Kelsey Breseman, top, and Mark Chambers, bottom, are EDGI’s Civic Science Fellows.
EDGI is thrilled to announce that we’re a host organization for two civic science fellows from 2021-2023. These fellowships are hosted by the Rita Allen Foundation and funded in partnership with the David and Lucile Packard Foundation. Fellows will develop civic science systems, knowledge, and approaches to strengthen inclusive, thriving, equity-centered engagement with science at the intersection of science and society. EDGI’s fellows—Kelsey Breseman and Mark Chambers—bring their respective technical and ethnographic skill sets to work that bridges several EDGI working groups.
Kelsey and Mark will work together to support three major goals:
- Understand the role of data in environmental governance and environmental justice.
- Build civic-science community connections to develop innovative civic science technologies that address gaps and lack of accessibility in governmental data provision.
- Develop specific policy recommendations for how agencies can better bridge gaps between the data services they provide and communities’ own interests and needs.
They began their fellowships in September and are already diving into their projects. Kelsey and Mark will also spend a portion of their time on cohort activities, including engaging in shared learning and collaboration with twenty other Rita Allen Fellows. These are the first full time positions EDGI has supported, so this marks an exciting period of growth for our organization.
Here’s a little about each fellow and what they plan to work on over the next year and a half:
Kelsey Breseman is a technologist with a background in coding who has worked with EDGI’s archiving, data, and Environmental Enforcement Watch (EEW) projects. In this fellowship, Kelsey will build on EEW’s work, speaking to environmental justice communities and advocates to determine needs, and applying those priorities to the development of open data science tools that leverage federally available datasets to help communities answer questions relevant to their homes, communities, and environments.
With the allotted eighteen months, Kelsey will conduct a survey across federal and other open data tools, identifying accessibility strengths and barriers for each. She will also maintain ongoing relationships with communities, facilitating the use of these tools to conduct research, participate in public comments, and determine strategy for advocacy.
Mark Chambers is a historian who teaches and writes about the intersections of American society, environments, and technologies at Stony Brook University. Mark’s fellowship will build on his previous work on environmental justice issues with EDGI’s Policy and Monitoring working group, especially the interview project with current and recent EPA staff and environmental justice activists. Mark will assess whether or how well the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) public data infrastructure serves marginalized communities. Specifically, he will work to better understand how closely the EPA adheres to environmental justice principles and suggest remedies for improving through education to promote a culture shift in how EJ communities are viewed and understood.
During the eighteen month fellowship, Mark will conduct research that helps EDGI better understand the role of data in environmental governance and environmental justice; undertake civic-science community-building to develop innovative civic science technologies that address gaps and lack of accessibility in governmental data provision; and develop specific policy recommendations for how agencies can better bridge gaps between the data services they provide and communities’ own interests and needs. Mark looks forward to getting more involved with EDGI by co-leading this innovative project and helping develop EDGI as a thought leader in environmental data governance and justice.
Thanks for your exciting work, Kelsey and Mark!