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What is TEX?

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The Thriving Earth Exchange (TEX) will be this: It will be 100s or 1000s of community projects that use Earth and space science to make life better for people and the planet. To us, a better life means one that is sustainable, equitable, resilient, and productive – one that helps all people live well with their environment and offers opportunity and responsibility for all. We think a good strategy for getting there is to bring scientific insight and experience together with community values and knowledge, and we know that this happens differently in different communities. We believe enough of these community-based projects, sharing their success and making a local impact, can also add up to a global impact. That is the notion of “solutions for the planet, one community at a time

There are four parts to TEX: an overarching idea of science, and handful of pilots projects that test the idea, an infrastructure for launching many, many more projects, and the people who will lead those projects. To me, people are most important, though the idea is pretty cool, too.


  1. The idea of science is community science – a way of doing science that has scientists and non-scientists working side by side at every stage from designing a project to collecting data to applying results.
  2. The pilot projects are about actually doing community science. They range from a community in the Pamirs that wants to incorporate climate science into their always-evolving traditional calendars to a Denver neighborhood group that wants to understand how monitoring the environment can protect their health. The pilots are a laboratory for the idea of community science: a way to identify what it takes to make community science succeed, especially around issues related to climate change, natural resources, and natural hazards.
  3. An infrastructure for community science. We’ve identified four steps to a successful community science project, and are collecting tools and resources to support each of those steps. These include everything from training in how to facilitate an exploratory conversation to fund-raising tools.
  4. People who are doing community science. We are interested in exponential growth in community science, which means we (at TEX) can’t just do more projects. Instead, we have to grow the number of people doing community science. That is a big part of why people are the most important part. Our ambassadors program is one part of this.


We want to make it easy for you to get involved in community science, whether you want be part of an existing project or you want to develop your own project. Whether you want to try it out or make it your life’s work, TEX will welcome you. We also want to connect you to an ever growing network of other people doing community science – a network you can use to collaborate, learn, and share your strategies and ideas.

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