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Empowering Community Solutions to Climate Challenges: Optica and AGU’s GEMM Initiative Collaborate with AGU Thriving Earth Exchange

Michelle Bailey, GEMM Co-Chair; Tomohiro Oda, GEMM Co-Chair and USRA Senior Scientist; Natasha Udu-gama, Director, AGU Thriving Earth Exchange

Climate change is one of the most pressing global challenges facing humanity today. It demands collective action and innovative solutions that can address its impacts, especially on a local scale. Optica through the GEMM Initiativea joint international project with the American Geophysical Union (AGU)has joined hands with AGU’s Thriving Earth Exchange (Thriving Earth) to promote community science efforts that provide tools and solutions to community priorities related to climate change and environmental issues.

Thriving Earth Exchange helps enable community science projects, like this effort in Cambridge, Ohio to identify contaminants in drinking water.

The GEMM Initiative and AGU's Thriving Earth Exchange will collaborate to connect communities with scientists and technical experts who are interested in co-creating tools and solutions locally for global challenges. Together, GEMM Initiative’s network of science, technology, and policy professionals coupled with Thriving Earth’s community leads and scientists working together can better co-create solutions that are context-specific, culturally relevant, and scientifically robust. By leveraging the power of community science, this partnership will build capacity and ownership among local participants, which inspires long-term sustainability efforts.

Ready to get involved? Learn how to join the collaboration: 

  • Community Science Fellowship: AGU's Thriving Earth Exchange offers an exciting opportunity for early-, mid-, late-career scientists, retired technical experts, and science-interested public to contribute their skills as Community Science Fellows. As a Fellow, you become an integral part of a community science initiative, providing valuable project management expertise to support communities in addressing local climate change priorities. Through this Fellowship, you can help communities mobilize resources, identify environmental challenges, and develop action plans that are grounded in both community knowledge and science. By nurturing this partnership between communities and scientists, the Fellowship fosters a collaborative approach to climate resilience and adaptation. Check out AGU Thriving Earth Exchange’s Community Science Fellowship here.
  • Volunteer Scientist Opportunities: Optica and GEMM Initiative members, as well as science enthusiasts worldwide, have a unique chance to make a meaningful impact by volunteering as scientists with AGU's Thriving Earth Exchange. The program regularly presents diverse volunteer opportunities that cover a wide range of scientific topics, geographic regions, and timelines. Whether you are an environmental scientist, geotechnical engineer, hydrologist, or any other field relevant to climate change, there is a project waiting for your expertise. From assessing the impact of infrastructure projects like constructing new tunnels in urban areas to studying climate patterns in remote regions, your knowledge can directly contribute to tangible solutions at the community level. You can view and sign up for current volunteer scientist opportunities here
  • Global Community Science WhatsApp Group: In the spirit of fostering global collaboration, AGU's Thriving Earth Exchange has established a Global Community Science WhatsApp Group. By signing up for this group, scientists, experts, and the science-interested public can engage in cross-disciplinary discussions, share knowledge, and explore potential partnerships. This platform provides a dynamic space for collective problem-solving to support ongoing community science efforts worldwide. Joining the WhatsApp group opens doors to a network of like-minded individuals who share a common vision of empowering local communities in their battle against the effects of climate change. Sign up for the Global Community Science Whatsapp Group here.

TEX provides “Community Science 101” workshops to empower individuals to create change in their city or region.

The urgent need to address climate change requires collective action at all levels. The GEMM Initiative and AGU's Thriving Earth Exchange exemplify the power of bringing communities and scientific knowledge together. By empowering local communities and fostering global collaboration, this initiative showcases the potential of community science efforts in building a thriving and sustainable future for all. If you are ready to make a difference and contribute your expertise, join forces with Optica, the GEMM Initiative, and AGU's Thriving Earth Exchange in their collective journey to combat climate change, one community at a time.

Quick links:

Learn about the GEMM Initiative here.
Check out AGU Thriving Earth Exchange’s Community Science Fellowship here.
Call for Scientists! You can view and sign up for current volunteer scientist opportunities here
Sign up for the Global Community Science Whatsapp Group here.


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