Tuesday, 22 September 2015

New UK awards to celebrate biological recording and information sharing.

Wildflowers really do get more interesting
the more closely you look at them!
Image courtesy of National Biodiversity Network
Biological recorders don't often get a chance to stand in the spotlight and receive well-deserved applause from their peers for all their hard work. 

Many News & Views readers will be able to think of a few people whose contributions to biological recording and information sharing are truly outstanding, raising the bar for the rest of us. 

Well, now there's a chance to acknowledge the contributions of those inspirational individuals, whether old hands or keen young enthusiasts. 

BSBI recorders at Rutland Water NNR, VC55
Image: M. Crittenden 

Over to Purba from the National Biodiversity Network to tell us more: 

The National Biodiversity Network (NBN) is now accepting nominations for the inaugural 2015 awards for outstanding contributions to biological recording, information sharing and improving our understanding of the UK’s wildlife. These awards have been developed by the National Biodiversity Network, the National Forum for Biological Recording and the Biological Records Centre and are sponsored by Swarovski Optik UK.

There are four award categories:
the Gilbert White youth award for terrestrial and freshwater wildlife
the Gilbert White adult award for terrestrial and freshwater wildlife
the David Robertson youth award for marine and coastal wildlife
the David Robertson adult award for marine and coastal wildlife

John Sawyer gets up close and personal with an orchid!
Image courtesy of National Biodiversity Network
The awards committee will consider the significance of the contribution (voluntary or otherwise) made to biological recording and/or improving our understanding of the UK’s biodiversity. This could include filling geographic or taxonomic gaps in our knowledge, encouraging and facilitating participation, verifying records, teaching or mentoring recorders, or creating and sharing tools and resources to support biological recording and increasing participation. 

If you, or your organisation, can think of any individuals or any groups of people that have made an outstanding contribution, please would you nominate them for the relevant award?  

John Sawyer, Chief Executive of the National Biodiversity Network said: “The NBN has received a number of nominations for the inaugural 2015 Awards for outstanding contributions to biological recording and improving our understanding of the UK’s wildlife. 

Biological recorders may have to brave the elements
 to get those records - a "Weather-writer" helps!
Image courtesy of S. Whild/BSBI T&E
“Surprisingly though, we’ve received a small number of nominations for young people (under 18 years old). We are sure there are plenty of youngsters who are on their way to becoming part of the next generation of recorders, so please think about whether there is a young star in your midst and nominate them for this award. 

“Let me also encourage you to support these inaugural national awards by nominating individuals or groups for the Gilbert White adult award for terrestrial and freshwater wildlife and also for the David Robertson adult award for marine and coastal wildlife.  But hurry, the deadline for nominations is 30 September 2015.” 

Click here for a nomination form. You can nominate one person, or group, for different categories using the same form.  If you wish to nominate more than one person or group please use a separate form for each nominee.


BSBI President Ian Denholm consulting 
Clive Stace's Flora of the British Isles
 - the 'Botanists' Bible'
Image: L. Marsh
The awards will be presented at a special ceremony on the evening of 19 November 2015 as part of the two-day NBN Conference in York on 19-20 November 2015.

Many thanks to Purba for sharing this and to John and the good folks at NBN for setting up these awards. 

BSBI President Ian Denholm said "These awards are an excellent idea from our colleagues at NBN. I would encourage botanists to participate by nominating any recorder who they feel has made an outstanding contribution to biological recording and information sharing. By showing our support and thanks, we can acknowledge excellent work carried out thus far and encourage our younger recorders to get more involved - they are the future of biological recording, so let's show how much we value them." 

So it's over to you now, botanists: ready, steady - nominate!