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.

Hello Quarto! A Chat with NASA Openscapes, co-hosted with R-Ladies Santa Barbara

By Sam Csik, Julie Lowndes, Amy Steiker, Catalina Oaida Taglialatela, Aaron Friesz, J.J. Allaire, Erin Robinson, Stefanie Butland on June 22, 2022

Hello Quarto! A Quarto Chat with NASA Openscapes, co-hosted with R-Ladies Santa Barbara Our 6th Openscapes Community Call co-hosted with R-Ladies Santa Barbara featured a “celebrity interview” with NASA Openscapes Champions and J.J. Allaire, lead Quarto developer and CEO of RStudio, led by Sam Csik of R-Ladies Santa Barbara. Quarto is an open-source scientific and technical publishing system built on Pandoc that allows users to create dynamic documents, presentations, websites, and more.

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GitHub for supporting, reusing, contributing, and failing safely

By Allison Horst and Julie Lowndes on May 27, 2022

Welcome! This illustrated series tells a story about why GitHub is so powerful for supporting, reusing, contributing, and failing safely. It is here as a blog post and also as slides to be most flexible for teaching. This complements the Tidy Data Illustrated Series and is a collaboration around open science, coding, teaching, and art. Please reuse & remix with your own communities: Download from https://github.com/allisonhorst/stats-illustrations Reuse/remix from this slide deck

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From downloading data to Cloud access: NASA Openscapes Champions Wrap-up

By NASA Openscapes Mentors, Erin Robinson, Julie Lowndes, Andy Barrett, Aaron Friesz, Alexis Hunzinger, Luis Lopez, Catalina Oaida, Jack McNelis, Christine Smit, Amy Steiker, Makhan Virdi on May 12, 2022

In Spring 2022 we led our first NASA Openscapes Champions Cohort for research teams that work with NASA EarthData. This cohort is funded by NASA and part of our NASA Openscapes Framework project. For this Cohort, we co-led the cohort with the NASA DAAC mentors and we focused on shifting toward Open science, collaborative, reproducible practices to support research teams as they transition from the download model to the Cloud.

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A Qualitative Data Analysis Chat with Dr. Beth Duckles

By Julie Lowndes, Erin Robinson, Stefanie Butland, Beth Duckles on April 26, 2022

A Qualitative Data Analysis Chat with Dr. Beth Duckles Our First 2022 Openscapes Community Call featured a chat with Beth Duckles PhD, a research consultant and social scientist. Beth helps technologists, designers and scientists gather and use human-centered data, supporting folks who are trying out their mixed methods or qualitative skills and want coaching and partnership. Beth is also the Founder and Co-Director of Open Post Academics (formerly the Athenas), an online peer-support community for people with a PhD who have left or are considering leaving academia.

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