Upcoming Events

Some of our upcoming events are currently postponed or cancelled due to COVID-19. Please check back for further details soon, or join our mailing list to get emailed updates.

Enhancing Fieldwork Learning 10th Showcase: Online event 8-9 September 2020

Abstracts due: 19 June 2020 submit here 

The 10th Annual Showcase for the Enhancing Fieldwork Learning project will now be online! Please join us to discuss your #fieldworkfix and to learn about different solutions; including virtual fieldwork, using digital resources, remote teaching, using existing datasets, collecting local data and sharing using citizen science. More information here.

Tackling the roots of plant blindness, Leeds – Postponed (from 9 June 2020)

Join the Teaching and Learning SIG as they bring together experts to discuss plant blindness, its implications and how to tackle it.

School of Geography, University of Leeds, LS2 9JT

Keynote speakers:

  • Dr Mark Fennell, Associate Director of AECOM and expert in invasive plant ecology and management
  • Dr Susannah Lydon, Assistant Professor in Plant Sciences, University of Nottingham
  • Dr Jonathan Mitchley, Associate Professor and Senior Ecologist, University of Reading

More information, to submit an abstract (until 24 April), and to register for the event, please go here.

Young Nature UK 2020 – Connecting Children and Teenagers with Local Nature

UK research showcase and networking event

Royal Holloway University of London – postponed (from 22 -23 June 2020)

An exciting interdisciplinary event co-organised by Royal Holloway University of London, University of Brighton and the British Ecological Society’s Teaching and Learning Special Interest Group. This unique event will provide an opportunity to:

  • Showcase and share best-practice on research, interventions and impact evaluation related to connecting young people with nature on their doorstep, and the multiple benefits that can arise from this (e.g. educational, health & well-being, biodiversity/environmental).
  • Facilitate collaborations and identify demand-driven, scalable and cost-effective interventions.

Past Events

2019 British Ecological Society Annual Meeting, Belfast, 10-13 December

The Teaching and Learning SIG were be at this conference. We will had a social event, and ran the following workshop:

How to run the best fieldcourse to develop key graduate skills
Alice Mauchline (University of Reading) and Lesley Batty (Birmingham University)
The aim of this interactive, peer-peer workshop is to provide an informal but guided forum for experienced field educators to consider ways to enhance their teaching practice. We will focus on the attributes that employers require in ecology graduates and share best field-based teaching practice for developing key graduate skills.

9th Enhancing Fieldwork Learning showcase (University of Reading, 12/13th Sept 2019)

The EFL project team coordinates an annual Showcase event that brings together fieldwork educators from a range to disciplines to share innovations in field teaching and learning with a particular focus on the use of technology. The 9th Annual Showcase event was run by the Enhancing Fieldwork Learning project in collaboration with the British Ecological Society. As this year marked the 50th year of teaching Botany Masters Degrees at the University of Reading, the Showcase will included an interactive, field botany-based activity led by Drs Jonathan Mitchley and Alastair Culham (visit here for more details ).

Workshops at the 2018 British Ecological Society Annual Meeting (16-19 December, Birmingham)

7.30am Wednesday:  Join us for breakfast to discuss teaching & learning in ecology. We will have some teaching tools and technologies to show and demonstrate and welcome you to bring along any particular tech-based tools that you would like to  highlight for teaching ecology in both the field and classroom.

Lunchtime workshop: The Inclusivity Challenge
Lesley Batty (Birmingham University) and Dan Forman (Swansea University)

Lunchtime workshop: Setting up a successful field course workshop
Alice Mauchline (University of Reading) and Dan Forman (Swansea University)

For more information see the Annual Meeting website

2018, September 3-4: Enhancing Fieldwork Learning Showcase Event 2018

You can read a summary of this event in this post.

2018, October 12: Workshop: “Exploring the potential of citizen science approaches for development of undergraduate research skills”

For a summary of the event, please see the following post.

2018, April 27th: Research-Teaching Nexus Symposium, Birmingham University 

Ecology is taught as a subject through all levels of formal education and through many informal learning activities. Integrating current research knowledge and practice is vital to ensure that this education is kept current and relevant to today’s world. Similarly, providing opportunities for students to undertake research and develop key skills is imperative to provide trained ecologists for the future. This one-day symposium will provide a novel forum for discussion and sharing innovative ways in which research scientists and educators have explored the synergies between teaching and research in ecology. Keynote speaker: Professor Jeremy Pritchard from the University of Birmingham.

2017, December: Social event at the BES Annual Meeting

We had two events planned for the Ecology Across Borders: Joint Annual Meeting 2017 in Ghent Belgium. First, we had a social event on the evening of the 12th December where we invited anyone with an interest in teaching and learning in ecology to join us for some nibbles and drinks. Second was our early career workshop (details below).

2017, December: Early Careers Workshop at the BES Annual Meeting: “Building A Teaching Portfolio as an Early Career Researcher” run by Lewis Bartlett (our ECR rep)

Balancing research with gaining teaching experience is often a challenge for early career research ecologists, and can be exacerbated by working at non-teaching research institutes or spending extended periods of time in the field. Increasingly, universities look for professional accreditation as a mark of teaching excellence – such requirements demand a teaching portfolio, especially for those who want to take on a lecturing career full time. Understanding how to identify or create opportunities for teaching, with the goal of building a well-developed portfolio, is crucial to managing these challenges. In this workshop, we deconstructed example portfolios and outlined pathways to professional teaching accreditation in higher education. Participants identified their current strengths and areas for further development; the goal was to leave with the outlines of a portfolio already written, and specific ideas of how to fill experience gaps. We discussed how to tackle the education literature, and how to begin engaging with the ongoing development of ecological pedagogy – both necessary for landing professional accreditation. We also explored the extensive roles outreach and public engagement can play in building these portfolios. Finally, participants were introduced to major regional initiatives which will impact their teaching now and in the future, such as the European Commission’s RRI or the UK’s TEF. More information about this workshop can be found here.

2017 8-9 September: Enhancing Fieldwork Learning Showcase Event, University of Chester

The 7th Annual Showcase event was run by the Enhancing Fieldwork Learning project in collaboration with the British Ecological Society. Building on the previous showcases, the event aimed to share ideas and practice with regards to innovative field Teaching and Learning, with a particular emphasis on the use of mobile technologies. This two-day event showcased innovations in fieldwork pedagogy and provided a forum for discussion and sharing of good practice. The programme included a joint Plenary from Mark Langan and Phil Wheater, short talks and field demonstrations of technologies including drones, ArcGIS and techniques for collaborative data collection in the field. More information about this showcase can be found here.