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

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.

     

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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. […]

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 […]

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. […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Register

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

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

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”]

Welcome to the Thriving Earth Exchange

  The American Geophysical Union is proud to announce the Thriving Earth Exchange! The Thriving Earth Exchange will operate as a platform to connect communities and organizations with scientists to address specific, real-world science issues for societal good. Different types of Challenges will be posted by Seeker organizations or communities. Scientists and science-interested Solvers will […]