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April 2022 Wisconsin Cohort

Thriving Earth Exchange and University of Wisconsin Partner for Community Science

Thriving Earth Exchange is pleased to partner with the University of Wisconsin’s UniverCity Alliance to launch a cohort of community science projects in Wisconsin in April 2022. UW and AGU share interests, value the principles of community science, and prioritize furthering the practice of sustainability. The partnership will connect Wisconsin communities with scientists and technical experts and support them as they work together to tackle local challenges related to natural hazards, natural resources and climate change. Communities may submit an application to participate in the cohort until March 1, 2022. 

 

About Thriving Earth Community Science Projects 

All Thriving Earth Exchange projects start with community priorities, and any community can start a project with us! We encourage communities of any size and type in the state of Wisconsin to submit a local priority, issue, and/or project idea related to natural hazards, the environment, or climate change to join this project cohort. 

Scientific and technical expertise and support from Thriving Earth Exchange is free of charge for communities. Projects typically do not come with funding: we design projects that make an impact through creative problem-solving, in-kind support, and the resources at hand. Projects will be supported by Wisconsin-based Community Science Fellows – project managers we train and match with you – and volunteer scientists and technical experts. Learn more about being a Thriving Earth Exchange community lead  here, and check out a video Q&A here. 

Note: Thriving Earth Exchange launches projects quarterly, and applications are reviewed on a rolling basis. If you’re not ready to join our latest cohort, you can still apply now and join a future cohort. Submit an application in response to a specific initiative, or at any time with a general idea! 

 

Timeline 

  • Deadline to submit applications: March 1, 2022 
  • Thriving Earth Exchange will reach out to applicants to discuss their community science project idea beginning in February.  
  • Date of orientation for communitiesdates TBA; Two 1-hour options to be offered
  • Date projects launch (communities are matched with Community Science Fellows): April 29, 2022 

 

Interested in becoming a UW-Thriving Earth Community? 

Use the form below to submit your application. 

You can also email us at any time at [email protected] or call us at (202) 777-7309 to talk through your idea for a project. We’re happy to hear from you! 

Note: Prior to engaging with Thriving Earth Exchange, all communities are asked to read and consent to Thriving Earth Exchange’s Statement on Integrity in Community Science. Please contact [email protected] with any questions. 

 

Example Projects 

  • For a deep dive into a successful community science project, check out this story on a Thriving Earth project in Glastonbury, CT! When Glastonbury residents started finding sky-high uranium levels in their wells, town officials knew they had to investigate. They worked with Thriving Earth Exchange to test for and map uranium levels across the community and identify its origin. What they learned is now informing town policy to keep residents’ water safe.
  • Case study – Spending smart on environmental health, and seeking environmental justice: In early 2016, the city of Evanston, ILsettled a lawsuit with a waste transfer station, receiving 1.26 million in cash funds. The facility spurred decades of complaints and health and environmental concerns from neighboring residents, who historically have been predominantly African American. The city and residents needed to determine how to allocate the funds to effectively monitor, evaluate and mitigate the negative impacts of the facility on the surrounding neighborhood. The city sought technical assistance through Thriving Earth, and the project team delivered a sampling plan and equipment recommendations, helping Evanston take smart action for its residents’ health.  
  • Case study – Mapping Heat Vulnerability and Community HealthSummers in Missoula, Montana are getting longer and hotter, and wildfire smoke is becoming more prevalent. Heat and poor air quality are disproportionately affecting the health of people with low incomes, children and the elderly. The city decided to launch a Thriving Earth project to pinpoint heat-vulnerable areas, and plan strategies for urban greening and cooling approaches in those areas. The team gathered demographic and GIS information to create a digital story map, and the data will be used in Missoula’s future climate adaptation planning.   

 

About UniverCity Alliance and UniverCity Year 

UniverCity Alliance (UCA) serves as a front door for local governments interested in making their communities places together. Nearly all UW schools and colleges are involved. We connect education, service and research activities across the university with local governments through our UniverCity Year partnership. UCY is a three-year-long partnership between UW-Madison and local governments in Wisconsin where community partners identify projects that would benefit from UW-Madison expertise and receive deliverables that help them solve the issues. UniverCity Year is a member of the Educational Partnerships for Innovation in Communities Network (EPIC-N, epicn.org), a national network of more than 30 educational institutions partnering with cities throughout the United States and world. 

 

Other questions? 

Communities may direct questions to Blake McGhghy, program manager of community engagement, AGU Thriving Earth Exchange ([email protected]). 

For inquiries related to the Thriving Earth Exchange–University of Wisconsin partnership, contact: 

  • Gavin Luter, Managing Director, UniverCity Alliance ([email protected], 608-261-1141) or 
  • Melissa Goodwin, Manager of Operations and Volunteer Engagement, AGU Thriving Earth Exchange ([email protected]). 

 

Application Form

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