Open Environmental Data Project (OEDP) and partners awarded $1.5mm by NSF for SEEKCommons to support Open Science, Environmental Justice Research and Climate Change Mitigation Networks

September 22, 2022

The SEEKCommons (Socio-Environmental Knowledge Commons) research coordination network, led by partners at University of Notre Dame, Open Environmental Data Project (OEDP), and the HDF group, has been awarded an inaugural NSF FAIROS RCN grant (Award 2226425). The total project budget awarded was $1,499,953. This award was jointly supported by the NSF Directorate for Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences and the Office of Advanced Cyberinfrastructure.

SEEKCommons will adapt and apply open tools and methodologies to bridge long-standing divides between the social and environmental sciences, and between environmental-action researchers and frontline communities. This network will overcome disciplinary barriers to open science and support activities that enable the sharing of skills, resources, and socio-environmental research products.

Key SEEKCommons activities will include: 1) participatory research, 2) in-person and virtual convenings, 3) a fellowship program for postdocs and students, 4) a data facilitators consortium, and 5) a curriculum builder and resource hub. This kind of interdisciplinary research project will advance the co-production of environmental knowledge, as well as expand and democratize access to open data, tools, and infrastructures. These processes will help to realize a “socio-environmental knowledge commons” as a public good―a critical step for attaining environmental justice and climate change mitigation.

The Co-PIs for this award are Luis Felipe Murillo (Assistant Professor of Anthropology, University of Notre Dame), Shannon Dosemagen (Director, OEDP), Natalie Meyers (Professor of the Practice and Associate Director of Operations, Lucy Family Institute for Data & Society, University of Notre Dame), and Gerd Heber (Executive Director, The HDF Group). Senior Personnel will include Katie Hoeberling (Director of Policy Initiatives, OEDP), Aleksandar Jelenak (Senior Informatics Architect, The HDF Group), John Readey (Director of Tools and Cloud Technology, The HDF Group), and Lane Rasberry (Wikimedian in Residence, University of Virginia School of Data Science).

Natalie Meyers of Notre Dame’s Lucy Family Institute for Data and Society commented “NSF’s funding for FAIR Research Coordination Networks(RCNs) like SEEKCommons and its emphasis on the FAIR guiding principles (Findability, Accessibility, Interoperability, and Reuse) affords us a unique opportunity to advance the adoption of FAIR in the socio-environmental research community. I am pleased to coordinate the Open Science domain activity of this RCN during a time of tremendous appetite for the advantages of FAIR in the way we handle and share research data to advance trans-disciplinary research. The CARE Principles for Indigenous Data Governance are a necessary pairing to our open science approach. These principles are people and purpose-oriented, reflecting the crucial role of data in advancing Indigenous innovation and self-determination. CARE complements the FAIR principles in our RCN centering people and purpose in our advocacy and project pursuits.” Luis Felipe Murillo, Assistant Professor of Anthropology at University of Notre Dame, added, “We want to study practices of commoning in socio-environmental research in order to better support them.”

Katie Hoeberling of OEDP shared, “We’re excited to support researchers in using open science approaches to build stronger connections to communities impacted by and contributing to their work, as well as to consider and orient their research toward equitable policy outcomes. The SEEKCommons network will be prepared to truly co-create research with meaningfully actionable data and information, and to build relationships to ensure this data is applied in ways that create real change. We’re also excited to explore how we might rethink conventional models for training and pedagogy. Our curricular offerings will center community perspectives and priorities, and support dialogue and multi-directional knowledge sharing.”

The award duration is 2023–2026. OEDP will post updates and progress on openenvironmentaldata.org, including information about an opening for a project Postdoc to be posted October 2022. Please follow along on our website, eNews, Twitter and LinkedIn for more information.

The Open Environmental Data Project (OEDP) is building systems for people to share and use environmental, scientific, and contextual information that increases usable information flow between communities, researchers, lawmakers and enactors. We do this to actively address environmental and climate injustices that negatively impact the quality of life and health of our communities.

Shannon Dosemagen (shannon@openenvironmentaldata.org)

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Building environmental hardware interoperability while changing the way data is shared, verified & used. Learn more at openenvironmentaldata.org