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Reflections on WaterSciCon 2024


We know here at Thriving Earth Exchange that water, how much of it is available to whom, where it travels, and what contaminants it carries with it, impacts people everywhere. Roughly one third of Thriving Earth Exchange projects are around the topics of flooding or contamination. Frequently, these issues most affect those who have the least resources to handle them. Fortunately, there are researchers across the world looking for solutions to these complex projects and many of them gathered at WaterSciCon24, a joint conference between AGU and CUAHSI, the Consortium of Universities for the Advancement of Hydrologic Science, Inc. Following the theme of “Catalyzing Collaborations” attendees including Britt Forsberg, Thriving Earth Exchange’s Community Science Fellow Coordinator, came together to share research, collaborate and plan for the future.   

With roads and parks closed as the nearby Mississippi River entered major flood stage, it was easy for participants to keep the real-world implications of research in freshwater systems in mind.  Discussions took place around topics including urban hydrology, modeling, community-engaged research and data science but throughout each session was the understanding that the research presented and the decisions made would impact the lives of everyday people. 

Here are some of my reflections, “I learned about efforts in Chicago, IL to prioritize stormwater infrastructure investments that benefit neighborhoods with a high social vulnerability index, community-led E. coli monitoring in Atlanta, GA where levels routinely exceed those deemed safe and the challenges of supplying water to communities in Kenya without financial support for ongoing operation and maintenance. It reinforced the importance of the work we do at Thriving Earth Exchange and left me feeling hopeful for the future.  Scientists and practitioners are actively working to make the world better.” 

If you want to use your scientific expertise to support community science, read through the opportunities available on the Thriving Earth Exchange website. You, too, can make a difference by helping a community address their environmental priorities! 


Britt Forsberg, Fellows Engagement Coordinator at Thriving Earth Exchange








Liz Crocker editor

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