LifeWatch ERIC newsletter | Issue 08 | February 2021

The first newsletter of 2021 is cram packed with stories from aound Europe to keep researchers in biodiversity and ecology systems and data scientits up to date with initiatives that may well affect their lives. Featuring nine stories for the first time, and distributed by direct mailing to 380 subscribers, you can read the full newsletter online here.

The lead features the success of the ENVRI community International Winter School on data FAIRness. After frustrating months of having what was originally the Summer School postponed by the global Coronavirus pandemic, staff from LifeWatch ERIC, the University of Amsterdam and the ICOS Carbon Portal delivered the data management curriculum to 32 satisfied participants online.    

LifeWatch ERIC was happy to contribute to a ScienceDigital@UNA75/ERA workshop on innovation in Agri-food systems with a particular focus on AgroEcology in early February. A study at the VLIZ Alien Species Consortium has shown a 15% increase of alien species in the North Sea in the last decade. A LifeWatch ERIC presentation at an AERAP workshop in mid-January helped to create a vision for a shared European-Africa geoscience infrastructure. Citizen scientists in Portugal have become involved in updating the Herbarium database at the University of Coimbra, helping to speed up the digitalisation of the catalogue's records.

The Flanders Marine Institute has refined a further 90 datasets which now become part of EurOBIS, an important building block in the LifeWatch Species Information Backbone. The ERIC Forum leadership team were confirmed in their roles in January in recognition of their achievements in difficult times. The Flemish LifeWatch Consortium has had additional funding confirmed, allowing it to take their data systems and observation infrastructures to a new level. And EcoLogicaMente, an Italian web platform, now provides school students with a range of professionally curated learning materials in the field of ecology.     

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