ASTC-Thriving Earth Exchange Fellowships Available to Support Community-Centered Science 

We are excited to continue our relationship with the American Geophysical Union’s (AGU) Thriving Earth Exchange. Together we will support up to 7 science center and museum staff (and their community partners) to participate in Thriving Earth’s 12-month fellowship and training program. Thriving Earth connects communities with scientists and supports their partnership as they tackle local challenges related to natural hazards, natural resources, and climate change. Thriving Earth has trained dozens of professionals in community science principles. Through skill-building and leadership exercises, this fellowship helps successfully launch and manage community science projects.  

Check out profiles of previous ASTC-Thriving Earth Fellows here, and explore the wide range of Thriving Earth projects here

The Museum of Life and Science and their partners used community listening to guide a collaboration on community-driven creek monitoring and advocacy around flooding issues in Durham, North Carolina. 

If you are employed by an ASTC-member institution and are responsible for managing (or are interested in fostering) community science projects—this program is for you! Fellows will receive foundational training in planning and managing community science efforts, as well as personalized strategic support for their projects. Individuals should apply with an existing community partner and a topic to address through community science in mind. 

What is Community Science? With community science, community members collaborate to conduct and leverage scientific research and technological innovation to advance community priorities and benefit from the knowledge and advancements of science and engineering, often in collaboration with scientists and science-engagement practitioners. To learn more, check out ASTC’s Community Science Framework, including a short video introduction, on our website.

How to Apply

To be considered for the summer cohort, applications must be submitted by 11:59 pm Eastern on Friday, May 10, 2023. The program will launch with an AGU-hosted orientation June 28-29. ASTC will accept and review applications on a rolling basis. For more details on the program and funding structure as well as application process, please click below to visit our website. 

What to Expect

The project will launch via a 2-day virtual training and orientation intended to help Fellows ground themselves in the fundamentals of community science and begin scoping their projects. Community partners will also attend a shorter training to familiarize themselves with community science principles and the types of support AGU and ASTC will provide. After scoping clear project objectives with their community partners, ASTC-TEX Fellows will be invited to apply for up to $5,000 in project support funds. These funds may be used for staff time at the Fellow and partner organizations, external consultants supporting events (e.g., facilitators, translators, childcare providers), communications needs (e.g., advertising, design, printing), and/or stipends for community members participating in the project. 

With the Science Museum of Virginia, members of the Richmond community gathered data for community science projects focused on air quality and heat islands. 

Past ASTC-Sponsored Thriving Earth Fellows tackled local challenges related to natural hazards, natural resources, and climate change in collaboration with communities and volunteer scientists with the American Geophysical Union. For example, Devin Jefferson (Science Museum of Virginia) partnered with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Richmond engage members of the local community—youth in particular—in collecting baseline air quality data measurements for Richmond neighborhoods to increase their community’s climate resilience. Read a detailed profile of Devin’s fellowship here

For detailed application instructions and eligibility requirements, check out our website. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to ASTC’s Community Science Team at  

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