This glossary is intended for anyone needing help with terminology used on this website. Please note that some of the definitions are specific to the context of the Nature Park. We will expand the list of terms over time as we learn from educators what is helpful and as we expand the resources available.
Software for recording and visualising geographic data (of many different types), allowing you to view, manipulate and analyse those data. GIS stands for Geographic Information Systems. ArcGIS software is developed and managed by Esri. It’s usually paid-for, but is made freely available to all schools.
The Esri app that is used by educators or other school staff to add information about the education site, including its boundary and later the habitats found there, to the online map. Other tools in the same app will be used by children and young people to view and draw on the map to support participating in Nature Park mapping activities.
GIS stands for Geographic Information Systems.
A biodiversity recording app that we will make available through the Nature Park website next year to enable students to make one-off observations of wildlife that are added to the Nature Park map. It has AI functionality that helps you to identify what you’ve seen and can be used now for free, to practice before adding wildlife data to the map in spring.
This is the word used by the Nature Park to mean land use changes and addition of wildlife and climate change features with the intention of increasing biodiversity and climate change resilience (e.g. adding a pond, growing grass longer in a particular area). On the website we will be providing full guidance about the different types of interventions that can be made to different habitats, starting now with changes you can make to enhance grey areas like walls or edges of playgrounds or car parks, to enhance biodiversity.
Defining habitat areas and wildlife features on school grounds, by recording data on digital maps. This is done by children and young people observing what’s there while an adult enters it onto the map with an easy-to-use digital tool in the FieldMaps app. All the guidance for habitat mapping will be available on the website in late 2023.
We will be providing activities that help schools measure whether there have been increases in biodiversity on their site. However, biodiversity increase takes a long time to happen – making changes now may have a small noticeable impact in the short-term (weeks/months) but will potentially have a much larger impact in the long term (years to decades). For this reason, we will also be using computer models that use large datasets to predict (model) the likely biodiversity of an area. This will complement any actual measurements a setting makes. Using modelling we can predict further in the future, which can help us choose which the most advantageous interventions would be, based on data and evidence.
The account where data for the Nature Park collected by education settings is stored. It is a public account so anyone can access the data. In order to submit data, for example about habitats, educators who register to join the nature park through the nature park website will automatically get a login to the Nature Park ArcGIS online account with the same login details.
When mapping habitats, schools can draw polygons (shapes) that cover an area e.g. of grass to mark habitats on the map. They’ll also be able to draw lines (e.g. fences) and add points (e.g. birdboxes) to show microhabitats on their map.
The Esri app that schools and pupils can use to collect data about their site like weather measurements, how shaded different parts are, or how people feel about different parts of the site. These data are collected using a form with a series of questions, hence the name survey!