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. Here’s how:


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 their needs 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 environmental scientists with open data science tools and grows the community of practice in their labs, departments, and beyond.

Operated by NCEAS and incubated by Mozilla

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


From our blog

Blogs are both Openscapes stories and advice snippets for the community. Some are cross-posted on Medium.com. Also, see our media page.

[Sea]side Chats for data workflows

By Julie Lowndes on March 10, 2019

[Sea]side Chats for data workflows Seaside Chats. Bluffside Chats. Fishbowl Chats. Bayside Chats. This is where we discuss data workflows in the lab. One of the long-term goals of Openscapes is to change the culture about how we work with data — and that requires normalizing even talking about data. We need to be able to have meaningful conversations about data and data workflows: the strategies, the struggles, the successes.

Continue reading

RStudio Conference culture

By Julie Lowndes on February 19, 2019

RStudio Conference culture I attended RStudio::conf this year and there is so much to report from a conference that gathers 1700 attendees from industry and academia and disciplines of all kinds. The conference centered around innovations, motivations, and communities around the R programming language and there are many excellent summary blogs. Here I will focus on how the conference felt, and how to think about replicating this feeling at conferences, workshops, meetings, and lab groups.

Continue reading

Introducing the Champions Program

By Julie Lowndes on January 28, 2019

Introducing the Champions program This article was originally published on medium.com By engaging, empowering, and amplifying scientists with cross-cutting open data science approaches, Openscapes aims to create a more efficient and collaborative open culture in environmental science, to enable better science in less time. Openscapes centers around the Champions program, which is a mentorship program that empowers environmental scientists with open data science tools and grows the community of practice.

Continue reading

Personifying code

By Julie Lowndes on January 15, 2019

Personifying code Anything and everything we do to increase visibility of open practices and data science within environmental science communities is important. When we see things, it is easier to value them. Openscapes Champion Allison Horst is doing this in part through her personifyr art series. She uses her art in the classroom at the University of California at Santa Barbara, where she is a lecturer of data science and statistics in an environmentally-focused graduate program, the Bren School of Environmental Science & Management.

Continue reading