Introducing our project manager - Mike Hutchins

Mike is the lead-PI on the POLLCURB project. As well as coordinating and managing the project activities, he is undertaking water quality model applications. Prior to the start of the project, Mike used the QUESTOR model of river water quality, in conjunction with models representing future climate and rainfall-runoff, to predict changes in River Thames water quality likely to occur during the 21st Century. In POLLCURB the intention is to refine these predictions by also considering the effect of projected urban growth, alongside other manifestations of future landuse change.

Working with Citizen Scientists

CEH scientists working on the POLLCURB project have teamed up with Earthwatch to train citizen scientists in carrying out water quality monitoring. The collaboration has come about via Earthwatch’s Freshwater Watch programme, which aims to study fresh water quality around the globe by engaging employees from participating organisations as citizen scientists.

Mapping long term land use change

Scientists at CEH and BGS have collaborated to produce a novel method for mapping long-term land use change in urban areas using historical topographic mapping produced by the Ordnance Survey. The mapping of Urban and Suburban land-use was subsequently used to derive mapping of impervious cover and was calibrated using mapping of impervious cover derived from aerial photography(See below the image, Miller and Grebby 2014)

Introducing our scientist fellow - James Miller

James is a hydrological scientist at the CEH working primarily in the field of Urban Hydrology - researching the links between land use change and its impacts upon the local and regional hydrology. He is currently overseeing a large-scale monitoring programme across two urban areas – in Swindon and Bracknell – taking high-resolution measurements of stream and storm drain flows, soil moisture, water quality and rainfall. This data is being used to develop models of the local and regional impacts of urban land use change upon river flows and river water quality.

Site visit in Summer 2013

This meadow near a new housing estate by the Cut in Bracknell serves as a flood detention storage area. The video 

                                                                                             Video custody of James Miller

shows the response to intense summer rainfall. 

The engagement of citizen scientist in the POLLCURB project

Water quality monitoring is important for us to understand the synergies and trade-offs between land use change and water quality as well as to implement water framework directive (WFD). The participation of citizen scientists is important for us to understand the wider issues of water quality in well-being and increase the resolution of sample collection as they help to increase the sampling resolution. CEH/POLL-CURB project is working with Earthwatch Institute/SHELL on providing training and education sessions for citizen scientists. 


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