Ruth Garside, our colleague from the European Centre for Environment and Human Health and Alison Bethel, took an exciting and informative trip to the National Centre for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis to participate in a SNAPP workshop.


The Science for Nature and People Partnership (SNAPP) have developed and published a systematic map protocol, an interesting article in Nature and an impressive data portal called Evidence for Nature and People.

Ruth has been involved with the working group since its inception and invited Alison to attend as they had had little IS input to date.

The working group were impressive in their vision and way of working. They had a wonderful tech team from DataKind who developed the map and have been delving into the murky world of text mining. “DataKind brings high-impact organizations together with leading data scientists to use data science in the service of humanity”

wallThe workshop was over 2 ½ days, we broke out into sub-groups, wrote on the walls and whiteboards (lots), talked and discussed all kinds of ideas, suggestions and experiences. Everyone was helpful, involved and useful. Each person was listened to and given time to be heard. At the end of the three days we had an outline for at least two papers and concrete ideas of the next steps on this exciting journey.

Alison, an information specialist came away with these ideas:

  • use the >1,000 refs which they found from screening to discover which databases are best to search for conservation evidence
  • use the search which they used to develop a search filter for conservation studies in specific databases

Systematic reviewing is fairly new to the environment/conservation fields and although there is the Collaboration for Environmental Evidence, the published literature about how to search in the field is very young and therefore very exciting.


The group also found time to relax over dinner and we were particularly thrilled at going on a boat trip out into the Pacific where we were greeted with the unforgettable site of dolphins, sea lions, humpback whales and blue whales, the look on Ruth’s face says it all.

We left in a post-Trump haze but with an excitement about what we had achieved as a group and what would come next.