UK Government recognises achievements of its geographers

The second Geography in Government awards took place on 11 November 2020, hosted by the Royal Geographical Society,to mark the achievements of a broad profession of dedicated and talented individuals and teams across the public sector. The categories and winners were;

Jess Baker, Ordnance Survey, for developing cartographic colour schemes to make mapping more accessible for colour-blind users in the contribution to the profession category.

Data Science, Engineering and Remote Sensing Teams, UK Hydrographic Office for advancing geospatial data science by creating a deep learning model to detect and predict mangroves from satellite data.

Land and Property Services, Department of Finance, Northern Ireland for operational delivery for an innovative map application and data processing, enabling staff to access and use its data effectively.

Monitor of Engagement with the Natural Environment (MENE) team at Natural England for excellence in geo-visualisation and cartography for innovative tools to help users access, analyse and present data from the MENE Survey.

Regional Economic Development Team, Scottish Government, for work re-establishing Ayrshire as a functional economic geography and establishing a regional growth deal in the impact on policy category.

Urban Lab Team at Westminster City Council, for the deployment of data-driven solutions and innovative tools to save public money, generate new insight and improve citizens’ lives for excellence in local government.

The winner of the Geography in Government Award was the Monitor of Engagement with the Natural Environment (MENE) team, Natural England.

John Curnow, Director of Analysis at Defra said

The Monitoring Engagement with the Natural Environment is the largest survey of its kind and the new tool allows users to dig into place level data as never before using leading edge geo-visualisation skills to help the public and policy makers better understand how we engage with the environment. I would like to congratulate Nathan Shaw and the team at Natural England for an outstanding piece of work.

Gideon Henderson, Chief Scientific Advisor at Defra said

Defra Group is very proud of our geographers who are an important part of our science and analysis community. Many congratulations to Nathan Shaw and the team at Natural England for deservedly winning this prestigious award; a testament to the quality of our geographers, and the impact they are having as part of our multi-disciplinary approach to policy design and delivery.

Marian Spain, Natural England’s Chief Executive added

I am absolutely thrilled to be able to congratulate Nathan Shaw in the Natural England Evidence Team for winning his category (Excellence in geo-visualisation and cartography) for the work on the Monitoring Engagement with the Natural Environment tool, as well as winning the overall award! This is fantastic news and well deserved and I’d like to congratulate the whole team for the hard work they put into this incredibly important survey work. It produces such a wealth of information that is driving real changes in policy and practice by health and environmental professionals and so making a real difference for people. Congratulations to Nathan and the team from us all at Natural England.

Professor Sir Ian Diamond, Head of the Government’s Analysis Function added

We find ourselves in a time where ever greater innovation and collaboration is essential in order to provide timely insights into complex, multidisciplinary issues and the unique specialism of those within the Geography profession will be key to helping inform decision making and overcoming the key challenges facing our society and economy.

The Government Geography Profession was set up in 2019 and is a membership network of over 1,300 members from across central and local government. It joined the Geospatial Commission in 2020 and is also part of the Government’s Analysis Function.

If you are a geographer working in government you are able to access a range of support from webinars to job opportunities via its member site or by visiting the Government Geography Profession organisation page

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