Blog

Welcome to the Thriving Earth Exchange’s (TEX) blog space. The purpose of the blog is to inspire thinking, open-participation and discussion on particular topics or themes. We encourage you to leave comments on any blog post by clicking through to each post and sharing your thoughts at the bottom.

     

What Would I do With an Earth Scientist?

By Raj Pandya, Director, Thriving Earth Exchange This blog was originally posted by Meeting of the Minds.   It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a community in possession of a good population must be in want of an Earth Scientist. OK, not true – but I wish it was. I think there should be […]

Wondering how you can help flood victims? Contribute to long-term flood resilience in a community near you.

The recent devastation in Texas, Florida, South Asia and other areas has drawn a lot of attention to big questions about climate, development and the risk of future disasters. But if history is any guide, the attention to those questions can ebb as the waters recede. Events like these offer a stark reminder that if […]

Science is Knowledge, Knowledge is Power…and vice-versa

By Raj Pandya, TEX Director   Science is entangled with issues of power, and community science – either explicitly or implicitly – is about exploring and challenging that entanglement. Grappling with these power dynamics can make for an uncomfortable conversation, for scientists especially but also for community leaders, but it is an important conversation to […]

TEX Responds to Hurricane Harvey

TEX works with communities to improve their resilience by leveraging Earth and space science to prepare for and mitigate the threats posed by destructive storms, flood and other hazards. Flood Forum USA supports grassroots flood groups across the country by helping them develop strategies for a sustainable future, and TEX is working with ten of their […]

Santa Cruz focuses on finalizing SLR assessment, social vulnerability analysis and outreach plan

In June, the team received feedback from an internal/external review (inclusive of local and technical scientific advisors) of the draft. Pending a few additional responses to comments and receipt of vulnerability maps from consultants, the final draft will be ready as scheduled.   The City has been very involved in applying for technical assistance through […]

Forging Partnerships Beyond the “Village”

Sometimes, a village isn’t enough. When grappling with complex problems like climate change or resilience, those who manage cities and counties often need to bring in expertise from beyond their local community and learn from the collective experience of others facing similar challenges.    The International City/County Management Association (ICMA) is a global association made […]

As Summers Bring Searing Heat, Cities Turn to Innovative Maps 

By Anne Johnson The heat of the summer is not just a nuisance but a significant public health threat. In most years, extreme heat causes more deaths than any other type of weather-related disaster. The danger is most acute for elderly people, who are more vulnerable to the effects of heat, and for people living […]

Urban Resilience Summit Brings Resilience Leaders from Around the World

During the week of July 24, 2017, an impressive group of experts and practitioners from all over the world gathered in New York City to talk about urban resilience at the 100 Resilient Cities (100RC) Urban Resilience Summit.  The summit united Chief Resilience Officers (or CROs) and their staff, strategy partners (organizations that provide strategic […]

What is and isn’t science? How I learned not to sweat the boundaries.

By Raj Pandya In the last several months, I’ve had lots of prompts to think about how science fits into the wider world. It started with questions about a TEX project that seeks to use scientific data to update indigenous communities’ traditional ecological calendars. The concern was that the calendars themselves aren’t based on scientific […]

Communities and Experts Collaborate for Climate Resilience

This article was initially posted in Eos on July 11, 2017.  The Resilience Dialogues program provides resources and expertise to help communities build individualized plans for resilience in the face of climate change. By Nancy D. Lamontagne   Climate change is global, but its effects are felt locally. Although many communities try to plan for […]

Evanston’s Sensor Deployment Budget Gets Preliminary Approval

On 23 June 2017, the Evanston TEX team met with 3 Evanston aldermen, 3 community members and 5 Evanston city staff to discuss the budget for the proposed air quality monitoring work Gaj Sivandran intends to do with Evanston as part of their project. The meeting successfully concluded with the aldermen approving Sivandran’s budget proposal […]

Bringing Science to the Table

TEX Director, Raj Pandya, participated in the first session of the University of Colorado Boulder Engaged Scientist Series. This program was designed to provide a source of knowledge and continued support for building relationships between scientific research and community engagement.  Following the event, Amanda Grennell (CU Boulder) shared what she learned on the blog, Science […]

Refining Budget Recommendations for Air Pollution Monitoring

After their introductory meeting in late March 2017, the Evanston TEX team has determined that its major deliverable will be to cost out what a monitoring plan would look like, inclusive of samples and instruments that they would do, by end of summer 2017. TEX scientist, Gaj Sivandran (Loyola University) along with colleague, Mark Potosnik […]

Chelsea team meets local Environmental Justice organization and gears up for summer public meeting

In the Chelsea-TEX team has made strong strides towards completing a overall climate vulnerability assessment. They have been able to meet with most stakeholders in the community and have only two remaining meetings. The highlight of their stakeholder meetings was meeting with Chelsea GreenRoots, a local environmental justice group. Chelsea GreenRoots does a lot of […]

TEX Partner, ICMA, highlights science impact in three ICMA communities

In their May 2017 of PM Magazine, TEX partner, the International City and County Management Association (ICMA), highlighted stories from three ICMA communities collaborating with TEX scientists. Bob Hart, formerly of Kennedale, TX (now with Corinth, TX), Laura Allen (Berlin, MD), and Becky Merrow (Colebrook, NH) describe how their scientific partners are helping their towns […]

Santa Cruz makes a solid start refining its project scope

The Santa Cruz, CA team met each other and commenced their community science project in late February. Since then, the team, comprised of Tiffany Wise-West, with Santa Cruz’s Climate Action Program, Ben Preston, RAND, and Juliano Calil, University of California – Santa Cruz, have made significant strides towards updating the city’s climate vulnerability assessment. Ben Preston will […]

Remediation of Berlin Falls to start Monday

The March 23, 2017 issue of the Bayside Gazette featured an article about the remediation of Berlin Falls and the community’s partnership with TEX to determine the types of bacteria present in the sediment.  Click here to read the article.

Colebrook team has their first meeting

In their first meeting (via phone because Dave Ellerbroek, the scientific lead, is remote), the Colebrook team discussed the data the town has shared. They are now ready to move on to what the information means.  Becky had prepared a sheet of the different treatment options that the town is considering which proved useful to the […]

DC team analyses preliminary 911 data and makes initial assumptions of areas most susceptible to heat

The DC team met on March 13th to discuss the preliminary results. The data that they received from the DC Fire and Emergency Management Services (FEMS) Department reveals that there is a high incidence if 911 calls in Wards 2, 5, 7 & 8. Many downtown calls had no home address, presumably indicating that they […]

Brandywine, MD Project Team Has First Meeting

The Brandywine, MD-TEX project team had their first meeting on February 28, 2017 in the classroom of a JoAnn Fabrics store in Brandywine, Maryland. Kamita Gray, President of the Brandywine BTB Coalition, Akua Asa-Awuku, Associate Professor at the University of Maryland, and Melissa Goodwin, Project Liaision for the Thriving Earth Exchange used the 1-hour meeting […]

Brandywine-TEX Project Launched

The Brandywine, MD-TEX project launched in January 2017. BTB Coalition president Kamita Gray will work with Dr. Akua Asa-Awuku, an associate professor at the University of Maryland – College Park. Kamita and Akua will work together to assess the air quality impacts from local industrial activity and communicate those impacts to local residents to facilitate […]

TEX Year in Review: 2016

In 2017, TEX will expand the number of projects we support, develop new ways to advance community science, and raise funds to sustain and grow our impact. Even as we look ahead, the TEX team would like to thank you and celebrate what we’ve accomplished together in 2016.   Community Impact TEX has launched nearly […]

Community Climate Resilience Program Announces 10 New Community Projects

WASHINGTON, DC – The Resilience Dialogues, a public-private collaborative effort to help local communities address climate-related vulnerabilities, today announced 10 communities will participate in the collaboration’s beta phase. Through the Resilience Dialogues, the communities will explore their risks from climate variability and change and work through a series of facilitated online dialogues with subject matter […]

Berlin, MD at AGU Fall Meeting

Laura Allen attended AGU’s 2016 Fall Meeting in San Francisco, CA to present a poster highlighting recent accomplishments and next steps for the Berlin TEX project. Click here to download her presentation!   Berlin, Maryland – How One Small City is Using Science to Change its World   Small cities are uniquely challenged to mitigate environmental issues […]

Boulder, CO at AGU Fall Meeting

The City of Boulder created a poster to share the goals and outcomes of their TEX collaboration at the 2016 AGU Fall Meeting. Click here to download the poster!   Developing Capacity for Cities to Adapt to a Changing Climate–a Case Study in Boulder, Colorado   The City of Boulder in Colorado has undertaken many progressive […]

Las Vegas at AGU Fall Meeting

Lorenzo Mastino attended the 2016 AGU Fall Meeting in San Francisco, CA to present a poster highlighting recent accomplishments and next steps for the Las Vegas TEX project. Click here to download his poster!   Assessment of Vulnerability to Climate Change Effects on Urban Stormwater Infrastructure in City of Las Vegas, NV In the spring […]

FLASH at Fall Meeting

JJ Gourley attended the 2016 AGU Fall Meeting in San Francisco, CA to present a poster highlighting recent accomplishments and next steps for FLASH. Click here to download his poster!   Development of a mobile app for flash flood alerting and data cataloging   No matter how accurate and specific a forecast of flash flooding is […]

OpenAQ at Fall Meeting

Christa Hasenkopf attended the 2016 AGU Fall Meeting in San Francisco, CA to present a poster highlighting recent accomplishments and next steps for OpenAQ. Click here to download her poster!   Stories from OpenAQ, a Global and Grassroots Open Air Quality Community Air pollution, responsible for more deaths each year than HIV/AIDS and malaria, combined, […]

Hermosa Beach Project Supported By Early Career Scientist

Work on the TEX-Hermosa Beach project has officially begun! Lon Peters will work with the community lead, Kristy Morris, to conduct a study of feasible renewable energy technologies for Hermosa Beach to consider as it pursues its carbon neutrality goals. Additionally, the project team welcomed a new collaborator this month, Abhishek Rao. Abhishek is a […]

Solutions for the Planet, One Community at a Time

By AGU’s Executive Director and CEO Chris McEntee This post was originally shared on AGU’s From the Prow blog     When I was child growing up in a small town in Western Pa., the stream water in our town was bright orange. We called it “Sulphur Creek.” It was colored due to the acid […]

Las Vegas Team Assesses Climate Data

Las Vegas

Ajay Kalra and Marco Velotta continue to work together to assess drought risk and vulnerability in Las Vegas. Over the past weeks, the project team has obtained important information including model and climate data, which will help them in determining drought risk. They have also begun creating future climate scenarios for the impact of climate […]

Hermosa Beach TEX team holds first in-person meeting

The Hermosa Beach TEX project team had their first in-person meeting on August 25, 2016 in Hermosa Beach, CA. Lon Peters and community lead Kristy Morris discussed the project workplan , toured potential project sites, and met with Tom Bakaly, Hermosa Beach City Manager. During this meeting, they discussed the likely technologies that could be pursued […]

Pittsburgh Works with Utilities to Streamline Data Collection

The Pittsburgh project team made significant progress toward their goal of developing a robust carbon inventory for the city and its Climate Action Plan. During the partnership’s first month, the team sat down with local utility representatives to discuss procedures for sharing data, as well as the format and resolution that could be expected. The […]

TEX September e-Update Survey

 

Scientists and Communities Working Together to Solve Environmental Challenges

NEMC

Raj Pandya, Program Director of the American Geophysical Union’s Thriving Earth Exchange, was a keynote speaker at the National Environmental Monitoring Conference (NEMC) on 9 August 2016.  The NEMC provides a forum for scientists and managers in the private and public sectors to discuss policies and technical issues affecting environmental monitoring and environmental programs. Raj […]

Bridging the Gap to Effective Scientific Partnerships

AAAS Panel

On 25 July 2016, Natasha Udu-gama, Director of Community Partnerships for the American Geophysical Union’s Thriving Earth Exchange, moderated a panel on “Effective Scientific Partnerships with Frontline Communities” for the AAAS Science and Human Rights Coalition Meeting: Climate Change and Human Rights.  The Coalition meetings serve as an avenue for scientists, engineers, community leaders, and […]

100 Resilient Cities (100 RC) and TEX

100RClogo

In recent months, TEX has matched scientists to attend and present at Lisbon, Portugal’s Agenda Setting Workshop and Medellìn, Colombia Strategy Release Event. Upon 100RC’s request, Dr. Pedro Manuel Alberto de Miranda of Universidade de Lisboa gave a presentation on climate change impacts on the elderly in Lisbon at their May 25th Agenda Setting Workshop. […]

Hermosa Beach Project Launch

The Hermosa Beach-TEX project officially launched on July 27. The newly formed team consists of Community Lead Kristy Morris (Environmental Analyst, Hermosa Beach, CA) and Scientific Partner Lon Peters (President, Northwest Economic Research, Inc.). Morris and Peters will collaborate to explore the renewable energy generation capacity within Hermosa Beach in conjunction with implementation of the […]

Pittsburgh Project Launch

The Pittsburgh-TEX team had their first meeting on August 8, 2016. The newly formed team consists of Community Leads Ari Lattanzi (Resilience Analyst, City of Pittsburgh) and Sarah Yaeger (Student Conservation Association Green Cities Fellow), and Scientific Partners Dr. Inês Azevedo (Associate Professor, Carnegie Mellow University Department of Engineering and Public Policy), and Dr. Mike […]

Las Vegas Develops a Scope of Work for its Drought Vulnerability Assessment

Las Vegas

Since June 2016, Marco Velotta and Lorenzo Mastino from the City of Las Vegas Planning Department have been working with Dr. Ajay Kalra of Southern Illinois University to do a drought vulnerability assessment for the city. As of July, the team has developed a scope of work to undertake the drought vulnerability assessment. Their goal will […]

DC Obtains 9-1-1 Data to Advance UHI Project

DC UHI Project

The DC team obtained a list of 9-1-1 calls from March 2010 to March 2015 to determine the locations with the greatest density of heat-related incidents in the District. While evaluating the 9-1-1 data, the team discovered that most of the 9-1-1 calls are not being recorded by emergency operators as heat-related incidents. Rather, some […]

Brookline Neighborhoods Vulnerable to Heat Identified

Brookline

Auroop Ganguly’s student team at Northeastern University, led by Dr. Hanieh Hassanzadeh, has analyzed the importance of both social and physical factors in the occurrence of heatwave events in the town. Vulnerability and exposure parameters for each block include a combination of age, poverty, literacy level and the number of one-person households. Preliminary analysis shows […]

The Magic of Environmentalism

By Haley Gannon This piece was originally published in The Plainspoken Scientist on the AGU Blogosphere.   As a Conservation Education Presenter at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, I spent every day connecting families to nature through the Wilderness Explorers program. My team spoke to 1.5 million people in our time there, and ensured that each one […]

Student Research to Advance Sustainability

James Amos, the Economic Development Director of Granite City, and Dr. Jay Turner, Granite City’s scientific partner, are collaborating to help Granite City’s Cool Cities Commission finalize the city’s sustainability plan. Granite City aims to implement specific parts of the sustainability plan with Dr. Turner’s expertise in air quality.   Dr. Turner and his team […]

Berlin Falls Park Remediation

The Berlin, MD team met for their first in-person meeting on June 1st. Laura Allen, Jane Kreiter, Jim Hulbert, Keota Silaphone, and Ellen Silbergeld conducted a site visit to assess the proposed area of remediation – Berlin Falls Park. The park is currently open for passive use (birdwatching, hiking, etc.), but the city has even […]

Urban Neighborhoods in a New Era: Revitalization Politics in the Postindustrial City

  As an organization that works closely with communities of all types, TEX is always interested in learning the latest strategies and theories regarding their development and structure. According to the authors of Urban Neighborhoods in a New Era: Revitalization Politics in the Postindustrial City, there has been a definitive shift in how communities organize. […]

National Geographic Features Pamir Mountains

National Geographic took an interest in TEX’s project with the Pamir Mountains, and has recently published an article on Dr. Karim-Aly Kassam’s work with the region’s ecological calendars. Read more here!

DC gathers data, protects human subjects

The DC team is taking steps towards gathering heat-related data while maintaining the integrity of human subjects. Alexis Goggans notes that the team intends to overlay different layers of relevant data for determining heat vulnerability (tree cover, building age, etc.) with a map of 911 calls reporting heat-related incidents. The team anticipates that these data […]

Brookline Regroups, Welcomes Maria Morelli

With the departure of former city lead, Laura Curtis Hayes, the Brookline team is working with Maria Morelli (Planner, Brookline). The Brookline project will map the impacts of extreme temperature projections on public health, including elderly and economically-disadvantaged. The team has compiled responsibilities of stakeholders, identify key questions and determined key deliverables with a proposed […]

A Scientific Panel in Jackson

The Fish Creek Stakeholders Group has recently begun to organize an internal scientific advisory committee. The goal of this group is to provide scientifically based opinions to inform remediation options for Fish Creek. Carlin Girard anticipates that Bill Elliot will be formally invited to be a part of this panel, seeing as his expertise and […]