Science Access & Engagement Coordinator National Park Service, United States
Session Description: Do you wonder how to build trust with local communities? Are you unsure of how to incorporate your scientific expertise into community science projects? Are you curious about how to incorporate community science into your career? Join the National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON), American Geophysical Union’s Thriving Earth Exchange program, and the National Park Service (NPS) for a workshop on building and maintaining relationships with communities and conducting collaborative community science projects. In community science, communities and scientists work together to conduct science together to advance community priorities by tackling local challenges related to natural resources and hazards and climate change. Community Science encourages communities, often those that are historically marginalized and underrepresented in STEM, to direct and participate in science that benefits them. Community science begins with community priorities, ends with community impact, and is a basic right. There are many names that capture public participation in scientific endeavors: citizen science, community based participatory research, coproduction, and so on. Community science stands apart in that all steps of the scientific process involve community knowledge and input.
This workshop will be divided into three sections. First, participants will learn principles of community science, and strategies for building and maintaining relationships with communities and conducting collaborative community projects. This section will include an interactive “quiz” about what makes a community science project. Second will be presentations from NEON and NPS staff sharing their experiences and best practices for conducting community science projects with various communities across the country. The last portion of the workshop will feature an interactive facilitation challenge, in which participants will break into groups and develop strategies for dealing with common challenges and hurdles encountered in community science. The workshop will end with a question-and-answer session.