The Foundation and the Peak District National Park Authority are among 10 organizations to secure funding through the Alan Turing Institute to tackle environmental issues.
Environmental and sustainability charities and non-governmental organizations have been chosen to participate in the Alan Turing Institute’s first combined Turing Internship Network (TIN) and Data Study Group (DSG) program.
The program will place researchers with PhDs in data science within organizations to work on their data challenges. Interns will use their technical and research skills to find new ways to approach these challenges, while gaining in-depth subject matter expertise.
In the Peak District, the funding will be used to develop an automated land cover classification for the 555 square mile national park, using satellite and aerial photography and a range of data science tools in partnership with the University of Cranfield, Bedfordshire.
David Alexander, Senior Data Research Analyst at Peak District National Park, developed this research with lecturers from Cranfield University.
David said: “No feature of the national park landscape is untouched by past or present human activity. However, new technologies, climate change, increasing numbers of people and changing lifestyles mean that our potential to alter the environment and the appearance of the landscape is far greater today than it is today. to any previous generation.
“Understanding land cover change at the landscape scale is fundamental to being able to measure the changes that are already happening, as well as the effect of the improvements we are making.”
The Foundation’s Fundraising Development Manager, Sarah Slowther, added: “Working together, the Foundation and the Peak District National Park Authority were in a unique position to access this exciting new stream of funding. .
“This funding gives us access to the expertise and knowledge of data scientists from across UK universities. This will not only support the priorities of the Foundation, but also the management plan for the national park as well as many other areas of our work.
The new joint initiative demonstrates Turing’s continued commitment to fighting climate change and learning more about its impact through data science and artificial intelligence (AI) research.
Organizations participating in the program are: Plymouth Marine Laboratory, Keep Wales Tidy and Keep Scotland Beautiful, Peak District National Park Authority, The Rivers Trust, Global Witness, John Muir Trust, National Oceanography Centre, Environmental Investigation Agency and Sustrans.
All focus on solving a wide range of critical environmental and sustainability issues.
Along with this research, successful participants will also prepare a related DSG challenge to be held towards the end of the six-month internship. Data science experts will then explore these challenges in more detail. The aim is for these projects to lead to longer-term collaborations with these organizations and others.
Chief Scientist Professor Mark Girolami said: “Bringing together data scientists and industry collaborators will harness our power to work together to tackle a range of environmental issues.
“We focused on environmental organizations because we are committed to finding solutions to some of the big climate-related challenges we face globally. The combined TIN and DSG program will offer innovative data science approaches to solving real-world problems. »
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