SCI and Thriving Earth Exchange Help Communities Form Partnerships to Advance Priorities on Climate, Natural Hazards and Natural Resources

Figure 1: Montego Bay, Jamaica community leader, Carol Lue, discusses organic fertilizer with a farmer. (Photo courtesy of Carol Lue)

Cities all over the world are facing increased impacts from climate-related, natural hazards and natural resources issues. As your community works with Sister Cities International (SCI) in sanitation, water, health and natural disasters-related issues, consider whether partnering with a scientist might augment your community’s resilience and sustainability.  SCI and Thriving Earth Exchange have a burgeoning partnership to help both US and international communities find scientists to help communities advance community priorities in climate, natural hazards and natural resources.

There are three ways your city can get involved:

  1. Learn about how community science collaborations, including some Thriving Earth Exchange partnerships focused on flooding, are featured in a forthcoming AGU report entitled Surging Waters: Science Empowering Communities in the Face of Flooding. The report tells the stories of how science-community partnerships work to further flood management and mitigate the impacts on people and property.   Surging Waters makes recommendations for stakeholders ranging from policymakers to scientists to communities, and communities in particular can use this report to inform and guide conversations with stakeholders on local, regional, and national levels. Surging Waters will be available on scienceisessential.org on 24 September 2019.
  2. Partner with a scientist to advance your community’s climate, natural hazards or natural resources priority: https://thrivingearthexchange.org/start-a-thrivingearth-project/.
  3. Find out how Community Science fellows will support your project from inception to implementation: https://thrivingearthexchange.org/community-science-fellows/.

Two communities from SCI’s network now have Thriving Earth community partnerships. In the City of Staunton, Virginia, USA and the surrounding community located in Augusta County, the team plans to increase awareness about the importance of waste stream management, the complete flow of waste from domestic or industrial areas to final disposal. Internationally, the City of Linden, Guyana has endured decades of dust pollution and would like to understand better how the dust affects residents. They have been suffering from a number of respiratory illnesses, like asthma, and eye irritation, due to the dust. Linden’s mayor and deputy mayor will work with their scientific lead, Ahmad Qureshi, to do a study to understand the effects of bauxite on human health.

Thriving Earth Exchange helps scientists and communities form collaborative, impactful partnerships. Community science projects launched through Thriving Earth Exchange use science to advance community priorities and are part of a growing movement toward engaged, community-driven science. Thriving Earth Exchange is a program of the AGU – a professional society of Earth and space scientists with over 60,000 members worldwide who study everything from the center of the Earth to the surface of the Sun and everything in between. We recruit, support, nurture, and celebrate scientists who work as partners with community leaders. Thriving Earth Exchange scientists offer communities relevant Earth or space science with humility, develop new research questions based on community priorities and work with community leaders to make concrete local impacts.

 


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