Thriving Earth Exchange

The American Meteorological Society (AMS) partners with AGU Thriving Earth Exchange to offer an important service opportunity to their membership.  Working together, scientists and community leaders will develop and complete science-based projects driven directly by local community needs. These projects will not only create significant local impacts, but will also use science to advance community priorities and contribute to a growing movement toward engaged, community-driven science.  We strongly encourage AMS members and/or Chapters to engage with their communities regarding a possible project. Our definition of community is wide and may include municipal governments, community-based organizations, faith-based groups, indigenous groups, grassroots collectives, etc.

Why Should You Get Involved?  

It’s an unique way to use your scientific skills to help a community on real world issues and improve your leadership and management skills.

What Are The Possible Roles?

AMS members and interested parties to can volunteer for one of four roles:

  • Community Science Fellow. Oversees the project with the community leader.
  • Community Leader. Leads the project on behalf of the community.
  • Project Scientist.  Provides scientific assistance on a project.
  • Community Science Fellow Mentor.  Helps the Fellow with issues.
What Are The Projects Like?  

You can learn more a Thriving Earth Exchange project by browsing over 100 projects at LINK.  NOTE: that link would go directly the AGU project list.

What Is the Fellow experience?  

You can meet the 2021 and 2022 Community Science Fellows, and learn about their experiences in the slide show above (slides 6-9).  

How Do I Apply?  

Click the link to find out more about the role and how to apply:

If you are interested in becoming a Community Science Mentor, please email Jack Fellows.


Community Science Fellows

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. Selected fellows will receive training in the Thriving Earth Exchange community science process, mentorship from AMS and AGU Thriving Earth Exchange staff, connectivity to a growing network of Community Science Fellows, and the opportunity to serve as leaders in the community science movement. The skills that Fellows hone prepare them to manage diverse teams, work across disciplinary boundaries, and connect science to action.

Selected Community Science Fellows will be required to participate in a 2-day training workshop. There is no cost to Fellows to participate and training will be held online.


Continue reading for more information

What to Expect

This is a volunteer service and professional development opportunity. Selected Community Science Fellows will be matched to a community* interested in working with a scientist to advance a local priority and trained and supported in managing their projects by AMS and AGU Thriving Earth Exchange staff. Projects will cover a range of themes related to climate change, meteorology, hydrology, resilience, sustainability, and health.

Through Thriving Earth Exchange, technical experts and community leads come together to design projects that can have an impact on the community priority with creativity, in-kind support, and resources at hand. Projects launch following cohort training. Once launched, projects typically conclude within ~12 months. Community Science Fellows will participate as a member of a cohort of other Fellows, with opportunities to engage with past and present Fellows from several cohorts

Preferred qualities for Community Science Fellows include:

  • Enthusiasm for engaging with Thriving Earth Exchange, including a willingness and ability to be reflective about the role and the program; and enthusiasm for the Fellow role, including a commitment to and experience in (or strong intent to pursue) community science. Examples of this might be:
    • experience working with diverse stakeholders and projects (this may include low-income/disadvantaged communities and those that have not had an opportunity to engage with science)
    • a passion for elevating community-led action and local priorities
    • a strong desire to support community-led engagement with a variety of audiences, including policy makers and the media
    • evidence of consistent and long-term volunteer work or community engagement
  • Humility, an ability to listen, and strong communication skills. Examples of this might be:
    • an aptitude for science communication
    • desire to speak out about the value of connecting community priorities with science and the importance of science in local communities, and to help others do the same
    • experience or willingness to engage diverse individuals, organizations, and communities in communication and ongoing conversations
    • leadership experience in multidisciplinary/culturally sensitive environments
  • Qualifications:
    • undergraduate degree or a minimum of 3 years experience working in a science-related or informal STEM-learning field
    • project management and facilitation skills
    • at any career stage
    • a formal science background is not required but some interest/familiarity is necessary
  • Membership in AGU or AMS is not required.
  • Ability to participate in the online the Community Science Fellow training workshop

Community Opportunity

We especially invite AMS members to share this call for applications with their local communities and apply for participation in this cohort together with a local leader.

To do so, apply separately as a Fellow and as a community, and reference one another where prompted in the applications.

Community Application

If you do not have a pre-existing relationship with local community leaders, this is a great opportunity to build one. (Guidance and recommendations for reaching out available here.) Alternatively, you may apply without a community partner and we will try to match you with a community.