About the challenge

We’re calling for environmental researchers data and visualisation specialists to join a Natural Environment Research Council (NERC, part of UK Research and Innovation) – funded Hackathon in July 2022 that will run in parallel with the Constructing a Digital Environment Conference #CDE22. It will take place from Sunday 10th July to Tuesday 12th July at the University of Birmingham but remote participation is also encouraged. Entrants will work together or individually to draw on digital data from NERC EDS, Copernicus and NASA to to turn scientific data into art creations, in any format, to enhance the communications between scientists and the public.

In the Hackathon, we will provide delegates with access to data within the NERC Environmental Data Service. This data encapsulates a unique body of insightful knowledge describing environmental themes such as levels of atmospheric pollution, ecological impacts, soil and water quality. However, participants may use any alternative environmental dataset they can access. The participants are suggested to consider the following aspects in developing your artwork for communicating environmental science with the public:


• Social justice
• Hopeful futures
• Worst-case scenario
• Human-scale visions of risk
• From a child’s perspective
• Engaging with uncertainty
• High-tech future
• Ecotopia
• Time & temporality
• Desert planet
• Sustainability
• Human behaviour
• Climate change
• Environmental quality
• Conservation

Regional Scale
  • UK city
  • UK region
  • UK
  • Europe
  • Any other continent
  • Any other country
  • Other geographical area
Temporal Scale
  • century
  • decade
  • year
  • season
  • month
  • week
  • day
  • Temperature
  • Rainfall
  • Sea level
  • Land cover
  • Storm
  • Disasters
  • Water quality
  • Biodiversity
  • Socio-economic
  • Infrastructure
  • Transportation
  • Migration
  • Population
  • Human footprints
  • Elevation
Art Medium
  • Painting
  • Skit
  • Sculpture
  • Public art installation
  • Immersive experience
  • Interactive Website
  • Poetry
  • Short film
  • Photography
  • Performance art
  • Music
  • Stand-up comedy
  • Poster
  • Infographics
  • Games

We encourage the formation of teams for entering the hackathon and encourage these teams to adopt a multi-disciplinary approach. Teams may be formed before the Hackathon starts, but this can happen during the brainstorming session, where people with the same or similar ideas will be grouped to form additional teams, or join existing ones

Get started

The Hackathon will run in parallel with the main #CDE22 events, participants will be required to register to attend #CDE22 (which is free of charge) for in-person or remote attendance. The Hackathon will share networking space, lunch and refreshments with the conference sessions – participants are encouraged to attend the oral and keynote sessions and embed the knowledge presented into the solution. The judging will take place on Tuesday afternoon (but may not be announced until later) and there will be opportunities to present briefly to the conference. In-person participants will get free snack food on Sunday and Monday evenings in additional to the free conference lunch and refreshments during the day on Monday and Tuesday.


What to Build

Though digital environment data is your source information, the output is not necessary to be in digital format, and the creation of physical objects, artwork and prototypes will be considered equally with digital solutions.

What to Submit

A video, and presentation of your output to be submitted to this Devpost page. This should include a narrative explaining what you did and the methods and outcomes you reached. You will significantly uplift the judging panel’s view of your work if you can show how you have drawn from the NERC data centre or other resources.

Hackathon Sponsors


£5,000 in prizes

First Place

Second Place

Third Place

Devpost Achievements

Submitting to this hackathon could earn you:


Albert Chen

Albert Chen
Exeter University

Stephen Hallett

Stephen Hallett
Cranfield University

Iseult Lynch

Iseult Lynch
Birmingham University

Keichii Nakata

Keichii Nakata
Henley Business School

Emma Bee

Emma Bee

Carl Watson

Carl Watson

Judging Criteria

  • Information content (30%)
    What environmental science subject do you want to communicate with the public? Why it is important to highlight on the particular issue? How do you analyse data to generate the information being utilised in your output?
  • Originality and Creativity (15%)
    The novelty in the methodology of analysis and/or presentation
  • Artistic merit (25%)
    The quality and viability of artwork to effectively communicate environmental science with the public
  • Technological implementation (20%)
    The technical or technological skills required for the creation.
  • User experience (10%)
    Easiness for users to understand and/or interact via the artwork.

Questions? Email the hackathon manager

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Hackathon sponsors

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