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.

     

Higher Ground Communities Discuss Flood Risk Maps

  June 7, 2019 Together on a Zoom call on Friday, June 7th, the Higher Ground communities and Thriving Earth Exchange team came together to discuss initial map outputs from the mapping work Michelle Hummel is doing across four U.S. communities. Michelle shared some initial maps using individual assistance claims data from FEMA for Port […]

Guest Blog: A ‘Social Impact Statement’ on Understanding Flood Risk

Image caption: Updated flood maps for De Soto, MO. Courtesy USACE St. Louis District. (Click here for full-size image)   By Paula Arbuthnot Paula Arbuthnot is co-founder of Citizens’ Committee for Flood Relief and serves as a community lead for a Thriving Earth project in De Soto, Missouri. On June 6, 2019, The Army Corps […]

Hallandale Bach, Florida, Project Team Hosts Lunch & Learn for City Staff

Featured Image caption: L-R: Josh Papacek (University of Florida/IFAS); Ashley Smyth (University of Florida/IFAS), Colin Polsky (Florida Atlantic University); Alyssa Jones Wood (City of Hallandale Beach), Willm Martens-Habbena (University of Florida/IFAS) (Photo courtesy of City of Hallandale Beach)   The Hallandale Beach, Florida, project team achieved their first major project objective on May 8, 2019: […]

Introducing the Community Science Fellowship

Our new fellowship program offers the chance to build your skills and make a difference by facilitating a collaborative project to address critical community priorities.   Do you have an interest in managing diverse teams, working across disciplinary boundaries and connecting science to action? Thriving Earth Exchange’s new Community Science Fellowship offers an opportunity to […]

Priorities, Not Needs: Reframing Science Engagement

By Raj Pandya   A mayor once said to me, “I am tired of big cities having priorities and small communities having needs.”  I’ve also heard one of our Thriving Earth Advisory Board members, Michael Burns, say, “Poor communities are poor, not stupid.” That is why, at our project launch workshops or in our scoping […]

Citizens’ Committee for Flood Relief Talks Hydrology

On Monday May 13th, leaders Susan Liley and Paula Arbuthnot of the group Citizen’s Committee for Flood Relief (CCFR), held a 2.5 hour long meeting with members from their Thriving Earth Exchange science team, Robb Jacobson (USGS) and Dan Hanes (University of St. Louis). Robb and Dan talked about general hydrology concepts and how hydrologists […]

May 2019 Notes from the Field: Arlington, VA

Thriving Earth Exchange’s Community Choice Aggregation Arlington project team had our kick-off meeting on Saturday, May 4! The five local members met in person in the club room at a team member’s apartment and were joined remotely by Lily from Washington state via Skype. We’ll be coordinating via Skype, WhatsApp, and in person meetings to […]

May 2019 Notes from the Field: Cambridge, OH

By Leatra Harper Our team deployed Pisces samplers to measure hydrocarbons in regions in Southeastern Ohio impacted by unconventional shale drilling and waste disposal facilities in early May. The samplers were re-designed since our last deployment and are much less expensive to build. Our community outreach has broadened as others have heard about this project […]

May 2019 Notes from the Field: Barnesville, OH

By Jill Antares Hunkler On April 22, 2019, Earth Day, the Barnesville, Ohio Thriving Earth Exchange team spent the day in the field in SE Ohio and were joined by Ted Auch of FracTracker Alliance. Water samples were taken at Cat’s Run, upstream and downstream of the Schnegg well pad, where last year’s blowout occurred, […]

May 2019 Notes from the Field: New Orleans, LA

A group of Louisiana State University environmental engineering students competed in the WERC Environmental Design Competition in Las Cruces, N.M. The team won second prize in the highly competitive Open Task for a project called Blight to Bioswales, which proposes to replace blighted lots in New Orleans’ lower 9th Ward with low-maintenance nature parks, engineering […]

Reflections on College, Capitol Hill and Community Science

By Zack Valdez Zack Valdez recently wrapped up a six-month contract position as Project Manager for Thriving Earth Exchange   Despite an early enthusiasm to engage and share science with people around me, in graduate school I was tucked away in a lab conducting research for a small cohort of scientists focused on peer-reviewed publications. […]

Exploring the Impact and Integration of Geoscience for Societal Benefit

By Natasha Udu-gama, Senior Specialist, Thriving Earth Exchange   Thrilled to get a chance to represent Thriving Earth Exchange internationally for the first time, and excited to return to a city I had enjoyed as a doctoral candidate back in 2012, I arrived at Arlanda airport with my bag laden with Thriving Earth paraphernalia and […]

Ideas for a Community Science Handbook

By Sarah Wilkins, Thriving Earth Exchange Project Manager What do people need to know when setting out to do community science? –This question was raised recently at a symposium I took part in at Citizen Science Association’s 2019 conference in Raleigh, North Carolina. As part of a five-person panel focused on the design and practice […]

Notes from the Field: April 2019

These project updates come straight from the communities and scientists we work with. Send your Thriving Earth liaison a quick update + photo and we’ll highlight your project in our next newsletter! From Melbourne, Fla.: Science liaison Mitchell Roffer recently made a trip to Capitol Hill to discuss ways to improve the National Flood Insurance […]

3 Take-aways from the 2019 National Environmental Justice Conference

By Zack Valdez The theme for the 2019 National Environmental Justice Conference and Training Program was Education, Learning, and Cooperation in a Diverse World.   It was inspiring and enlightening to witness the dedication to environmental justice issues on the part of the participating students, institutions and federal government representatives. Attendees exhibited a culture of […]

Update: Investigating Environmental Impacts of Land Reclamation Projects in Manila Bay Coastal Areas

From John C. “Warner” Carag, Community lead: Several things have occurred since our online meeting. The March 9-10 fieldwork in the community pushed through, but I did not join at the last minute due to a personal matter. Also, it was decided a few days before that only the core group would proceed with the […]

Update: City of Durango Community Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory

During 2018 and early-2019, the City of Durango Sustainability Coordinator, Imogen Ainsworth, worked with local scientists, Laurie Williams and Joanna Gordon Casey to conduct a Community-wide Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory for the area inside Durango City Limits. In March 2019, after much collaboration, learning and some challenges, Imogen presented draft data to Durango City Council. […]

Guest Blog – The Tool for Climate Explorers

by Ned Gardiner and Fred Lipschultz Gone are the days when one needed a degree in computer science to understand climate history, projections and impacts. Since its launch, the U.S. Climate Resilience Toolkit (CRT) has provided information about changing climate-related risks alongside tools one can use to address those risks. Its newly updated Climate Explorer tool […]

A Partnership Founded in Asking, Not Telling

  By asking communities what they need, Thriving Earth Exchange and EPA’s College/Underserved Community Partnership Program (CUPP) have delivered expertise and lasting impact   It started, like so many things, with a chance encounter at a conference.   Mike Burns, an engineer working at the U.S. EPA, had launched a program to bring technical assistance […]

Notes from the field: March 2019

These project updates come straight from the communities and scientists we work with. Send your Thriving Earth liaison a quick update + photo and we’ll highlight your project in our next newsletter!   From 7th Ward, New Orleans: Raising Sensors, money, and trees in the 7th Ward: Yasmin Davis (pictured) and Kayla Frand installed sensors […]

Ten Tips for Listening

  By Raj Pandya, Director, Thriving Earth Exchange One of the most important skills in community science is listening. After all, the whole goal of community science is to understand how science can be used in ways that advance community priorities and shared values. Hard to do that if you don’t know what those priorities […]

Ocean City Flooding Data Presented At National Conference

The data projected rising sea levels and an increase in high-tide inundation. But the study also offered approaches to solutions.    

Grassroots Group Commended for Work on Flooding by Virginia House

Stop the Flooding NOW was founded by Virginia Beach residents who wanted to take action to address the chronic flooding in their community. Grassroots Group Commended for Work on Flooding by Virginia House  

Notes from the Field: February 2019

We’ve heard project updates are the #1 thing you want from our newsletter. Starting this month, we’ll have links to Notes from the Field, where you get updates straight from the communities and scientists we work with. This month, updates from Flint, Michigan; Cambridge, Ohio; DeSoto, Missouri; and Cicero/Berwyn, Illinois.

LSU Students Collaborate with A Community Voice in NOLA

LSU student project designed to help Lower 9th Ward News Article: Blight to Bioswales: LSU CEE Student Project to Help Lower Ninth Ward

Lev Horodyskyj – Listening Across Barriers

Lev Horodyskyj is an astrobiologist and educational innovator formerly with the Arizona State University’s Center for Education Through eXploration.  He currently freelances and is developing his own cross-cultural science education projects.   By Lev Horodyskyj   I realized that I had stopped talking and that I was listening instead. I had no choice because I […]

From Blight to Bioswales

News article: Upper 9th Ward residents call for new focus on blight Community leaders from A Community Voice organized a news conference on December 12th to demand that the city adopt a more comprehensive plan for addressing the abandoned and blighted properties dotting the 9th Ward. Residents are asking Mayor Cantrell to support a “sustainable […]

World Bank’s GFDRR Understanding Risk Forum Planning Session for the Singapore Forum in 2020

By Natasha Udu-gama, Senior Specialist, Thriving Earth Exchange   AGU’s Fall Meeting is a flurry of events for almost everyone. In the midst of this year’s flurry, I had the opportunity to attend the World Bank’s Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR) Understanding Risk (UR) Forum Planning Meeting for the next Understanding Risk […]

Achieving Change Together

By Julia Kumari Drapkin, CEO and founder, ISeeChange   The word “empowerment” is a loaded bit of language. For years, I’ve used this word to describe the tools, platforms, and methods we’ve developed at ISeeChange to “empower” communities in adaptation and decision-making. The science community liberally uses the word too: “empowering society through science,” “empowering […]

Sylvester Broome Empowerment Village Visits MSU to Hear Design Presentations

On November 27th, Maryum Rasool and Saadia Shah made a trip from Flint, Michigan to Michigan State University in East Lansing to hear presentations from Dr. Jon Burley’s Landscape Design class. Teams of students presented their visions for possible green roof designs for the Sylvester Broome Empowerment Village (SBEV) in North Flint. “The brainstorms, concepts, […]

Thriving Earth Exchange: Reflections of a Five-Year-Old

By Raj Pandya, Kevin Noone and Carol Finn As we end 2018, Thriving Earth Exchange has developed a way to connect Earth and space science to meaningful community impact and is moving from start-up to scale-up. Thriving Earth Exchange can also amplify a larger movement toward community science.  It is customary to use the time […]

2018 Thriving Earth Exchange Year in Review

Thriving Earth Exchange emerged from a bold vision to better leverage science to benefit humanity through a more direct partnership between scientists and communities. Five years and more than 80 projects in, the phase of quiet experimentation is over. Thriving Earth Exchange, and the approach we call community science, has evolved, matured, and proved its […]

From Canada’s Chemical Valley to the “Heart of Flint”: Field Notes on Environmental Justice

By Sarah Wilkins, Project Manager As a Thriving Earth Project Manager, I am always thrilled to see the world out from behind my computer screen: meeting a project team in person, visiting the lands of a First Nation or walking a neighborhood with a community leader. I was granted such a chance in late September […]

From Canada’s Chemical Valley to the “Heart of Flint”: Field Notes on Environmental Justice

By Sarah Wilkins, Project Manager As a Thriving Earth Project Manager, I am always thrilled to see the world out from behind my computer screen: meeting a project team in person, visiting the lands of a First Nation or walking a neighborhood with a community leader. I was granted such a chance in late September […]

Ocean City Flooding introduces Coastal Keepers program

On November 2, 2018 Ocean City Flooding held a meeting at the public library to kick off their citizen science data collection with New Jersey’s Department of Environmental Protection Coastal Keepers Program. The partnership includes the City of Ocean City, the entire Ocean City School District (3 schools in total), and The Sea Grant Consortium. […]

Thriving Earth Exchange Announces 2018 Project Launch Workshop Communities

Thriving Earth Exchange is excited to announce our Project Launch Workshop communities for Fall Meeting 2018: Community Country Topic/Theme Arlington, VA USA Clean energy and renewables Goldsboro, NC USA Coal ash contamination to air and water; Environmental justice Las Terrenas Dominican Republic Coastal erosion, coastal land loss Musoshi and Kasumbalesa Democratic Republic of the Congo […]

A Dream for De Soto, MO

Here’s a video from Susan Sherrow Liley, community leader and organizer of Citizen’s Committee for Flood Relief. Flood Forum USA produced this video featuring Susan sharing her dreams and aspirations for her community.

From Canada’s Chemical Valley to the “Heart of Flint”: Field Notes on Environmental Justice

By Sarah Wilkins, Project Manager As a Thriving Earth Project Manager, I am always thrilled to see the world out from behind my computer screen: meeting a project team in person, visiting the lands of a First Nation or walking a neighborhood with a community leader. I was granted such a chance in late September […]

A Dream for Virginia Beach, VA

Here’s a video from Virginia Wasserberg, community leader and organizer of STOP the Flooding Now. Flood Forum USA produced this video featuring Virginia sharing her dreams and aspirations for her community.

A Snapshot of Flooding in Virginia Beach, Virginia

On October 14th, STOP the Flooding Now held a rally for residents to come share their flooding stories with the public. Check out this promotional video that Virginia Wasserberg put together to promote the event:  

A Dream for Richwood, Texas

Here’s a video from Kevin McKinney, community leader and organizer of Flood Victims of Richwood. He is working with Thriving Earth Exchange hydrologist Steve Emerman to better understand flood risk and what to do about it. Here’s a Flood Forum USA video featuring Kevin sharing his dreams and aspirations.

Claiborne Ave Alliance Leads a Corridor Tour

New Orleans, LA Community leaders from Claiborne Avenue Alliance led a walking tour of the Claiborne corridor on September 15th for engineers, planners, architects, public officials and scientists—many of whom were attending the Walk Bike Places Transit Conference that week. The tour was co-organized with The Congress for New Urbanism to highlight the socio-economic and […]

Cambridge, OH team deploys PISCES Samplers

In early September 2018, the Cambridge and Barnesville, OH teams got together recently to document the work that Chris Spiese (with the Cambridge project) is doing to put PISCES samplers in the waters of Southeast Ohio. Credit to Jill Hunkler of the Barnesville project for developing this video!

Barnesville, OH Water Sampling – 11 October 2018

As part of the American Geophysical Union’s Barnesville, Ohio Thriving Earth Exchange project, water sampling was conducted on two of the most pristine waterways in the state, Captina Creek and Cat’s Run. Dr. John Stolz, Director, Center for Environmental Research and Education at Duquesne University, is the Scientific lead for this project. He and his […]

Can the Table Scraps of Caribbean Tourism Become an Environmental Boon?

This is part one of a two-part blog post about a new project in Jamaica aimed at simultaneously improving the island nation’s energy production, waste disposal, and agriculture.   By Wale Adewunmi   In Jamaica, tourism fuels the country’s economy. However, it also probably generates more waste than any other industry on the island.  A […]

Haley Gannon – Translating a Pivotal Internship Experience into a Satisfying Career

By Haley Gannon This blog is part of Students in Community Science, a series of Thriving Earth Exchange articles featuring students who have had internship, educational or volunteer experiences in community science.   When I first came to the Thriving Earth Exchange, I was relatively new to the idea of community science. My experience up […]

Shahan Haq – Adapting to Life after Adaptation Analytics: Reflection from an Intern

By Shahan Haq This blog is part of Students in Community Science, a series of Thriving Earth Exchange articles featuring students who have had internship, educational or volunteer experiences in community science   During an atmospheric chemistry course I took a few years ago, the professor would pause his lecture before major discoveries in the […]

Babak J. Fard – Insights from an Interdisciplinary Community Science Experience

By Babak J. Fard This blog is part of Students in Community Science, a series of Thriving Earth Exchange articles featuring students who have had internship, educational or volunteer experiences in community science.   The Brookline, Mass. Thriving Earth Exchange project “Building Community Resilience to Extreme Heat” started in February 2016 with several initial meetings […]

“Getting Woke”: One Scientist’s Experience of Confronting His Own Implicit Biases

By Raj Pandya   I try to do the right thing on issues of diversity, equity and inclusion, and I recently had an experience that reminded me how even those of us who are trying to do the right thing make mistakes. I want to share that experience so that others can learn from it. […]

Angela Dapremont – How Studying Mars is Relevant to Helping Earth’s Communities

By Angela Dapremont This blog is part of Students in Community Science, a series of Thriving Earth Exchange articles featuring students who have had internship, educational or volunteer experiences in community science   I was fortunate to have a unique Thriving Earth Exchange internship experience during the summer and fall months of 2015. I started […]