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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.

     

Where Are They Now? Drying Out a Flood-Prone Community

As the waters retreat, hopes rise in Ocean City, New Jersey   While the community science process itself can be instructive and empowering, often the greatest impacts of a project come months or years later. To dig into what happens after a community science project ends, we spoke with Suzanne Hornick, founder and chair of […]

Scientist Spotlight: Data on Your Side

After lending a hand in over 10 community science projects, Steven Emerman has some thoughts about what it means to be a scientific partner.   There was the time he answered lawyers’ questions about flooding for 8 hours in a grueling legal deposition. And the time he helped determine that flood map inputs had been […]

America’s Science Corps: Ideas from Thriving Earth Exchange

By Raj Pandya   There have been two great editorials in the last month that, together, call for a community-driven approach to science at a national scale. The first, Science’s New Frontier, describes an American Science Corps that would place as many as 20,000 early career scientists in underserved rural and urban communities. The second, Biden’s Science Challenge, points out how […]

Community Insights: Mapping the pollution to create the solution

The Tar Creek in Ottawa County, Oklahoma, runs directly through a 40-square-mile Superfund site, full of giant mounds of toxic mining waste—a fine, white sand-and-gravel mix known as “chat,” easily blown away by the breeze—that is polluting the entire county’s drinking water, yards and fields.  Local Environmental Action Demanded (LEAD) Agency, a community-led non-profit environmental […]

Meet our April 2021 Community Science Fellowship Cohort

We’re excited to welcome and introduce our newest cohort of Community Science Fellows. Beginning this spring they will work with communities across the United States to develop and implement new community science projects.   Abra Atwood (she/her) is PhD Candidate in Earth Sciences at the University of Southern California, working with Dr. Josh West. Her work […]

Looking in the Mirror

by Angela M. Chalk   Mirrors are a reflective surface that provides a clear image. They give a true representation of what is seen. The experience I share is my story as a Community Science Fellow with the American Geophysical Union’s Thriving Earth Exchange. This journey began as a community leader to solve a problem […]

Engaging as a Community Scientist

by Edith Newton Wilson, PhD, FGS   Are you a scientist who misses being out in the field? Do you want to recapture that feeling of being involved with something that matters? Is Zoom becoming a chore instead of a window to the world? Perhaps it’s time to move outside of day-to-day work tasks and […]

Communicating Your Work

Sure you think your community science project is the bee’s knees–you’re passionate about it! That’s why you got involved in the first place. But what about your friend, your neighbor or your legislator? To reach them, you’re going to have to communicate, and do it well.  We’ve been amazed at how creative and engaging our […]

Community Insights: Keeping the Kiamichi River Clean

The Kiamichi River, in southeastern Oklahoma, is a pristine 177-mile river with headwaters in the Kiamichi Mountains, on the Oklahoma border with Arkansas. But it won’t stay clean if the state has its way: lawmakers want to divert the flow of the Kiamichi to meet the water needs of the Oklahoma City area, and possibly […]

Greening up for the greater good

by Kathleen Pierce   Many people already have an image of some of the neighborhoods that make up South Central Los Angeles County, California, such as Watts and Compton, from their portrayal in movies and TV. But look beyond the screen and you’ll find a vibrant, forward-thinking community where residents are rolling up their sleeves […]

A community science approach to funding science

By Raj Pandya What if, instead of funding scientists to work in and with scientifically underserved communities, we gave community organizations money and let them choose the science projects, and scientists, they wanted to work with? Thriving Earth Exchange is going to try this out, in a small way, with our new Neighborhood Fund.    Introducing the Thriving Earth Exchange […]

Meet our NEON Community Science Fellows!

Thriving Earth Exchange and NEON Launch New Community Science Partnership We’re excited to welcome our newest cohort of Community Science Fellows, and first in partnership with the National Ecological Observation Network (NEON). This cohort is comprised of field staff across 12 of NEON’s domains. Beginning in February 2021, they will be conducting outreach to communities […]

Meet our January 2021 Fellows!

Three Scientific Societies Launch New Community Science Initiative Welcome our newest cohort of Community Science Fellows! This exceptional group is part of a cohort led in partnership with AGU’s Thriving Earth Exchange, the American Meteorological Society (AMS) and the Association for Science & Technology Centers (ASTC).  Together, our three organizations seek to bridge our networks […]

2020 Thriving Earth Exchange Year in Review

2020 Thriving Earth Exchange Year in Review 2020 was a year of change in ways none of us anticipated. Along with the rest of the world, the Thriving Earth Exchange team and our network of fellows, community leaders, scientific partners and collaborators were challenged to accept, accommodate and adapt as the COVID-19 pandemic transformed the […]

Community Insights: “Small but mighty” Park City leads the way on climate

“Small but mighty” Park City leads the way on climate by Kathleen Pierce Park City, Utah, is famous for its winter sports and glitzy Sundance Film Festival. But when the more than 3 million annual tourists and vacation home owners leave, the city’s 8,300 year-round residents don’t relax. Instead, they are busy accomplishing bold climate […]

Meet Our New Partner: National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON)

Image: The view from NEON’s field site in Yellowstone National Park. Photo courtesy of Battelle, NEON Program. Meet Our New Partner: National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) Thriving Earth Exchange and NEON join forces to bring powerful ecological data to bear on community priorities When we think of challenges like sea level rise or air pollution, […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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. […]

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 […]