Active Societal Participation in Research and Education

Water testing
Fish pond

Through funding provided by the National Science Foundation (NSF), the NSF Synthesis Center, Active Societal Participation In Research and Education (ASPIRE), aims to cultivate a generation of geoscientists with the leadership knowledge and skills, scholarship, and material support to reframe and rebrand the geosciences (Atmospheric, Earth, Ocean and Polar Science) as socially relevant and, thereby, to broaden participation in these fields. This generation of geoscientists will do so by bridging longstanding divides that impede access to and inclusion in the geosciences: between basic and applied science, between scholars in the academy and members of historically marginalized communities, and between the places where science is needed and the places where it is typically conducted. To bring about these types of change, we draw upon, refine, and institutionalize the working group model as the Mobile Working Group (MWG), directly referencing the need to move outside of the "ivory tower" and into the community. Led by a geoscientist with one foot in the academy and the other in the community - the Boundary Spanner - each MWG will focus on an environmental issue linked to a single community. ASPIRE will support multiple MWGs working across the geographic, ethnographic and "in practice" community space, as well as across the body of geoscience research and application. The center is collaborative effort between the following institutions:

  • California State University, Monterey Bay (Lead Institution)
  • University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science
  • University of Southern California
  • University of Washington

Current Projects

Project Title: Increasing Environmental Awareness and Citizen Participation in Sioux Nation Tribes of South Dakota. Principal Investigators: Dr. Benjamin Bostick (Lead PI) and Cassie Xu (Co-PI). Lead Institution: Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University. Project Term: 2018-2019.

Project Summary

RFP for 2018 ASPIRE Working Groups

We are now accepting proposals from the Geosciences community for working groups that work across the intersections of place based science, Geoscience and efforts to increase diversity in the Geosciences. ASPIRE is funded by an award from the National Science Foundation to Lead Principal Investigator Dr. Corey Garza (CSUMB) and collaborating PIs Drs. Lora Harris(UMCES), Julie Posselt (USC), and Julia Parrish (UW). ASPIRE aims to develop new linkages between the Geosciences and society and train a new generation of Geoscientists that are able to bridge basic Geoscience research with broader societal needs. Proposals will be evaluated by the PI team and awarded according to a variety of metrics that include scientific merit and participation in underrepresented communities, strength of the implementation plan for the working group itself, and a need in this pilot phase to have representation across the Geosciences. A total of $118,500 is available to fund to 9 demonstration working groups selected from proposals. Individual awards will vary from $10,000-$13,000. Up to $2,000 of any single award may be allocated to the working group lead as a stipend. Supplemental funds may be requested pending funding availability. Applications to this program are both invited and open-call. Follow the links below to access the full RFP (with proposal directions), budget template and application portal. Application deadline, March 16, 2018. Any U.S. institution eligible to apply for NSF funding is eligible to apply for this competition.

ASPIRE RFP

ASPIRE Budget Template

ASPIRE Application Portal

For program details or questions about proposing a working group, contact us at cme@csumb.edu.