Amy Challis is the Scottish Raptor Monitoring Coordinator (SRMC).
Amy is passionate about nature conservation and since completing her PhD at the University of Stirling in 2007 has worked for the RSPB in various roles in Northern England, Scotland and most recently Wales. During the three years Amy worked as a Conservation Officer for the RSPB in Tayside & Fife she enjoyed monitoring the breeding Hen Harriers within the Forest of Clunie SPA and coordinating and participating in wintering Red Kite roost counts in Perthshire. Before starting in her current role Amy spent the last three years working as a Data Manager for the RSPB in Wales. Amy is passionate about data quality and integrity as the cornerstone for an evidence-based approach to conservation and hopes to draw on this experience in her current role to be able to provide the best data possible to help secure the future of raptors in Scotland.
Amy’s principal responsibilities include:
- To coordinate raptor population monitoring in Scotland for the SRMS, in partnership with members of the SRMG, and other individuals and organisations with an interest in raptors. This involves undertaking and organising all aspects of the routine operation of the Scheme, under the management of the Head of BTO Scotland and the SRMG. It includes taking responsibility for delivery and updating of the agreed SRMS workplan.
- To ensure the smooth and timely delivery of annual SRMS data collation.This involves liaising with SRMG partners and volunteer contributors (particularly members of the Scottish Raptor Study Group) to encourage timely data submission and effective and standardised use of electronic recording software, annual updating of coverage information, and the auditing and checking of records ready for reporting purposes.
- To take responsibility for the secure storage and efficient flow of SRMS data.This involves ensuring that the master database is updated in a manner consistent with analytical needs each year, that a copy is lodged annually with RBBP, and that SRMS data are shared with SRMS partners (e.g. for specific casework purposes) and third parties (including the NBN) following the terms of the SRMS Agreement, and any further licensing of use agreed by the SRMG.
- To organise and undertake production of the SRMS report, with the support of editors from the SRMG, and any other annual outputs. This involves preparing data for analysis, maintaining analytical programmes, liaising with editors, production, printing and circulation to volunteers and stakeholders.
- To ensure high standards of field data collection and collation, leading to robust scientific outputs from the SRMS.This involves ensuring that best practice guidance and training is available to volunteers, and advising individual volunteers on study design, field craft and data inputting as required.
- To act as the main point of contact for all raptor monitoring volunteers and organisations with an interest in raptors in Scotland, keeping them motivated to support the SRMS and updated on SRMS activities and outputs. This includes dealing impartially with queries from individuals and organisations about raptors and the work of the SRMS, production of a bi-annual e-newsletter for volunteers, attendance at SRSG regional meetings and Chairs meetings and the SRSGs’ annual conference, and other periodic activities designed to build ownership and awareness of the SRMS amongst contributors.
- To substantially increase levels of participation in raptor monitoring in Scotland, by promoting the SRMS to suitable audiences through a range of media and attendance at appropriate events. This includes planning and implementing an annual programme of promotional work and training opportunities aimed at existing and new volunteers, in agreement with the SRMG and with the assistance of BTO volunteer training staff, SRMS partner organisations and invited experts.
- To ensure the SRMS has a high profile amongst its partners and ‘customers’ (data users, conservationists, policy makers, stakeholders) by promoting the Scheme and its outputs widely. This includes planning and implementing an annual programme of promotional work aimed at appropriate audiences via a range of media (conference talks, meetings with stakeholders, web-based materials) and ensuring the sharing of best practice (SRMS experiences) for the good of raptor monitoring in other parts of the UK and further afield.
- To take responsibility for the SRMS web pages, ensuring they are fit for purpose and updated regularly. This involves reviewing them regularly, and writing and commissioning new content, in liaison with the SRMG.
- To contribute to the continuing enhancement of the SRMS, to increase its coverage, effectiveness and operational efficiency, working with the Head of BTO Scotland and the SRMG and as agreed in the SRMS work plan. This likely to include enhancements to annual reporting outputs, web page development, the move towards on-line data submission, work to facilitate data flows, the launch and running of a new entry-level raptor recording scheme, collation of pre-2003 datasets, and the strategic development of raptor monitoring coverage in Scotland (including support for monitoring of SPAs, national and long-term surveys involving raptors, improved coverage of widespread species, increasing representative coverage of all species).
- To act as Secretary for the SRMG. This involves preparing papers and agendas for meetings, organising venues and attendees, taking and agreeing minutes, monitoring action points, and supporting the SNH Chair of the SRMG in SRMS-related work.