Understanding Uncertainty in Environmental Modelling Workshops 2014-15

It was genuinely one of the most interesting and thought-provoking events that I've attended.

UUEM participant 2015



22-24 September 2014 (residential)

8-10 January 2015 (residential)

4-6 March 2015 (non-residential)

CATS hosted three workshops for early-career researchers on 'Understanding Uncertainty in Environmental Modelling'.  The courses were funded as part of NERC's Advanced Training Short Courses scheme and were open to all, although NERC-funded researchers and students were given priority.  

Workshop organiser: Dr Erica Thompson

Course description

Modelling and simulation are an increasingly important part of modern science, especially in highly policy-relevant disciplines such as ecosystem modelling, natural hazards, and climate projection.  Good practice in the use and interpretation of models is therefore vital, both for sound science and for informing evidence-based policy decisions.  The workshops will present an overview of model evaluation methods, statistical inference for model output, and the use of models in risk management and decision-making, with the aim of exposing participants to methods and insights available in environmental modelling and encouraging critical evaluation of the approaches and methodologies used in their own research.  The workshops will be structured around several themes, with facilitated discussion time and interactive problem-solving exercises, allowing participants to explore and understand the concepts presented by the expert lecturers.  Participants will leave with an overview of the key issues of uncertainty in environmental modelling, an understanding of how these affect their own research methods and where to find expert guidance and further information.  Each course includes a poster session and practical exercises.


All workshops will be primarily concerned with concepts and methods rather than specifics, and therefore should be very generally applicable to any environmental modelling application.  The two residential workshops will, however, be "themed" both to encourage networking and to allow use of the most relevant examples.  We would encourage those in the fields of weather/climate/natural hazards to apply for September’s workshop, and biological/ecological modellers to apply for January. This is not meant to be exclusive: we still aim to cover a wide range of topics at each workshop and will not look less favourably on other applications.  

For the non-residential workshop, there is no theme apart from the geographical "theme" - we hope to encourage networking between researchers at London-based institutions, and so preference will be given to London-based applicants.  Those based outside London are welcome to apply but will need to arrange their own accommodation.

Feedback from the previous workshop

"The workshop covered a wide range of carefully picked topics and has pointed me to the right direction to find out the answers to some of my questions"

"Useful for writing up my thesis"

"Friendly atmosphere"

"I have been in a few other workshops looking at similar topics but this has been (by far!!) the most useful"

How to apply

Please send cats@lse.ac.uk an email with “UUEM workshops” in the subject heading, containing the following details:

  • Your name and email address
  • Your institution and position (e.g. PhD student, post-doc, etc.)
  • Your funding source (e.g. NERC)
  • One sentence describing your current research topic
  • Which workshop(s) you would like to apply for (September, January or March)

If you are available on more than one date, please state clearly.  Only one application is needed.  Unsuccessful applicants for the September workshop will be able to put forward their application for consideration in the second round.  


NERC-funded applicants will be given priority, but the courses are open to all.

Travel, accommodation and all meals are provided for the residential courses.  Courses begin in the morning and accommodation is available for the previous night (i.e. for the September workshop, accommodation is provided for the nights of 21/22/23 Sept).  Courses end approximately 4pm on the final day.

The non-residential course in March includes lunches, refreshments and a workshop dinner, but no accommodation is available.