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.


An Abundance of Resilience in Oakland

Oakland, California is facing a unique challenge increasingly faced by cities inundated by offers to increase their resilience.  In Oakland’s case, competing demands from resilience organizations are precluding the team from being able to define their scope. The city is a member of 100 Resilient Cities (100RC) and Bloomberg Associates, as well as several other […]

Greenhouse Gas inventory and Particulate Matter sampling

Granite City plans to have their sustainability plan complete by June 2016. Dr. Jay Turner has been instrumental in helping the city review its sustainability plan. Because of his work with the city, Turner will be having his students engage in two projects that are based upon Granite City’s existing priorities. One project will draw […]

Materials for Corrosion Prevention, and Boise’s Failure Analysis Report

  Jon Gunnerson and Dr. Brian Anderson are collaborating on materials selection strategies for geothermal systems. The city and the scientist were matched by TEX through our TEX Lite process. As of May 2016, the two have had a couple of conversations regarding geothermal systems in Boise, ID. Jon is curious about optimal materials for […]

Mapping in the Ziway basin

  TEX scientist Dr. Stéphanie Horion is working to identify a series of optimal maps and spatial data layers related to land use/land cover change and soil characteristics for HoAREC&N. In collaboration with a HoAREC&N consultant who specializes in modeling and statistical analysis, they intend to use these spatial layers to help inform water challenges in the […]

Mapping Data Acquired

  The DC team has received new data, and is well on their way to creating the maps needed for their analysis. Updated LIDAR data will provide Juan Declet-Barreto with the land use/land cover information he will need to create maps of predicted areas of extreme heat. Olga Wilhelmi has provided heat-related search terms to […]

Data Collection Complete

  The Taking Neighborhood Health to Heart (TNH2H) team has made significant progress in the past several months. They have completed their data collection and now have radon and PERC (two volatile organic compounds) data for 15 homes in their study area. Their experiment used both high quality and low-cost methods so that they might […]

Project Scope Deliberation, a Field Traverse, and New Goals

  As of March 2016, the Oakland Team has made significant progress on defining their project.   Since their last meeting, TEX scientific partners, Patrick Hubbard and Brian Rowley, conducted a field traverse of one proposed site of the project – the Colosseum area. This is a region with significant infrastructure already in place and […]

What is TEX all about anyway?

  TEX is about an urgent need to be innovative in how our science, Earth and space science, connects to society.  We face enormous collective challenges over the next several decades – challenges that include  growing vulnerability to natural hazards, more and more difficulty getting the natural resources we need to thrive (including resources as […]

Close Contact, Data Acquisition, and the Dutch Consulate

  During the April check-in call with TEX, the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) team conveyed that it has kept in very close contact with Chris Watson since the introductory call in February 2016. Regardless of whether they have information to convey, Axum Teferra (MAPC) has been organizing brief weekly update calls to keep all […]

EOS Publishes Article on Pamir Mountains Project

  A new article entitled “Villages Must Recalibrate Time to Survive in the Pamir Mountains” has just been published by AGU’s EOS online. If you would like to read it, click here.

Pamir Mountains Project Update: Team Receives Research Funding through the Belmont Forum

Dr. Karim-Aly Kassam and collaborators have received grant funding through the Belmont Forum, a group of the world’s major and emerging funders of global environmental change research. Learn more.   Dr. Kassam states the grant will “contribute to the anticipatory capacity of Pamiri communities by revitalizing calendars. Using participatory research, we will recalibrate historical and existing ecological […]

The Acre Group

By:  Kylie Caesar In this series, TEX is featuring a number of blogs from student volunteers who assisted at AGU’s Fall Meeting in December 2015. Each volunteer was asked to find community science projects in either oral or poster sessions and describe how the project aligns with the TEX mission and values.    On Thursday Morning […]

Shellfish Harvesters and College Students Working Together in the Kennebec Estuary

By:  Gabi Serrato Marks In this series, TEX is featuring a number of blogs from student volunteers who assisted at AGU’s Fall Meeting in December 2015. Each volunteer was asked to find community science projects in either oral or poster sessions and describe how the project aligns with the TEX mission and values.  Generations of shellfish […]

List of Cities/Organizations Seeking Scientists   Pittsburgh, PA: Pittsburgh is looking for help to develop a more robust carbon inventory and new carbon dashboard

Accomplishments and Goals

  What we’ve accomplished: TEX met with TNH2H leaders and community members several times to understand local priorities and explore how environmental factors contributed to community health and well-being. TNH2H leaders led a workshop at the AGU fall meeting in 2013, in which they worked with scientists to brainstorm how they might address concerns about […]

Community Science Improves Usability of Coastal Erosion Assessment in Arctic Alaska

By:  Clayton Elder In this series, TEX is featuring a number of blogs from student volunteers who assisted at AGU’s Fall Meeting in December 2015. Each volunteer was asked to find community science projects in either oral or poster sessions and describe how the project aligns with the TEX mission and values.  Life at the top […]

Connecting Climate Science to City Planning

By Andrew Gase In the coming weeks, TEX will feature a series of blogs from student volunteers who assisted at AGU’s Fall Meeting in December 2015. Each volunteer was asked to find community science projects in either oral or poster sessions and describe how the project aligns with the TEX mission and values.  Among science circles […]

Dr. Rice speaks to Eugene’s City Council

  Current events Eugene’s climate recovery ordinance has received overwhelming support from a number of sources. The City Council has already met several times to discuss the details of this ordinance, and these meetings can be viewed online here. On Monday, February 22nd at 5:30PST, Eugene’s City Council will meet once more. For those curious […]

Boston, MA

The Challenge The Metro Boston region, an area where civic leaders have been at the forefront of climate resilience initiatives in recent years, is seeking a comprehensive flood vulnerability assessment of its food distribution networks north of Boston. Much of the  metro region’s food supply passes through two major distribution centers in the cities of Everett […]

Denver, Colorado

Community Project Summary TEX’s role Local Impact Broader Impact Denver, CO Testing low-cost approach to measuring PCE while helping one Denver neighborhood protect itself from pollutants that enter homes though basements (e.g. PCE and Radon) Helped community scope project, and found scientific partner; connected to crowd-funding opportunity 20 Residents whose home is tested (20,000 neighborhood […]

Mapping Extreme Heat

  TEX and ICLEI partner city, Washington, D.C., are interested in understanding how extreme heat might be mitigated as part of the city’s first climate adaptation plan. The city began mapping heat vulnerability with a team of climate scientists. The timing of the collaboration with TEX is ideal due to current drafting of the adaptation […]

Washington, District of Columbia

Photo Courtesy of: Kate Johnson, District Department of the Environment The Challenge As the capital of the United States, the District of Columbia grapples with human-induced and natural threats ranging from counter-terrorism to hurricanes. The U.S. Global Change Research Program reports that average temperatures are already increasing in the District, along with the frequency of […]

Animas River, Colorado

Photo Courtesy of: Riverhugger The Challenge On August 12, 2015, the US experienced one of its worst hardrock-mining disasters when 3 million gallons of toxic mining waste spilled into the Animas River in Colorado. The spill has spread from Colorado into New Mexico and now into Utah — affecting over 100 river miles. Cities all […]

Horn of Africa

        Image Courtesy of: Horn of Africa Regional Environmental Centre and Network About the Center The Horn of Africa Regional Environmental Center and Network focuses on environmental concerns and sustainable development options within the Horn of Africa. It facilitates, strengthens and advocates for initiatives related to land use planning, integrated water resources management, ecosystem management, […]

Sri Lanka

Photo Courtesy of: Maia Fitzstevens The Challenge The Thriving Earth Exchange (TEX), in partnership with the Sarvodaya Shramadana Sangamaya Movement (Sarvodaya) of Sri Lanka, is looking for Sri Lankan and international scientists to understand the epidemic of CKDnt in Sri Lanka through community interviews, literature review and geochemical laboratory research.   Chronic kidney disease of non-traditional […]

Columbia, MO

Photo Courtesy of: Wikimedia Commons The Challenge The Columbia Water and Light Department, which serves nearly 120,000 residents in Central Missouri, uses a lime softening technique as part of its drinking water treatment. The lime residuals from this process are then transported via truck to farms for agricultural application. As time has passed, there is […]

What can solutions-oriented science learn from the Supreme Court?

  The Supreme Court does not “do” theory: to have a case heard by the court you need to demonstrate you have been injured by the application of a law, as in the case when Massachusetts sued the Environment Protection Agency for failing to regulate CO2.  Massachusettes had the case heard by arguing increased CO2 was leading to […]

Why is the American Geophysical Union (AGU) powering TEX? And what does ‘powering’ mean?

  The American Geophysical Union (AGU) is an international professional society of over 61,000 Earth and space scientists who study everything from the deep interior of the Earth to the surface of the sun – and even the solid, liquid, and gas parts of other planets.   (If you’ve read carefully, you’ve just realized that AGU […]

Tales of Community Science by Parvathy Prem

  What does community science mean to you? In the Pamir Mountains of Central Asia, community science is adapting traditional ecological calendars to a changing climate. In five Colorado neighborhoods, community science is initiating a data-based conversation on declining air quality. These are a couple of the projects currently supported by the Thriving Earth Exchange […]

How participatory is enough?

    Two years ago, after a seminar on community-based participatory research, a colleague raised her hand. She was troubled, because she felt like whenever she tried to introduce small participatory elements into her research, she was told it wasn’t enough. It reminded me of high school, where every time I liked a band, I […]

Why are we so into community science?

  We think community science is cool for a lot of reasons. Here are the 10 things we love about #commsci: Science is more usable when it co-designed, from the ground up, to address a community priority. More usable science means more impact, more support for science, and more people interested in doing science. Community science is […]

Visionary Talk Interviews Chris McEntee

  The American Geophysical Union (AGU) is an international professional society of over 61,000 Earth and space scientists who study everything from the deep interior of the Earth to the surface of the sun – and even the solid, liquid, and gas parts of other planets. Seth Kahan, of Visionary Talk, interviews Chris McEntee, Executive […]

What do starfish have to do with TEX?

  Ori Brafman’s book, “The Starfish and Spider” contrasts centralized and decentralized organizations. As a simple way to show the difference, Brafman considers Encyclopedia Britannica, a centralized, spider organization, where editors invite experts to contribute carefully curated content. Wikipedia, in contrast, is a decentralized starfish organization that leverages collective effort and intelligence. TEX is more […]

Why this blog?

  While we have a good idea of what TEX is, we are doing a lot of experimenting to figure out how to get there. This means our thinking about TEX and what TEX looks like will change. One reason for having this blog, then, is to provide some explanation for why things may have […]

What are the TEX tools?

  We have identified four steps to successful community science projects, and collected tools and resources to support each of these steps. The steps are: Match: Before any community science can happen, communities and scientists need to be around the same table, as equals. We have partners, like Rockefellers 100 Resilient Cities initiative and ICLEI, […]

Community Challenges

Thank you for showing an interest in our community challenges!   As part of our partnership with Rockefeller’s 100 Resilient Cities, each community is seeking a scientist to work with on identified areas of concern related to climate change, natural hazards and/or natural resources. Please complete the brief form below. We will then contact you […]

Theory and Background

 Learn some of the theoretical foundations behind ‘Community Science’   Models of Community Science – Lessons from the Field  Learn more on community science as an advancement to ‘citizen science’. The short paper includes key models and approaches from the field.

How to Start a Discussion

We have selected some tools that will help you work with communities to design projects     Human Centered Design Toolkit  Human-Centered Design is the concept of working with the people that solutions are often designed for by listening to community concerns and understanding how best to apply solutions together.       Resilientville Resilientville […]

What is TEX?

  The Thriving Earth Exchange (TEX) will be this: It will be 100s or 1000s of community projects that use Earth and space science to make life better for people and the planet. To us, a better life means one that is sustainable, equitable, resilient, and productive – one that helps all people live well […]

Pine Ridge Reservation: Solving Critical Water Issues

The population of the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota possesses one the highest cancer clusters among Native Americans and the United States at large. Metal contamination from well water is suspected to be a major contributor. This project will develop an understanding of the broader scale hydrology, aquifer chemistry, and geology across 2 burrows […]

Pamir Mountains Challenge – Hosted by ClimateCoLab


Let us help you find a project! Register with the Thriving Earth Exchange and contribute to community science in a meaningful way!      

Completed: How Can We Make Our Communities More Resilient?


Completed: Do you Have Long Term Goals for Energy Efficiency?


A Chapter on Community Science

 Written by the Raj Pandya, the Thriving Earth Exchange Program Director, this chapter out of Future Earth: Advancing Civic  Understanding of the Anthropocene takes a closer look at what community science really is all about.  ch6

Research for Organizing Toolkit

A new way to look at conducting community science! Research For Organizing

Community Toolkit

This is a comprehensive collection of toolkits and webpages with content related to community science, partnership building and collaborative research. From learning how to build relationships within a community to developing strategies and plans for your research, this website is like an encyclopedia for all things community science. Community Toolkit

Participatory Action Research

William Foote Whyte (editor)[icon image=”book” align=”right”] Sage Publications Inc., 1991 This book aims to make a case for participatory action research (PAR) as a powerful strategy to advance both science and practice. PAR involves practitioners in the research process from the initial design of the project through data gathering and analysis to final conclusions and […]

Disaster Mitigation: A Community Based Approach

Disaster Mitigation: A Community Based Approach (PDF, 100 pages) Andrew Maskrey[icon image=”book” align=”right”]

The Power of Community Science

Community science is the collaboration of researchers and community members to propose solutions to problems usually pertaining to public health. The relationship between these two parties can be difficult to build within the time limits of each research project. In order for researchers to gain the type of access they need into the community there […]