The Nurture Nature Center is honored to have been recently selected to serve as an American Geophysical Union Thriving Earth Exchange Community Science Hub! Over the next two years we will be working with AGU Thriving Earth Exchange to help communities affected by flooding. AGU Thriving Earth Exchange is a non-profit program that helps communities and community leads work with science and scientists to advance their community priorities related to sustainability, environmental justice, resilience, natural hazards, natural resources, climate change and pollution to develop tools and solutions that are feasible and impactful in those communities.
As a new community science hub NNC will work to adapt the community science approach and materials to serve the priorities of marginalized and underserved communities and provide resources for communities related to flooding risk and vulnerability across the United States.
Thriving Earth Exchange is founded on the principle that engaging directly with communities, as equals, is the best way to help communities benefit from and contribute to science. Science can be a tool for enhancing community agency, power and resilience.
Thriving Earth Exchange defines community science as communities of all types working with scientists and technical experts to advance a community priority that can be addressed by mobilizing scientific information and codeveloping tools and solutions that are both feasible and impactful in that community.
NNC was created in 2007 in response to the repetitive flooding in our community on the Delaware River in 2004, 2005 and 2006 and our early work was centered on educating the public about flooding. NNC’s mission is to build community resiliency to environmental risk by leveraging the power of informal science education, art-centered approaches to learning, and community dialogue and networking. We have grown quite a bit since our beginning and have expanded our reach and work, including developing a substantial line of social science research around flood forecast and risk information communication. This social science research about how individuals and professionals use weather forecast and warning information in decision-making allows NNC staff to travel across the country to conduct focus groups and interviews in communities affected by flooding or extreme weather from California to North Carolina to North Dakota, Colorado, Maryland, Nebraska, and Alaska, just to name a few.
Through our focus groups, we have seen and heard first-hand the needs in underserved communities related to flood hazards, which often extend far beyond just risk communication and the design and dissemination of weather forecast information, including needs for understanding the source of flooding in a community, the lack of data and on the ground resources, and support for mitigating and adapting to changing flood frequencies. Sometimes we have heard from communities often desperate for help and support – communities that feel ignored or forgotten. There are communities that have not recovered since the last major hurricane or flood, communities living in anxiety after every heavy rainfall because nothing has been done to reduce future risk. These communities are grateful for someone that listens and engages with them. NNC wants to help support these communities and others vulnerable to flooding. We care about these communities and want to help in every way we can – we see this new partnership with AGU Thriving Earth Exchange as a great opportunity to support this and develop the community science hub around underserved communities affected by flooding.
If you are a community affected by flooding that is interested in participating please reach out (email@example.com) or fill out an application at https://thrivingearthexchange.org/community-applications/
NNC is one of four other organizations serving as Hubs, including Creation Justice Ministries, Center for Hazardous Substance Research, and the Capacity Collaborative. We were excited to meet one of the other Hub leaders and Dr. Natasha Udu-gama, Director of Thriving Earth Exchange at the American Meteorological Society Annual Meeting in Baltimore, MD at the beginning of February.
The AGU Thriving Earth Exchange Community Science Hub initiative is generously funded by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.