What we do

At Openscapes, we champion open practices in environmental science to help uncover data-driven solutions faster. Regardless of research question, environmental scientists are united by the need to analyze data — and to do so in a way that is efficient, reproducible, and easily communicated. With tools specifically created to meet modern demands for collaborative data science, we help create a positive open culture to enable better science in less time. Our approach:


We build awareness and excitement. We engage scientists with the possibilities of open data science with empathy, art, and storytelling, using narratives like our own path to better science in less time.


We help build confidence and skills. We empower scientists by connecting them with existing open software and communities that meet them where they are so they can develop the skills they need.


We build champions and communities. We amplify scientists’ efforts through academic seminars as well as blogs and social media to increase the visibility of open practices on campus and online.

Champions Program

Openscapes Champions is a mentorship program that empowers science teams with open data science tools and grows the community of practice in the research group, organization, and beyond. Read how the 2019 Openscapes Champions have supercharged their research, and contact us about participating in the Champions program.

Operated by NCEAS and incubated by Mozilla

Openscapes bridges environmental synthesis science with the open movement. Learn more about us.


From our blog

Blog posts are both Openscapes stories and advice snippets for the community. Some are cross-posted on Medium.com. Also, see our media page for media, presentation slide decks, and publications.

Welcoming Erin Robinson and 2021 Momentum

By Julie Lowndes and Erin Robinson on January 19, 2021

Welcome! This blog post is also Openscapes’ first newsletter. If you’re interested in seeing these infrequent updates in your inbox, please sign up here (linked from the get involved page). A note from Julie: Welcoming Erin Robinson to Openscapes 2020 was a difficult year. I count myself fortunate that I was able to work remotely and that Openscapes was conceived as a remote-by-design initiative. The unexpected disruption of COVID-19 allowed 2020 to be a year that I worked on building Openscapes as a sustainable program so that we can mentor more researchers going forward.

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Audience building and strategic planning

By Julie Lowndes on January 6, 2021

Last month I was invited to give a workshop at the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative’s Essential Open Source Software virtual conference. The workshop was about Audience Building for Open Source Projects, focused on strategic planning and sustainability. I was both nervous and excited to give this workshop: nervous because I am by no means an expert in how to grow and sustain a project — Openscapes is still nascent! But I was excited because although I am not an expert, I do know a lot and was interested to pass forward what I’ve learned.

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Incentivizing Open Science

By Julie Lowndes on November 30, 2020

In early November I had the honor to speak at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) Roundtable on Aligning Incentives for Open Science. This Roundtable has been convening thought leaders and stakeholders to identify the whats, whys, and hows of open science policies and incentives. I was invited to provide a researcher perspective and opinions on priorities for funding open science. The first part of this post is a summary of my talk.

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Automated reporting in Tampa Bay with open science

By Marcus Beck on November 16, 2020

This is a guest blog by Marcus Beck that describes how the Tampa Bay Estuary Program (TBEP) is embracing open science principles and tools to create better science in less time. Marcus, along with TBEP Executive Director Ed Sherwood, both attended the NCEAS Open Science for Synthesis workshop in July 2017 at Santa Barbara. Marcus, Ed, and the rest of the TBEP team are working to bring open science to improve the management of Tampa Bay and extend their applications to the broader network of the 28 National Estuary Programs.

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