Biological recording is the activity of recording information on where a living organism, habitat or community is found, when it was seen and by whom. Biological records inform wildlife monitoring, research, nature conservation and policy, as well as helping to engage the public with nature and developing wildlife survey and identification skills.

iRecord is a free tool created by the Biological Record Centre to support naturalists and biological recording schemes and societies. It facilitates the submission of biological records into the complicated network of organisations that make up the UK’s biological recording community. It is an ever-evolving platform with many features and an ever-expanding user base, including over 700 registered record verifiers that contribute their taxon-specific expertise into the verification system.

This course will introduce learners to the basics of biological recording, such as grid references, data flow and verification. In addition, the course will give those new to iRecord (or those existing users that struggle with the platform) an introduction to the basic features of the platform and instil them with confidence when using iRecord to submit biological records.

  • 4-week online course for adults, with a weekly time commitment of 3-5 hours.
  • Access to study content, activities and tutor-graded assignments through the FSC virtual learning platform.
  • Access to weekly live virtual classroom sessions at the end of each week with the course tutor through Zoom (recorded for those that are unable to attend the live sessions).
  • E-certificate upon course completion.
  • This course will involve completing field assignments so learners will benefit from access to a garden or local park.
  • Please email [email protected] if you have any questions.

What topics are covered in this course?

  • REC101 Introduction to Biological Recording covers what a biological record is and introduces concepts such as data resolution, data quality and verification. The iRecord platform is introduced and learners are set up with accounts and access to the Discovering iRecord activity for future assignments.
  • REC102 Grid References & Submitting Records introduces the technical skills needed to submit records, including grid references and practical experience of submitting real biological records through iRecord in the form of a ‘mini-garden birdwatch’.
  • REC103 Data-Flow & iRecord Activities covers what happens to a biological record between the initial observation and use of the record by user groups such as conservationists, scientists and decision-makers. Assignments teach learners how to use different recording forms and look up individual species records on the iRecord system.
  • REC104 Exploring & Downloading Data looks at how data can be accessed in iRecord and where to go outside of iRecord to access national and even international datasets. Learners evidence that they can download their records, explore data held on the iRecord system and respond to verification queries through the assignments.

Course fees

Regular Price: £60   For professionals and residents outside of the UK.  Select ‘Attendee (Online)’

Subsidised Price: £20   Subsidised by the FSC BioLinks project for non-professionals eg. volunteers, biological recorders, wildlife gardeners, amateur naturalists and students.Available to UK residents only.   Select ‘Attendee Subsidised (Online)’

Tutor: Keiron Brown

Keiron Derek Brown first became interested in invertebrates during a field-based entomology module at university and went on to volunteer on soil biodiversity research projects at the Natural History Museum (London). This included sorting samples of invertebrates to order level and sampling invertebrates across the New Forest in Hampshire and the Malaysian rainforests of Borneo.

In his spare time, he is the national recorder for earthworms (running the National Earthworm Recording Scheme on behalf of the Earthworm Society of Britain) and the Chair of the Ecology & Entomology section of the London Natural History Society. Keiron now manages the FSC BioLinks project, with the aim of inspiring amateur naturalists to take up the identification and recording of invertebrate groups that are often forgotten and rarely recorded. The courses Keiron teaches include Discovering iRecord, Identifying Terrestrial Invertebrates with Microscopes and our various earthworm courses.

Live webinars

The webinars will take place every Tuesday for the duration of the course and there are two live webinar times available (1pm or 7pm GMT) to fit around your work schedule.

The webinars will take place on:

Tuesday 18th January 2022 at 1.00-1.45pm and 7.00-7.45pm
Tuesday 25th January 2022 at 1.00-1.45pm and 7.00-7.45pm
Tuesday 1st February 2022 at 11.00-1.45pm and 7.00-7.45pm
Tuesday 8th February 2022 at 1.00-1.45pm and 7.00-7.45pm

Attendees can choose to attend either the 1pm or 7pm webinars (the same content will be covered at both times).

Example Timetable

Week 1: Introduction to Biological Recording

Self-study material: available from 10am 11/01/2022
Assignments due: 7pm on 17/01/2022
Week 1 live webinar: 18/01/2022 (at either 1pm or 7pm)

Week 2: Grid References & Submitting Records

Self-study material: available from 7pm 18/01/2022
Assignments due: 7pm on 24/01/2022
Week 2 live webinar: 25/01/2022 (at either 1pm or 7pm)

Week 3: Data Flow & iRecord Activities

Self-study material: available from 7pm 25/01/2022
Assignments due: 7pm on 31/01/22
Week 3 live webinar: 01/02/2022 (at either 1pm or 7pm)

Week 4: Exploring & Downloading Data

Self-study material: available from 7pm 01/02/2022
Assignments due: 7pm on 07/02/2022
Week 4 live webinar: 08/02/2022 (at either 1pm or 7pm)

Final Deadline

The final deadline to complete any outstanding assignments and self-study components is 7pm 15/02/2022.

 

What's Included

  • Expert Tuition
  • Access to study content, activities and tutor-graded assignments through the FSC virtual learning platform.
  • Access to weekly live virtual classroom sessions at the end of each week with the course tutor through Zoom (recorded for those that are unable to attend the live sessions).
  • E-certificate upon course completion.

Bursaries and Subsidies

FSC BioLinks

FSC BioLinks is an exciting project for FSC in the South East and West Midlands, bringing together existing volunteers with skills in biological recording and identification, and new volunteers.

This project provides subsidised training courses, learning opportunities and digital tools focussed on invertebrate identification for anyone involved or interested in biological recording, to build and strengthen the community.

Invertebrates provide us with many useful ecosystem services, like pollination and decomposition, which we cannot survive without but their numbers are declining. Few people know how to identify or record invertebrates meaning there is a lack of data

We are delighted to have been awarded a grant of £1.23 million from the National Lottery Heritage Fund for this project.

Before You Attend

Once you've signed up to the course you'll receive an e-mail with access to the virtual learning platform (Moodle) a week before the first webinar.

Log on as soon as you can to familiarise yourself with the platform and course materials, and be sure to complete the first activities before the first webinar.

Webinars are delivered through Zoom, so you don't need to download any additional software to attend - just click the link just before the meeting is due to start and it will open in your web browser.

This course will involve completing field assignments so learners will benefit from access to a garden or local park.

Clear

If you would like to purchase a user licence for multiple school sites please contact us.