Apply now to join our next cohort of Community Science Fellows and Community Leads!

October 2022 Community Science Fellowship with National Park Service

Applications for this opportunity will be accepted until Thursday, September 8

Ready to apply? Jump to application form.

If you are a non-NPS staff person and are looking for the fellows application page, click here

Thriving Earth Exchange is pleased to partner with the National Park Service to launch a cohort of community science projects. NPS and AGU share interests, value the principles of community science, and employ practices supporting conservation, education, and sustainable living in physical-social landscapes. Through our collaboration and community science efforts, we achieve mutual goals of enhancing conservation, public enjoyment, and sustainable communities and landscapes (including parks) while promoting the practice and applications of science.


Call for Applications

NPS employees who are passionate about community science are invited to apply for our October 2022 Community Science Fellowship cohort alongside their community partners. For details about the Community Science Fellow program and qualities Thriving Earth Exchange looks for in its Fellows, please click here.

To qualify for this NPS-Thriving Earth Exchange cohort, Fellow applicants must apply in coordination with a community group. The Fellow and the community are asked to submit individual applications by September 8:

We encourage interested candidates to discuss this opportunity with your community partners as soon as possible. This page on the Thriving Earth Exchange website has information about what engagement with Thriving Earth Exchange entails for participating communities.

NPS employees selected as Community Science Fellows will receive training, mentorship and support from AGU Thriving Earth Exchange. Click here for information about onboarding, training and engagement after project launch.



June 2022 – Applications open.

  • June 2, 2022 – Information session for National Park Service employees

September 8, 2021 – Application Deadline for both Community Science Fellows and Communities

  • Beginning after September 8, selected Fellow applicants will be contacted for interviews. Communities will be contacted by Thriving Earth Exchange staff to confirm alignment with program.

Late September – Selection decisions, onboarding, and access to pre-work

Mid-October (Date TBA) – 1-hour Community orientation

October 26-27, 2022 (12-5:00 p.m. Eastern Time) – Mandatory orientation for Community Science Fellows.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Who may apply to be a Community Science Fellow?
This Community Science Fellowship is open to all NPS staff.


How should I coordinate with community partners to apply for this cohort?
NPS/RTCA staff are asked to apply for this cohort in coordination with community partners. (See information about respective application forms and timelines above.) We recommend that you share about and explore this opportunity with your community partners as early as possible. This can be an excellent opportunity to enhance existing relationships or build a new and exciting partnership. Regardless:

  • Ask your community partner what they would like to see come from such a project, and explore how you (and thus NPS and/or your park) can support them advancing their priorities.
  • Be prepared to share your motivations for engaging with the community through this program.

For more tips on engaging with communities, check out the following blogs on the Thriving Earth Exchange website:


Can I do [insert project idea] with my community partner?
If that project idea was developed in partnership with the community, advances one or more local priorities, and will have a local impact, then absolutely! If it wasn’t, take some time to learn about the community’s priorities, and co-develop a project idea to pursue. (Community priorities must be the genesis of any project.)

Regardless, please know that the Thriving Earth Exchange approach begins with developing (“scoping”) a project. You do not need a fully formed idea to apply.


Can you help me visualize what a Thriving Earth Exchange project between a community and NPS could be?
Of course. While every community and every project is different, and projects must be developed in response to community priorities, we’re happy to offer some hypothetical examples:

  • A community adjacent to a national park seeks to develop its heritage tourism sector by recreating vegetable and flower gardens and orchards. The area slated for the gardens and the park’s land was once part of one cultural landscape. The community approaches the park to conduct research in the museum collection to learn about species historically present, using samples of soil, pollen and seeds gathered during archeological work.
  • A township near a beach destination wants options for maintaining the wooden buildings that define the historic character of its downtown. The buildings face impacts from everyday beachside humidity and periodic impacts from climate-change-driven storms. It reaches out to NPS historic materials specialists to test treatments to clean and preserve the wood, learn about options to preserve the structures, and develop plans to anticipate loss.
  • A park with a river flowing through it needs to study and monitor water quality because of concerns about growing non-point sources of pollution from agriculture and long-distance atmospheric deposition. Towns and communities that lie along the river outside the park also have concerns about water quality since they use the river for drinking and recreation. The communities and the park identify their shared interests and priorities and collaborate to design and implement a regular monitoring program across a relevant shared watershed. A park employee serves as the Community Science Fellow to engage the community in collaborative project design, development, and completion. (If the park is relatively large and has a science/resource staff who have already begun monitoring water quality within the park, then the park might also contribute protocols, equipment, access to existing data, and scientific expertise)


Other questions?

For inquiries related to the NPS-AGU partnership or Community Science Fellowship opportunity, contact:

Communities should direct questions to Blake McGhghy, Manager, Community Leader Engagement, AGU Thriving Earth Exchange ([email protected])



Community Science Fellow Application

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