OPAL scientist's blog

Tree surveys and twitter takeovers – work experience with OPAL

By Sorcha Leavey
Work experience student

In June I spent a week doing work experience with OPAL, based at Imperial College London in the Centre for Environmental Policy.

Every day leaving South Kensington station I was welcomed with a lively buzz around the University buildings. At 10am on the first day, I arrived at the campus and went upstairs to the OPAL office. After meeting the friendly OPAL team and having a tour of the surrounding area it was time to start working!


In at the deep end – work experience with OPAL

By Kailin Summers
Student at Lycee Français Charles de Gaulle

Having spent critical time in my childhood in the tropics I gained a fair amount of exposure to the outdoors. A diving course opened my eyes to the world beneath the ocean – breathtaking. These experiences were probably my main inspiration to look for a work experience placement in environmental studies; that and the importance attributed to it at school in various subjects.


Tree health hunt in the Howardian Hills

By Dr Charles Lane
Consultant plant pathologist, Food and Environment Research Agency, York

I recently took a great walk on a lovely sunny evening in the Howardian hills in North Yorkshire with fabulous views over Castle Howard estate, an area of dense mixed woodland with a predominance of Ash but also Horse Chestnut and Oak.


Happy fifth birthday to OPAL surveys

Laura Gosling
OPAL evaluation and data manager

We have reached a big milestone for OPAL: this Sunday marks five years since we launched the first OPAL survey, the soil and earthworm survey.

It was an exciting time. No-one knew how the public would react – would people be interested in soil and earthworms? Would they take part? And if they did, would they submit their results?


Likin’ lichens!

By Dr Poppy Lakeman Fraser
OPAL Coordinator

Likin’ lichens – this is what many a London resident has been doing over the past fortnight.

Together with Pat Wolseley from the Natural History Museum, the OPAL team have been discovering different types of lichens that can be found in and around parks in the capital.

Leafy Xanthoria


Dara O Briain gets the lowdown on the OPAL tree health survey

It's not every day that your work gets a mention on a primetime BBC TV show. But last night, the OPAL tree health survey was among the projects covered on Dara O Briain's Science Club.

The programme focused on citizen science, looking at projects around the world harnessing the power of mass participation, such as Californians recording earthquake activity data on their laptops.


Help environmental research without even leaving your desk!

Sarah West
OPAL Community Scientist, Stockholm Environment Institute, University of York

In case you hadn't noticed, we're living in a digital age. We can shop online, meet new people online, watch TV and listen to radio online, and now we can also take part in citizen science projects online.


Garden Bioblitz 2013

Eleanor Reast
OPAL Community Scientist for London and the South East

Ever wondered just what’s living in your garden, or how many species can be found right on your doorstep?

I’ve recently discovered that this year sees the first ever Garden Bioblitz event take place across the UK, and to help answer those questions the team behind the event is encouraging everyone to get outside and get involved!


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