Resource Library

A curated collection of high-quality resources about all aspects of community science. The resources come from (people doing community science) or (people like you) and have been reviewed by editors.

What We’ve Learned About Approaches to Community Engaged Research | Evidence for Action

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation summary of what investigators have learned through their community engaged research for action program.

Bridging Indigenous and Western Research Paradigms

Summary of online discussion with links to Community-Based Research Canada. June 25, 2021

Center for Scientific Collaboration and Community Engagement Training

A range of training options and accessible resources to support scientific community professionals and organizations working with, or funding, scientific communities.

TEX Community Science Fellow Training

Training for Community Science Fellows.


Anecdata is a free online citizen science platform developed by the Community Lab at the MDI Biological Laboratory in Bar Harbor, Maine. Anecdata is used by hundreds of individuals and organizations to gather and access citizen science observations and provides a platform to easily collect, manage, and share their citizen science data.

The Climate Explorer

The Climate Explorer provides interactive graphs and maps showing past and projected climate conditions for counties and county-equivalents across the United States. Built to support the U.S. Climate Resilience Toolkit, the tool helps people explore projected future climate conditions that may put people, property, and other assets at risk.

FernLeaf Interactive and the National Environmental Modeling and Analysis Center (NEMAC) at the University of North Carolina Asheville built the Climate Explorer’s graphing modules; they also built the interactive map modules which are powered by ArcGIS. All requests for historic and projected climate data are powered by ACIS web services. Habitat Seven led the initial design of the Climate Explorer interface. If you have questions or comments about the Climate Explorer, please direct them to [email protected].

Open AQ

The idea for OpenAQ came from observing the impact of a lone air quality monitor producing open data, set up by the U.S. Embassy in Beijing. It spurred OpenAQ co-founders, Christa Hasenkopf, an atmospheric scientist, and Joe Flasher, a software developer, to set up a small open air quality project in Ulaanbaatar along with Mongolian colleagues. Eventually, they and a community of open data lovers from around the world decided to see what would happen if all of the world’s air quality data were made available for the public to explore. Community science platform for social learning in agriculture is web app that offers a questioning and reporting framework to support locally driven, participatory projects carried out by groups that are learning to monitor and manage wholes such as watershed function, soil health, and local economics. A project of the Soil Carbon Coalition, it offers a guide to learn how to work with the most powerful planetary force: coupled carbon and water cycling. It is meant to manage what groups want and need based on biophysical feedback, rather than manage against what they don’t want. The App was developed by Peter Donovan, who has a background in forestry, farm, and ranch work, sheep and cattle herding, Holistic Management and decision making, rangeland monitoring, and community development. For more information see the website to view a description of the App and examples of projects that have used it.

U.S. Climate Resilience Toolkit

The U.S. Climate Resilience Toolkit is a U.S. government-owned website designed to help people find and use tools, information, and subject matter expertise to build climate resilience. The Toolkit offers information from all across the U.S. federal government in one easy-to-use location.

Community Engagement: Guidelines for Excellence

A handbook for environmental educators working in communities, written by the North American Association of Environmental Educators.

Earth Science Applications Guidebook

This guidebook is a web-based, multimedia product that synthesizes best practices and lessons learned on the use of Earth science information for decision-making. Drawing on a wealth of knowledge and the passion of scientists who have dedicated their careers to Earth science, the guidebook taps into decades of experience in addressing climate change, biodiversity, disaster management, and other challenges. The guidebook offers both emerging and experienced scientists’ practical guidance on applications to solve pressing problems and improve people’s lives.

How to Use Sapelli: Participatory Mapping Software for Extreme Citizen Science

The Sapelli project aims to enable people with no or limited literacy – in the strict and broader technological sense – to use smartphones and tablets to collect, share, and analyse (spatial) data. There are two major strands to this work, both of which are covered in these tutorials: the use of the Sapelli software itself and the process that is followed to develop Sapelli projects within communities. Sapelli is open-source and is used in a variety of projects related to environmental monitoring. It enables communities, regardless of social and geographical background, to map their environment and any threats it faces.

These tutorials, presented through text and video instructions, provide a guide to using the Sapelli software and developing Free Prior and Informed consent protocols with communities. They navigate the user through the entire process of a Sapelli project including how to work with communities on planning a project; how to use that plan to design the data collection process using a computer or tablet; carrying out data collection via a phone app and then visualising the collected data using an app or computer. Solutions are presented throughout the tutorials for users who have limited or no internet connectivity. The tutorials are suitable for scientists and community stakeholders working together, as well as communities working independently.

Meaningful Collaborations

A workbook for community leaders, educators, and advocates working with science institutions.

Mobilizing the Global Water Management Community for Reservoir Monitoring

The Reservoir Assessment Tool (RATS) is a scalable and open source tool for satellite-based monitoring of reservoirs.

Partnerships for Impact

A workbook for informal science educators and outreach specialists working with diverse communities.

USA Federal Crowdsourcing and Citizen Science Toolkit

An online toolkit of five basic process steps for planning, designing, and carrying out a crowdsourcing or citizen science project. It also contains case studies, models, and other resources, including success stories and challenges that others have faced in projects.

How Does A Community CREATE Resilience?

In 2021, Nurture Nature Center worked with youth, adults, and municipal leaders in three communities – Easton, Wilson, and Bangor, PA – to co-create a vision of community resilience, shown in murals that were created by participating, local artists active in each community.

Exploring The Roots: The Evolution Of Civic And Community Science

A blog by Shannon Dosemagen.

Water Utility Climate Alliance Adaptation in the Water Sector Case Studies

The Water Utility Climate Alliance, in partnership with the University of Washington Climate Impacts Group, has developed a suite of engineering case studies that showcase how the water sector is applying climate adaptation in practice, by using climate change information in engineering design and project delivery processes. These case studies were motivated by requests from engineers across WUCA utilities who requested concrete examples of how other water sector professionals are integrating climate change information into on-the-ground projects. Spanning from Seattle, Washington to Miami, Florida and Copenhagen, Denmark, the case studies demonstrate how engineers and water managers are applying climate change data and information to redesign facilities and assets, increase levels of climate resilience, and reduce risks to infrastructure. While climate adaptation best practices continue to mature, these examples offer practical approaches for designing engineering projects for a changing climate.

Case studies were developed in partnership with the utilities and operators profiled, and project contacts are provided in each case study to facilitate follow-up and enable interested readers to learn more about implementing similar measures or approaches. Case study development leads included Kavita Heyn and Heidi Roop.


Reflections from a relationship building community-university summit

A paper by students and staff from the Earth and Environmental Sciences Department at the University of Minnesota describing their efforts to increase department engagement with the community, specifically those traditionally marginalized in the geosciences.


Philadelphia’s Air Quality Report 2019

This report focuses on the air quality of the City of Philadelphia, as presented by the Philadelphia Department of Public Health, Air Management Services, the local air pollution control agency for the City of Philadelphia. As an urban area, Philadelphia faces many of the same pollution challenges as other densely populated areas, such as emissions from vehicles and industries. The information contained in this report reviews Philadelphia’s air quality for the calendar year 2019 and reports how the City’s air compared with the National Ambient Air Quality Standards. This report covers the following criteria pollutants: ozone, carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide, particulate matter, and lead. It also provides an overview of hazardous air pollutants, also referred to as air toxins.

In general, trends show many air pollutants in Philadelphia to be decreasing. In 2019, Philadelphia attained the NAAQS for all pollutants, except for ozone. There were 244 good days, 115 moderate days, and 6 unhealthy days (6 from ozone and 0 from PM2.5) in Philadelphia.

In 2019, AMS continued the Philadelphia Air Quality Survey. This project set up 50 street level, neighborhood-oriented air sampling sites throughout the City to sample the ambient air for PM2.5, PM2.5 speciation, NO2, SO2, and O3.

For further information, please visit the air management services website.


Indigenous Knowledge, Science, And Thriving Together In A Changing Climate


Oneida Lake Watershed, USA


Roshorv & Savnob, Bartang Valley, Tajikistan


Sary Mogul, Alai Valley, Kyrgyzstan


Standing Rock Sioux Nation, USA

Participatory System Dynamics Modeling to Address HIV infection

A system dynamics (SD) model of the HIV Care Continuum. The model is designed to simulate HIV “treatment as prevention” to help eliminate the epidemic.

Cambridge Urban Heat Dashboard

A partnership between NASA DEVELOP, the City of Cambridge Community Development Department, and American Geophysical Union’s Thriving Earth Exchange.

ICBO Working Agreement

Great ICBO working agreement templates by the Noise project.

Thriving Earth Program Assessment

In 2014, the American Geophysical Union (AGU) established the Thriving Earth Exchange Program (the Program) to strengthen and enhance collaboration among communities, scientists, and partner organizations. The intent was to help communities build healthy, resilient, thriving, just, and ecologically responsible futures. The Program has grown significantly over the last five years, interfacing with hundreds of scientists and community residents across the United States and even in other countries. The Program has taken on 87 projects during this time, and the number of Staff members has increased from two in its first year to four at the time of this Evaluation. Projects focus on a range of environmental science issues, from reducing pollution and greenhouse gases to preparing for flooding.1 Most projects occur with very little funding, relying on the volunteer work of scientist and community participants. In 2019, as Program Leadership is considering expanding the number and geographic range of projects, AGU hired Sara Bolduc Planning and Evaluation, LLC to conduct an external evaluation of the Program.

In August 2019, with input from Program Staff (employees of the Program), Evaluators conducted preliminary interviews with selected project participants (volunteer scientists and community members) and members of Program Leadership (AGU and Program Board Members). These 19 interviews helped shape a survey that Evaluators distributed to all current and past project participants for whom contact information was available, along with Program Staff and Leadership (402 people surveyed, with a 29.9% response rate). Additionally, Evaluators undertook a case study, which involved a site visit and interviews with 21 participants from projects in southeast Louisiana. Evaluators prepared this Report based on survey data, along with information from interviews and interactions with Program Staff.

Overall, the Thriving Earth Exchange Program has advanced science and benefited participants by creating new information that improves decision-making and the quality of life in communities; enabling diverse and historically marginalized communities to understand scientific processes and gain respect for science; enabling scientists to ask better questions corresponding to community needs; encouraging people to get involved in science; and dispelling misinformation. The kind of scientific collaborations that have arisen from the Program may be particularly important where academic institutions are heavily influenced and funded by industrial development interests, such that the institutions may lack credibility.

Equitable Exchange: A Framework For Diversity And Inclusion In The Geosciences

We highlight a mechanism for the coproduction of research with local communities as a means of elevating the social relevance of the geosciences, increasing the potential for broader and more diverse participation. We outline the concept of an “Equitable Exchange” as an ethical framework guiding these interactions. This principled research model emphasizes that “currencies”—the rewards and value from participating in research—may differ between local communities and geoscientists. For those engaged in this work, an Equitable Exchange emboldens boundary spanning geoscientists to bring their whole selves to the work, providing a means for inclusive climates and rewarding cultural competency.

Plain Language Summary
This study expands on prior work to outline an ethical framework to guide research co-created with local communities. We propose appreciation for the differing perspectives geoscientists and local community members bring to problem-solving and to creating knowledge around questions and issues pertinent to geoscience. A respectful and “Equitable Exchange” between individuals working together in these contexts can foster greater scientific creativity and societal relevance, and may ultimately broaden and diversify participation in the geosciences.

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