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

These are blog posts and advice snippets for the Openscapes community. Some are cross-posted on Medium.com.

Introducing the Champions Program

By Julie Lowndes on January 28, 2019

Introducing the Champions program 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. There are many things to say about the Champions program, much more for a single post, and there will be more posts to come.

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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.

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So you want to learn R

By Julie Lowndes on December 17, 2018

So you want to learn R So you want to learn R, where do you start? There are a lot of written and video tutorials and books and blogs online, but how do you navigate them? Our Ocean Health Index team put together a list of the resources we used to learn R that helped our team’s path to better science in less time. But this might still not be helpful for where you should actually start.

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Introducing Openscapes

By Julie Lowndes on November 20, 2018

Introducing Openscapes This article was originally published on medium.com I wrote this blog in preparation for MozFest — Mozilla’s annual festival for the open internet — October 2018, in London. I am a Mozilla Fellow, and I presented the idea of Openscapes, which will help increase the value of open practices within environmental science by engaging, empowering, and amplifying individuals. As you know, we are currently facing some of the biggest environmental challenges of our time.

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