Thriving Earth Exchange

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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 invite AMS members and interested parties to apply or volunteer for one of four roles:

  • Community Science Fellow
  • Community Leader(s)
  • Community Scientist(s)
  • Community Science Fellow Mentor

The Community Science Fellow is a career development and project management skill building opportunity. This role will manage and guide the overall project. Community Leaders bring critical local knowledge and are responsible for defining priorities and scope; and the Community Scientist(s) will provide the necessary expertise and knowledge to help create and implement solutions for the project. Together, the Community Science Fellow and Community Leader will recruit, interview, and choose one or more Project Scientists.

We are also looking for experienced AMS members to become Community Science Fellow Mentors, and help guide this career development opportunity for our Community Science Fellows. 

If you are interested in growing new skills, and applying your knowledge to help community members meet their needs and strengthen community science, apply to be part of a Thriving Earth Exchange project! Here's how: 

Call for 2022 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. Fellows selected for this cohort 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 on February 2-3, 2022. There is no cost to Fellows to participate and training will be held online.

Continue reading for more information. Ready to apply? Click Here

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. Examples of past projects include Assessing Flood Risks for Community-Led Action in Gulfport, Mississippi, Updating a Climate Vulnerability Assessment in Santa Cruz, California, and Monitoring Plastic Pollution in Staunton, Virginia, among many others!

Projects will launch following training in February 2021. Once launched, projects typically conclude within 6-18 months. Community Science Fellows will participate as a member of a cohort of approximately 8-15 Fellows, with opportunities to engage with past and present Fellows from several cohorts. More about engagement with Thriving Earth Exchange is described here.

Special 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.

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.

*Our definition of community is wide and may include municipal governments, community-based organizations, faith-based groups, indigenous groups, grassroots collectives, etc.

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 on February 2-3 from 12:00 – 5:00 pm Eastern time.