Scope is typically the first step in the TEX process. It means identifying a community challenge that could use Earth and/or space science expertise. The process of Scope generally involves three steps:
- Understanding AGU expertise and TEX focus areas (this refines the project)
- Delving deeper into the community challenge (this determines TEX’s level of involvement)
- Commitment to the project by all involved parties (this establishes what time & resources will be shared)
An example of the scope process is “Evaluating Water Quality and Flood Risk,” a project based in Kennedale, Texas. Through this small town runs a waterway called Village Creek, which feeds into Lake Arlington, a source of drinking water for two major cities. Through a series of conversations, TEX staff helped Bob Hart (City Manager of Kennedale) decide the focus of this multifaceted project. Though the city faces many challenges in regards to Village Creek, TEX decided that Kennedale would benefit most from a scientist who could help Bob interpret data from multiple ongoing studies, liaise with leaders of these studies, and help him use this newfound knowledge to inform next steps regarding remediation efforts. This is a promising project with clear deliverables that advances the city’s priorities, fits within their timeline, and will provide a scientist with a rewarding challenge.