We are currently accepting applications for our January 2021 cohort of Community Science Fellows and Community Leaders.  Apply by 6 November!

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.

     

Surviving a flood: a community perspective from Pensacola, Florida

Image courtesy of Gloria Horning Thriving Earth Exchange’s partnership with Higher Ground’s Anthropocene Alliance has led to almost a dozen projects in communities impacted by flooding, including coastal communities facing the impacts of climate change in the spaces where they live, work, play, and pray. Gloria Horning, a community leader from Pensacola, Florida recounts her […]

Community Insights: Flint, Michigan

Taking a ‘village’ approach to Flint’s future by Kathleen Pierce   Flint, Michigan, is more than a water crisis. It’s a community. While the nation’s attention may have shifted away from the tragedy and injustices of its water struggles, community leaders aren’t giving up on the city or its kids. Case in point: the Sylvester […]

Meet our SPEC Fellows

Welcome our newest cohort of Community Science Fellows! As part of our Science, Policy, and Engagement Cohort (SPEC) sponsored by the Moore Foundation, this outstanding group will guide community science projects in partnership with community leaders and scientists across the U.S. with a special focus on media and policy engagement. Meet the Fellows! Thriving Earth […]

Notes from the field: Cambridge Project Update

Notes from the Field- Cambridge Project Update     The City of Cambridge is working to plan and prepare for the impacts of climate change. The city is currently in the midst of developing a citywide Climate Change Preparedness & Resilience (CCPR) Plan in order to help the city adapt to the future and be […]

The Untapped Potential Community Science: Part 3, Science Literacy

This is the second in a three-part blog series on gaps in science engagement by Thriving Earth Exchange program director Raj Pandya.  Find part 1 linked here and part 2 here. The Untapped Potential Community Science: Part 3, Science Literacy By Raj Pandya, Director, Thriving Earth Exchange Capsule Summary: Science literacy shouldn’t just be about understanding, but […]

Meet Our 2020 California Community Science Fellows

About the Fellowship Thriving Earth Exchange Community Science Fellows are current and future leaders in the community science movement. After being matched with a local community, each fellow is responsible for shepherding a community science project from idea to impact. This includes getting to know the community, identifying ways science can advance community goals, recruiting partner […]

Community insights: the view from a tiny town in ‘flyover country’

Big insights from a tiny town by Anne Johnson World Population Day, recognized on 11 July each year, draws attention to population issues around the globe. It primarily focuses on the toll unsustainable growth can take on people and the environment—an urgent concern, to be sure. What about the other end of the spectrum? While […]

The untapped potential of community science: part 2, public participation in science policy

This is the second in a three-part blog series on gaps in science engagement by Thriving Earth Exchange program director Raj Pandya.  Find part 1 linked here. The untapped potential of community science: part 2, public participation in science policy By Raj Pandya Capsule summary: The challenges we face now are both technical and ethical. […]

A personal reflection on racism, anti-racism and science

A personal reflection on racism, anti-racism and science by Raj Pandya, Director, Thriving Earth Exchange This is a personal reflection from me, Raj Pandya. It is not an official position of AGU or Thriving Earth Exchange, though it is influenced by the experience of working in both places and the many wonderful, insightful people I’ve […]

Seven tips for managing community science projects while keeping your distance

Seven tips for managing community science projects while keeping your distance By Raj Pandya, Melissa Goodwin, and Anne Johnson (Note: Anne Johnson regularly manages and edits the Thriving Earth Newsletter and contributed specific ideas to this blog). All of us likely will be dealing with some level of physical distancing (also called social distancing) for […]

Community science and the post-pandemic world

Community science and the post-pandemic world Thriving Earth wants your thoughts! By Erin Gleeson, Thriving Earth Exchange staff To say that COVID-19 has changed – IS changing – life as we know it is something of an understatement. Within a matter of a couple months, it has touched nearly every single person on this planet. […]

DIY solutions addressing COVID-19

More Ways You Can Help During the COVID-19 Crisis Thinkers and tinkerers are taking a DIY approach to COVID-19 challenges. What can you bring to the fight?    As the realities of the COVID-19 pandemic began to sink in across the nation this spring, Thriving Earth Exchange Director Raj Pandya wrote about how geoscientists can […]

Learning scientific strategy from improvisational theater: the power of “yes, and…”

Learning Scientific Strategy from Improvisational Theater: The Power of “Yes, and…” By Kevin Noone, Thriving Earth Exchange Advisory Board Chair In Roman mythology, Janus was the god of transitions. He was well suited to the task, having one face oriented towards the past and one towards the future. I think Janus would be very proud […]

Finding My Place in the Community Science Movement

Maddy Nyblade, a geoscientist studying at the University of Minnesota, has been a member of the Thriving Earth Community for several years, but her passion for community driven science has been a force in her career path for a long time.  At AGU’s 2019 Fall Meeting, Maddy attended a Thriving Earth Exchange workshop as a […]

Trash-tography: San Diego 4th Graders Take on Water Pollution

Trash-tography – San Diego 4th Graders Take on Water Pollution by Kristen Hurst, Indraneel (Neel) Kasmalker, Carly Ellis, and Kirstin Skadberg It was a beautiful fall day in San Diego. Meaning…it was hot! We were walking down the hill from Carver Elementary toward Chollas Creek with a class of 20 bright and curious fourth graders. […]

Community Science Tips

Starting Community Science Right: One Key Word and Five Key Questions By Raj Pandya, Program Director, Thriving Earth Exchange People often ask us what it takes to get a community science project off the ground. To me, it all comes down to one key word: priorities. Hands down, the most important thing about community science […]

Meet the EPIC-Network

New: Thriving Earth Exchange participants have special access to EPIC’s Member Commons for trainings, support and other resources.   The Educational Partnerships for Innovation in Communities – Network (EPIC-N) connects university resources to the needs of local governments and communities to improve the quality of life for all involved. This happens through application of The […]

How can Communities Reduce their Carbon Footprint? An Introduction to Community Choice Aggregation and Community Science

This blog was originally posted on the University of Washington Program on Climate Change website on May 5, 2020, and is posted here with permission from the author.   By Lily Hahn Here in Seattle, hydropower supplies more than 85% of our electricity. But in Arlington County, Virginia, the dominant utility derives at least 50% of its […]

A Message to the Thriving Earth Exchange Community

We know that many members of the Thriving Earth Exchange community are directly or indirectly affected by the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) health emergency. Our thoughts are with you all. Please know we will do what we can to support all our communities, partners, scientists, community leaders and fellows. We can help revise timelines, move to […]

The Untapped Potential of Community Science: Part 1, Community Responsive Research Agendas

by Raj Pandya, Thriving Earth Exchange Program Director Capsule Summary: Community science powerful, but there remains untapped potential. We need: More communities and scientists involved, Better inputs through increased intentionality and support, and More follow-up on the outputs through synthesis and response. Thriving Earth Exchange has been doing community science for over five years, and […]

New Partners Advancing the Practice of Community Science

by Kelly McCarthy, Project Manager, Thriving Earth Exchange Thriving Earth Exchange welcomes new partners and collaborators around the globe to advance and improve the practice of community science   Early this year, Program Director Raj Pandya wrote that the next chapter for Thriving Earth Exchange and community science is “bigger than us.” He explained that […]

An Introduction to Thriving Earth Exchange’s 2019 Program Assessment

What do you want to be when you grow up? By Kevin Noone, Thriving Earth Exchange Advisory Board Chair We’ve all been asked that question at one point or another in our lives; some of us are still trying to come up with an answer. The same question can be asked of organizations as well. […]

Thriving Earth Exchange and Community Science: What’s Next?

By Raj Pandya, Director, Thriving Earth Exchange Thriving Earth Exchange and Community Science: What’s Next? This year, Thriving Earth Exchange reached the goals set for the program as part of AGU’s Centennial: 100 projects in 100 communities, with over 100 scientists involved. In fact, we even got a little farther than that. So, how did […]

2019 Thriving Earth Exchange Year in Review

2019 Thriving Earth Exchange Year in Review   2019 marked important milestones for Thriving Earth Exchange and AGU more broadly. As AGU celebrated its Centennial by commemorating the past and looking to the future, Thriving Earth Exchange faced a deadline for meeting four benchmarks identified shortly after our program’s launch: to establish 100 projects, engage […]

Agency testing reveals no harmful minerals in Yacolt Mt. Quarry samples

A recent study by the Southwest Clean Air Agency (SWCAA) and EPA has found no erionite present in 12 locations sampled in and around the mine site. Read more here: https://www.clarkcountytoday.com/news/agency-testing-reveals-no-harmful-minerals-in-yacolt-mt-quarry-samples/

Meet Our New Cohort of Community Science Fellows

Expanding the reach of community science through thoughtful leadership training     The Thriving Earth Exchange Community Science Fellowship has quickly gained steam since its launch last summer. Our first cohort of fellows launched in September and they’re already making great progress matching communities with scientific partners (more on that below). In addition, we have […]

Meet Our New Collaborator: California Strategic Growth Council

Thriving Earth Exchange will join the California Strategic Growth Council (SGC) in a collaborative effort to enable vulnerable communities to work with leading Earth scientists to make their communities healthier, more resilient and more sustainable in the face of accelerating climate impacts. SGC is a cabinet-level body chaired by the Director of the California Governor’s […]

Thriving Earth Exchange Celebrates 100 Projects

This month Thriving Earth Exchange is launching the 100th community science project since our program started six years ago. What a milestone! We would not be here without YOU—the communities and scientists who have worked together to achieve impacts that are greater than anyone could achieve alone. Thank you. What does 100 projects look like? […]

San Diego Students ID Trash in Chollas Creek

Check out this post from Indraneel Kasmalkar, Community Science Fellow on the San Diego, Chollas Creek project: We scheduled a trash assessment run for Tuesday Oct 15. There were about 18 elementary school students with us, and the four of us (Kristen, Kirstin, Carly and me). Kristen gave the students school iPads to fill out […]

Expert Hydrologist Helps Flood Victims in Lawsuit

By Harriet Festing, Anthropocene Alliance https://anthropocenealliance.org/live/2019/10/30/expect-hydrologist-helps-the-flood-victims-of-richwood-in-lawsuit Richwood, Texas: Dr Steven H Emerman was touring Richwood on Tuesday. He was in town to provide expert testimony for a lawsuit on behalf of the Flood Victims of Richwood: Dr Emerman is helping three members of Higher Ground with lawsuits and appeals. He is well qualified to do so. […]

Clark County WA team attends Erionite Workshop

On October 1, 2019 Marie Ogier and Alyssa Shiel attended a workshop in Bend, Oregon on Erionite and Naturally Occurring Asbestos (NOA). The workshop addressed the permitting of Eriniote and NOA as well as how it’s analyzed in a lab and how to manage the risks associated with them. Both reflected on how serious exposure […]

Tips for Scientists: Getting Started in a Community Partnership

By Sarah Wilkins, Project Manager “How do I get started in a collaborative partnership with a community group?” is one of the most common questions we get from scientists. The question is typically motivated by a desire to do good—either by sharing one’s research outcomes or through identifying a local problem that could benefit from […]

Thriving Earth Exchange Honored with Power of A Summit Award

By Anne Johnson Thriving Earth Exchange was one of six associations selected to receive a 2019 Power of A Summit Award, the highest honor of the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE). The award recognizes associations that go above and beyond their everyday mission to undertake initiatives that benefit America and the world. In 2014, […]

What is Community Science? A Blog and a Quiz.

By Raj Pandya, Director, Thriving Earth Exchange   In U2’s 1983 EP “Under a Blood Red Sky,” Bono introduces a song by saying “There…there’s been a lot of talk about this next song. Maybe too much talk. This song is not a rebel song, this song is Sunday, Bloody Sunday.” It’s a great intro to […]

Empowering Communities Affected by Fracking

Residents gain knowledge and credibility in quest to understand the effects of unconventional oil and gas development   Hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” is a topic that has divided residents across many U.S. communities over the past decade. Fear is often at the heart of these divisions—fear that oil and gas development activities will disrupt residents’ […]

Thriving Earth Exchange Launches First Cohort of Community Science Fellows

Program aims to equip a cadre of leaders to expand the community science movement Facilitating community science isn’t just about managing a project. It’s about creating a space where people with ideas and knowledge from many sources can come together and identify the questions that need to be asked, how to get the answers and […]

Missoula MT Project Featured in The Daily Climate

Heat is deadly—even in Montana. But the city of Missoula is doing something about it. Missoula’s forward thinking climate planning offers lessons for other cities and towns facing similar conditions. By Laurie Mazur   When you think of cities impacted by the urban heat island effect, you probably think of steamy Houston or the concrete […]

Wheatley Elementary School 4th Graders Create a Book

Fourth grade students at Phyllis Community School have published a book on the effects of the I-10 corridor on the Treme Neighborhood in New Orleans. Together with partners at Public Lab, Thriving Earth Exchange and Claiborne Ave. Alliance, the students learned all about the environmental impacts of the corridor on their neighborhood (both historic and […]

Trees With A Purpose

At a community meeting on August 9th at the Evans Community Center, Community Leader for the Melbourne, FL project, Camille Hadley, introduced the concept of “trees with a purpose” a joint program with Keep Brevard Beautiful. Camille spoke to a crowd of 19 people about how choosing native and/or fruit bearing trees can help mitigate […]

Notes from the Field: Gulfport, MS

From Katherine Egland: Gianna M. Cothren, Renee Collini and Christopher Anderson came out during a rainstorm for an extremely productive meeting with a small community focus group on Friday, August 2 at Forrest Heights Baptist Church, located at the foot of the Turkey Creek Bridge in Gulfport. Residents were eager to be engaged in shoring […]

Note from The Field: 7th Ward, New Orleans, LA

On July 20 and 24 our team carried out our first survey of residents of the 7th Ward. The survey asked residents their opinions about tree planting initiatives, rain gardens, neighborhood concerns such as crime and flooding, the effects of heat and hot weather, and other aspects of the physical and social environments in the […]

Notes from the Field: Ontario, California

The public is enjoying the amenities the Mill Creek Wetlands has to offer. Whether walking, jogging, riding the trails either by bicycle or by horseback, or simply exploring nature and the habitat; families, friends, groups as well as individuals are taking delight in the water quality facility. Recently, the City of Ontario conducted a tour […]

Mongolian Delegation Explores Community Science

By Anne Johnson Thriving Earth Exchange recently had an opportunity to spend time with a group of Mongolian professionals who were visiting the U.S. as part of a professional exchange program. The fellows’ focus was on methods to collect and disseminate data on air quality and pollution in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. The program, funded by the […]

Managing Managed Retreat

By Anne Johnson After repeated floods, some communities are ready to pack up and move to higher ground. What does it take to make that happen? Despite some uncertainty, in many places climate predictions are pretty clear on one thing: the floods are probably going to get worse, not better. There are many ways to […]

Public Lab and Thriving Earth Exchange Join Forces

By Anne Johnson Two organizations with different origin stories share a vision for community science. What can we accomplish together? You know that inflection point when kids go from “parallel play”—being in the same sandbox but exploring completely separate imaginary worlds—to actually playing together, inventing games and rules and creations? Thriving Earth Exchange and Public […]

Professor, students seek solutions to urban flooding issues

by David Staudacher https://cme.uic.edu/news-stories/professor-students-seek-solutions-to-urban-flooding-issues/  

Barnesville team presents water quality results at a community meeting

On 1 July 2019, a community meeting set up at Ohio Eastern University by the Barnesville, OH Thriving Earth team to discuss water quality results from area hydraulic fracturing attracted over 50 participants. Professors from both Yale and Duquesne Universities, including Thriving Earth Exchange scientist, Dr. John Stolz, presented results of their research on effects […]

Bring Community Science to Your Classroom

Want to expose your students to the community science model? Thriving Earth Exchange is here to help. The past few years have brought increased attention to community science, in which scientists and communities work as equal partners to address community priorities. As this awareness has grown, university faculty and leaders have reached out to Thriving […]

Thriving Earth Exchange Honored with ASAE’s 2019 “Power of A” Summit Award

WASHINGTON — The American Geophysical Union (AGU) has been awarded a Power of A Summit Award from the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE). ASAE’s highest honor, the Summit Award is given to associations that go above and beyond their everyday mission to undertake initiatives that benefit America and the world. ASAE members represent 7,400 organizations of […]

Bulacan, Philippines team vet hazard maps in communities

The Bulacan, Philippines team is getting close to having hazards maps vetted with the 7 communities of Bulacan province along Manila Bay. The hazards simulation that Joy Santiago and Jake Mendoza planned to do in June will occur in the next couple of weeks with the expectation that they will have sufficient information for AKAP-KA […]