About the Challenges

During enviroSPRINT interdisciplinary teams worked together to address 5 Challenges. The Challenges cover a range of different, complex, often interrelated issues within the environmental sciences.

The nature of the Challenges meant PGRs from all disciplines made important and positive contributions, using the skills and approaches they have from their own research, whilst also being exposed to other subject areas and being motivated to think innovatively.

Each Challenge was led by a doctoral training partnership (DTP) in collaboration with industry, policy and charitable organisations.

These Challenge pages provide an overview of the background to the issues, along with related resources that were supplied to the Teams.

Over the 3-day enviroSPRINT, Teams rapidly investigated their Challenge area, identified a key problem and innovated potential solutions. The Teams demonstrated a prototype of their solution to a panel of expert judges who assessed the novelty and feasibility of the concept, along with the quality of the presentation, and selected a winner. Alongside this, each Team produced a 90-second summary of their idea to share with a wider audience. These can be viewed on the Team pages which are linked from each Challenge page:

Challenge 1 – Sustainability of wetlands for the economy, environment and society

With increasing interest in wetlands for wastewater bioremediation, flood management, and agriculture, how can such goals be achieved sustainably whilst optimising biodiversity and other natural capital values?

Challenge 2 – Nature-based solutions to climate change

How can natural ecosystems be used for climate change adaptation and mitigation?

Challenge 3 – Greenhouse gas removal – how to solve societal, economic and scientific barriers to implementation

More than a dozen geoengineering approaches have been suggested as a means of removing greenhouse gases from the atmosphere – which ones are most likely to solve the societal, economic and scientific barriers to implementation?

Challenge 4 – How can we mitigate climate change through soil carbon management?

How can we manage land to increase soil carbon and mitigate climate change, whilst considering biodiversity restoration and increasing demands to feed growing populations?

Challenge 5 – How might we make deep-sea mining sustainable?

With a shift in focus to the deep-sea for mineral resources, how do we balance the needs of our technology-hungry society with exploitation of pristine abyssal marine environments?