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.


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 […]

Caroline Stallard – Why Community Science Has Everything to Do With Med School

By Caroline Stallard 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   As a second year medical student, I am constantly presented with opportunities to build my resume, contribute to science and give back to […]

Ashley Collier-Oxandale – Reflections on Taking Part in Community-Based Science as a Graduate Student

By Ashley Collier-Oxandale 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.   Several years ago, I began working on a Thriving Earth Exchange project with Taking Neighborhood to Heart (TNH2H), a nonprofit in Northeast […]

Abhishek Rao – Why I’m Hooked on Community Science

By Abhishek Rao 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.   My involvement in Thriving Earth Exchange began in the fall of 2016 as an early career scientist on a Thriving Earth Exchange […]

Resilience Dialogues Mid-Year Review

By Melissa Goodwin Communities across the United States – and globally – are negatively affected by climate change. As these impacts grow in the future, communities must make plans and decisions to reduce their vulnerability. If done well, this planning makes a community not only less vulnerable to climate impacts, but also more resilient. Across […]

Climate Action Goes Local

Climate change is a big, global problem. But climate action—the concrete, specific steps necessary to mitigate and adapt to climate change—is happening very much in the local sphere. Take, for example, the Global Climate Action Summit being held in San Francisco, Calif. this September. The event, timed to fall midway between two international climate meetings […]

What is a “Catalyst for Change”?

Here’s a guest post from our partner and Director of Flood Forum USA, Harriet Festing: You’ve probably heard the phrase before; it’s become a cliché. But we want to introduce you to some real-life catalysts for change: our Flood Forum USA group leaders! Here’s what they’ve done: Susan Liley and Paula Arbuthnot from the Citizens […]

Brandywine, MD-TEX Project Featured in WIRED Article

The Brandywine, MD – TEX project was featured in an August 2, 2018 WIRED article by Mejs Hasan: “This Community is Advocating for Air Quality – With Science.”   “KAMITA GRAY AND her mom have spent a lot of time volunteering at Brandywine Elementary School, helping kindergarteners learn to write their names and making sure […]

Ocean City Flooding Making a Splash in the News

Photo courtesy of Suzanne Hornick Ocean City Flooding, a flood group established to unite residents and property owners concerned about flooding and to coordinate efforts related to flood mitigation, continues to garner attention from local news outlets related to its efforts. In a Science Nature article from June 18th, Ocean City is mentioned as topping […]

It’s Time to Shake Science’s Superiority Complex

Science isn’t the only way of knowing. How can we capture that nuance in our work and on our T-shirts? By Raj Pandya, Director, Thriving Earth Exchange   One of the most important tips I’ve learned from the Thriving Earth Exchange (TEX) and from working with communities is not to take science too seriously. As […]

Fighting for justice where geoscience meets public health

Grappling with divisive issues, collaborators from multiple fields find common purpose   TEX helps geoscientists and communities work together to solve problems. While it may be unconventional in the geosciences, this type of collaborative approach isn’t quite so new or radical in other fields. Indeed, the approach we call community science grew, in part, out […]

Bridging Information Gaps and Fulfilling User Needs

Bridging Community Information Gaps June 25, 2018 The impact of climate change is substantial, and indeed, climate-change induced droughts, heatwaves, floods, forest fires, and changes in disease transmission are already observable. These impacts vary considerably based location, and as such, cities and communities face the burden of dealing with the impacts and adapting to climate […]

Bridging Communities: The First Centennial Project

This blog was originally posted on the AGU blog, From the Prow.  Written by Carol Finn, AGU Past-President and United States Geological Survey Geophysicist, and Raj Pandaya, AGU Thriving Earth Exchange Program Director   During the last century, discoveries in Earth and space science have changed society’s understanding of the world around us and improved economic security […]

Leveraging Expertise, Environmental Justice Community Nets a Big Win

$1.2 million allocated to projects to mitigate impacts of waste transfer station in predominantly African-American neighborhood Evanston, Ill., a diverse Chicago suburb bordering Lake Michigan, faces a number of issues around environmental degradation and extreme weather. The problem faced in one predominantly African-American, middle-lower income neighborhood has been particularly vexing. For decades, residents there have […]

What’s the ticket to a successful community meeting? Make it personal.

Virginia Beach partnership engages residents and community leaders in discussion of flood risk Most community science projects are driven and sustained by a handful of dedicated individuals. But to make a real and lasting impact, the engagement can’t end there. In most cases, the small group at the heart of a project must find a […]

Fragility and Resilience – Environmental Remediation as a Community Challenge

Brad Geismar, 2018 TEX Community Science Fellow for Colebrook, N.H. Located in northern New Hampshire close to the Canadian border, Colebrook, N.H. is a small town like many New England towns. Many of the town’s residents have ties to the community and its beautiful outdoor spaces that span generations. Unlike other small New England towns, […]

How I See TEX in 2038

TEX Advisory Board Member Kevin Noone (Stockholm University) imagines community science 20 years hence. As part of an exercise to identify strategic priorities at a recent meeting of the TEX Advisory Board, members took a moment to imagine what TEX might look like 20 years from now. We were floored by the seriously inspiring ideas […]

Ocean City Flooding to Co-host Community Meeting on flooding, June 6th

Dr. Tom Herrington, Associate Director of the Urban Coast Institute at Monmouth University, will speak about flooding issues impacting Ocean City at the next Fairness in Taxes (FIT) meeting in Ocean City on June 6th. The meeting will be co-hosted by OC Flooding and FIT. The meeting is open and free to the public. Stay […]

Colebrook, NH Community Science Fellow Completes Sampling and Presents to Local High School Students

By Bradley Geismar, TEX Community Science Fellow, Colebrook, NH On Friday, April 20th, the students of Colebrook had an opportunity to learn about the complicated task of environmental remediation during a presentation on a decade-spanning clean-up operation at the Town’s municipal landfill. During the presentation, the students learned about the crucial link between scientific awareness […]

Barnesville, OH submits joint proposal and holds joint community meeting

The Barnesville-TEX team, as part of the GeoPolicy Connect cohort developed at the GeoPolicy Connect meeting in October 2017, accomplished a number of activities since their collaboration launched in January 2018. Dr. John Stolz of Duquesne University has had a chance to visit Barnesville twice from his base in Pittsburgh, PA. Not only has he […]

Salt Fork State Park Barnesville-Cambridge, OH Joint Conference – April 28, 2018

  By Jill Antares Hunkler, Community Lead, TEX-Barnesville, OH project A special conference was hosted by participants in the American Geophysical Union’s Thriving Earth Exchange (TEX) Barnesville and Cambridge, OH projects at Salt Fork State Park Lodge and Conference Center on April 28, in southeastern Ohio. The purpose of the event was to inform residents […]

Doing Community Science Around the World: How TEX is Going Global

By Natasha Udu-gama, TEX Senior Specialist The American Geophysical Union’s mission is to promote discovery in Earth and space science for the benefit of humanity. About five years ago, our senior leadership acknowledged that our members were great at doing the first part of this mission – making discoveries in a wide array of scientific […]

Reflections from the National Environmental Justice and Training Program Conference

By Sarah Wilkins, TEX Project Manager Who has a voice? Who has the power? And whose stories are we missing? These are three of the many thought-provoking messages scribbled in my notebook from last week’s National Environmental Justice and Training Program Conference in Washington, D.C. They surfaced during a presentation about place and people-based education […]

San Juan College Students Release 2 New Videos on Makerspace

Luke Renner’s Media Arts & Design students produced 2 video segments on the proposed makerspaces. Video #1: Overview of the makerspaces featuring SJC’s Luke Renner and Judy Castleberry and EPA CUPPS’s Michael Burns. Video #2: San Juan County inventor Frank Santoro discusses his building material invention and the future opportunities for inventors at the San Juan […]

Recipes for a ‘Potluck’ Model of Science Engagement

By TEX Director, Raj Pandya In a previous blog, I talked about the loading dock, the dominant model for science engagement and applications since WWII. Honestly, it isn’t really fair to call the loading dock a model for science engagement. It is more about disengagement: the loading dock assumes that scientists just need to produce […]

Partner Profile: Earth Connections

Through service-based learning, offering students the chance to learn while making an impact The geosciences are projected to have a workforce deficit in the coming years—that is, more job opportunities than people to fill them. At the same time, there are a plethora of communities facing challenges that could benefit from geoscience tools and data. […]

Geoscience for Adaptation Decision Support: Fulfilling User Needs

Seeking to improve local decision support, effort finds more gaps than coverage in decision-relevant information By Shahan Haq The international climate science community has made tremendous strides in our understanding of the climate system. We can make more precise measurements from space, while we make quicker measurements from new technologies such as drones and ground […]

A Gap to Fill: Putting People First in Solving Environmental Issues

By Hannah Hagemann The sites I worked at as a geologist for an environmental consulting firm were eerily similar. All located within low income or working-class neighborhoods in Los Angeles, the residents were immigrants and people of color, who face systematic barriers to higher education. Their neighborhoods were industrial; positioned next to railroad tracks, landfills, […]

Barnesville, OH Project Featured in Local Paper

The Barnesville, Ohio project was featured in The Columbia Dispatch on March 21, 2018 in an article titled, “Gubernatorial candidate tours southeastern Ohio fracking and mining sites”:   A March 9 fossil fuel extraction tour of Southeastern Ohio, guided by area residents included Dennis Kucinich, candidate for governor, who requested the tour to gain a […]

Resilient Communities Projects Launch Across the Nation

TEX and the National League of Cities collaborate to help seven cities elevate climate resilience goals TEX is proud to partner with the National League of Cities’ Sustainable Cities Institute (SCI), which recently announced seven cities selected to join this year’s Resilient Communities cohort. In this program, each city will set its own climate sustainability […]

Beyond the Loading Dock

By Raj Pandya, TEX Director In a recent blog, I asked about how to stand up for science. That led me to another question: Why do we even need to stand up for science? Also: How did we get here, and what do we need to differently to move forward? I think the need to […]

Making the Conversation Work

Insights on facilitating community-scientist interactions from an experienced bridge-builder Here at TEX, we’re in the business of building bridges. For us, that often means taking stock of what each side—the community and the scientists—has and what it needs, and finding a way to join the two in a way that meaningfully moves things forward. But […]

Reflections of a TEX Fellow

By Abhishek Rao Editor’s Note: TEX created a Community Science Training/Fellowship opportunity for the Hermosa Beach, CA project in Fall 2016. While TEX projects typically include scientific partners who are more established in their field, we saw an opportunity to engage a student or early career scientist on one of our newer projects. By inviting […]

Cal Poly Pomona Students Process Ontario, CA Water Samples

Undergraduate students enrolled in undergraduate research at Cal Poly Pomona are getting some applied lab experience processing water samples collected from Ontario’s constructed wetlands. Under the supervision of Dr. Shelton Murinda, Professor in the Animal and Veterinary Sciences Department, students conduct fecal indicator bacterial counts using the IDEXX system.  Dr. Shelton Murinda adds “the students […]

Introducing the TEX Statement on Integrity in Community Science

Introducing the TEX Statement on Integrity in Community Science Community science depends on partnerships that harvest the benefits of many perspectives. To provide a foundation for effective, mutually beneficial and ethically conducted community science projects, TEX developed its Statement on Integrity in Community Science. In addition to guiding how projects are conducted, the statement serves […]

Translational Research or Community Science?

By Thushara Gunda, recent Vanderbilt University PhD graduate A reflection on my dissertation journey as part of an interdisciplinary research project with community partners. Over the last few months, I have been thinking a fair bit about whether my interdisciplinary, dissertation research journey reflects the principles of translational research or those of community science. In […]