Policy case studies

NERC science is used by policymakers, regulators and intermediaries in a variety of ways. The case studies below provide some examples.

Dialogues for disaster anticipation and resilience

Sharing project findings with women in Malem Thierigne, Kaffrine District, Senegal'Dialogues for disaster anticipation and resilience' is an online resource of knowledge exchange approaches which have supported effective dialogue between the providers and users of science to build community resilience. It seeks to support an emerging community of practice, sharing experience from across scientific disciplines, regions and risk environments and considering impact on the part of all actors (scientists, at risk groups and partnering agencies).

Setting safe flying limits in ash clouds

Eyjafjallajökull eruptingThe eruption of Iceland's Eyjafjallajökull volcano in April 2010 caused the largest closure of European airspace since World War II. NERC's National Centre for Atmospheric Science (NCAS) supported the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) in developing more sophisticated rules to allow planes to fly in areas with a low density of volcanic ash, limiting the eruption's impact on the global aviation industry and saving it an estimated £260 million per day.

Forensic geology - improving public services

Geophysics screenState-of-the-art geological mapping and 3D visualisation techniques are improving public services by giving crime investigators the edge. Scientists can now travel below ground and into past landscapes, to direct the police towards the likely location of evidence and witnesses.

Valuing nature - National Ecosystem Assessment

CountrysideNERC research provided much of the information for the groundbreaking UK National Ecosystem Assessment (NEA), the first analysis of the UK's natural environment in terms of the benefits it provides to society and our continuing economic prosperity.

Planning for disaster

Earthquake damageNatural disasters around the world have highlighted the vulnerability of modern society to the forces of nature. NERC scientists can detect and analyse natural events as they happen, providing vital information for local and national authorities to plan for and respond to disasters, savings lives and avoiding disruption and economic losses.

Predicting new risks to human health

MosquitoChanges to UK climate and environment are already attracting new species of insects that have the potential to transmit a range of infectious diseases to humans. Environmental research is crucial for understanding how this threat might evolve and to help regulators mitigate against it.

Laying the groundwork for marine policy

TrawlerNERC's marine research has underpinned significant developments in marine policies. We respond to consultations and enquiries from UK, EU and devolved governments on government consultations or parliamentary enquiries on a range of issues including the future of the IPCC, invasive species, carbon capture and storage, and the UK and Scottish Marine Acts.