Community Science Fellowship

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Spring 2020 California Cohort (Deadline Extended to 21 February)!

  • The California Strategic Growth Council (SGC) is a cabinet-level organization that coordinates and works collaboratively with public agencies, communities, and stakeholders to achieve sustainability, equity, economic prosperity, and quality of life for all Californians. SGC is committed to promoting racial equity and to providing funding and capacity-building to historically marginalized and/or underserved communities. These include California Native American Tribes, as well as communities classified as disadvantaged by CalEnviroScreen, low-income, and climate vulnerable communities.SGC hopes that this cohort of Community Science Fellows, located in California, will increase the capacity of communities across the state to address their climate and/or sustainability priorities.  After completing their projects, Fellows will have opportunities to continue their involvement with the State of California by engaging in upcoming capacity building and research-related initiatives. SGC will view Community Science Fellows as regional resources with experience in California communities, and anticipates future opportunities for Fellows to work with various State-related programs and initiatives.

Science, Policy, & Engagement Cohort (Deadline TBA)!

  • Building an Enduring Grassroots Constituency for Science: We are currently accepting applications for Community Science Fellows to join our 2020 Science, Policy, and Engagement Cohort.  AGU has been awarded a grant from The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation to develop a new project, “Building an Enduring Grassroots Constituency for Science,” that will create science-community partnerships in eight communities across the United States. Fellows selected for this cohort will support a community science partnership that advances local priorities and addresses public audiences, media, and decision makers. As just one example of these kind of multi-component (science, engagement, policy) projects:  A community leadership team might collect and analyze local air quality data, share the data with residents, work with residents in areas with dangerous air quality to design educational campaigns and encourage policy changes that reduce pollution.

Who are Community Science Fellows?

Thriving Earth Exchange Community Science Fellows are current and future leaders in the community science movement. Community Science is when scientists and community leaders work as partners to design and do science in ways that advance community priorities. Community Science Fellows are committed volunteers who are eager to facilitate and lead collaborative, co-developed community science projects that produce on-the-ground impact in local communities. They can have any background, experience level, or location. To be successful, a Fellow must have a general knowledge of Earth science, be organized and proactive, value community science and be committed to engaging with their community and scientific partners for the duration of the project. Our best Fellows have a strong focus on community priorities; the ability to listen, empathize, remain flexible, communicate; and have a respect for all knowledge. The skills Community Science Fellows hone prepare them to manage diverse teams, work across disciplinary boundaries, and connect science to action.

Meet the September 2019 Fellowship Cohort.
Meet the December 2019 Fellowship Cohort.

What do Fellows Do?

Each Fellow is matched with a local community and 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, finding and recruiting partner scientists to assemble a project team, managing and supporting the project, and helping share the team’s story and impact. Fellows are trained and receive ongoing support from Thriving Earth Exchange staff, a peer group of Fellows, and a dedicated community science mentor.

A typical project can last anywhere from 6-18 months start to finish. Fellows are expected to commit to at least 2-3 hours per week in the first month. Most of that time will be spent in conversation with the community to learn their priorities, designing a project that leverages Earth and space science to meet those priorities, finding and interviewing scientists to work on that project, and connecting the scientist(s) and community lead(s) to form a project team. After that, the time commitment will decrease to 2-3 hours per month to schedule and facilitate team meetings, check in with team members, and troubleshoot issues as they arise.

Thriving Earth Exchange Community Science Fellows are invited to contribute their ideas and experience to the development and expansion of this new opportunity, and all aspects of Thriving Earth Exchange.

How does Thriving Earth Exchange support Fellows?

Fellowship cohorts are launched quarterly via a 2-day in-person workshop supported by Thriving Earth Exchange and our partners. (Travel and lodging provided.) During this hands-on workshop, Fellows engage in skill building and leadership exercises (e.g. active listening, project design, cultural humility, strategic communication, and more) and learn how to successfully launch and manage a community science project.

Following the workshop, fellows are supported by:
• A dedicated Thriving Earth Exchange staff liaison
• Peer-to-peer sharing and support within their cohort
• Regular online trainings and information sessions from Thriving Earth partners
• Connection to a community science mentor

How can I become a Community Science Fellow?

Please fill out the short application form below to apply. At this time, Fellows must be located within the United States.

Application deadlines are listed below for each cohort.

Cohort Launch Location Deadline
April 23-24, 2020 (California Cohort) Sacramento, California February 21, 2020
Spring/Summer (Science, Policy, & Engagement Cohort) U.S. TBA

Selection Criteria for California Thriving Earth Exchange Collaboration (Spring 2020):

  • (For April 2020) Thriving Earth Exchange will give preference to applicants living, and/or working or researching in California. Ideally, applicants will have experience working with diverse stakeholders, including low-income/disadvantaged communities.
  • Education: (minimum) undergraduate degree
  • Career stage: any
  • Science background:  not required formally, but some interest/familiarly is necessary
  • Commitment to and experience in (or strong intent to pursue) community science
  • A passion for elevating community-led action and local priorities
  • Project management and facilitation skills
  • Leadership experience in multidisciplinary/culturally sensitive environments
  • (Preferred) Evidence of consistency and longer-term reliability in volunteer work or community engagement
  • Enthusiasm about both the role, and about engaging with Thriving Earth Exchange and the California Strategic Growth Council more generally
  • Willingness and ability to be reflective about their role and the Thriving Earth Exchange program
  • Humility, ability to listen, communication skills

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