria University, Tyne Rivers Trust (TRT) and urban and rural community groups across the NE of England. A variety of desk-based, stakeholder engagement and hydrometric fieldwork techniques are envisaged, will expand on previous projects such as the Haltwhistle Burn and My Tyne, and will have access to NGIF’s laboratory. The candidate will benefit from an exciting training package, including opportunities and networking offered through partners. This PhD will specifically develop fieldwork, engagement, participatory, citizen science, water management and data visualisation skills which are crucial in today’s water and climate change sector.

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