Science challenge

We wanted to significantly improve UKCEH and HEI's ability to tell engaging stories with NC data and analyses by

  1. increasing skills in data visualisation and visual storytelling,
  2. raising awareness of UKCEH NC datasets and analyses amongst HEIs, and
  3. improving our understanding of the limiting factors in data visualisation in environmental data science

Project summary

UKCEH held a visualisation-training event with three aims:

  1. Increasing capacity in UK-SCAPE and in HEIs for scientific staff to create engaging visualisations from their research
  2. Fostering awareness of UK-SCAPE data and knowledge.
  3. Supporting collaboration between staff funded on UK-SCAPE and researchers in the Higher Education Institutions (HEIs).

The training was attended by UKCEH staff as well as colleagues from Universities across the UK. Together we learnt about the secrets for good visual storytelling and used these skills to create visualiations of UK-SCAPE science, some of which you see below.


  1. To increase capacity for visual communication with a short training programme aimed at researchers from UK-SCAPE and staff from stakeholder HEIs.
  2. To co-create a range of visual outputs communicating UK-SCAPE research.
  3. To explore methods of improving data visualisation using design software, and mapping workflows between various statistical computing and graphics packages such as R or ggplot.
  4. Two-way engagement between UKCEH and HEIs focused on National Capability funded data and activities
  5. Engage end users in UK-SCAPE research and data products.


  • One workshop exploring our visualisation needs. What barriers are holding us back, and what new skills do we need?
  • Four training workshops covering design theory, hands on training in design software, and practical sessions applying these skills to our research.
  • One workshop evaluating the effectiveness of the training and the future of visual storytelling training needs.
  • One webinar disseminating the lessons learnt and the visualisations we created.

August, T, Moore Fuller, P, Roy, H, Dick, J. 2021. Visual storytelling using National Capability data. Wallingford, UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, 20pp. (UKCEH Project no. 06948) (Unpublished)