Public Lab Research note

Community Science Soil Testing Fellowship

by stevie | December 07, 2018 21:19 07 Dec 21:19 | #17835 | #17835

When: Jan 5th - April 5th, 2019
Where: this fellowship is not geographically restricted, however residents of the Gulf Coast are encouraged to apply.
Commitment: roughly 20 hours/week (200 hours over approx. 8-12 weeks)
Fellowship Stipend: $2,500

The Public Laboratory for Open Technology and Science (Public Lab) is a community, supported by a 501(c)(3) non-profit--which develops and applies open-source tools to environmental exploration and investigation. By democratizing inexpensive and accessible Do-it-Yourself techniques, Public Lab creates a collaborative network of practitioners who actively re-imagine the human relationship with the environment.

Fellowship Summary

A fellowship with Public Lab, is an opportunity to work with the Public Lab non-profit team and broader community on a specific project. The major goals of this fellowship are to create a foundational set of soil related resources that can be built upon by others in the Public Lab community.

The Fellow will:

  • Create easy to use walkthroughs for how individuals decide which type of soil testing is most appropriate for their questions. This may include:
    • Overview of soil types and breakdown of regional concerns
    • What kinds of issues might be traced to presence of industrial or agricultural (or other) activity.
  • Work with 1-2 community groups in the Gulf Coast on soil testing projects, documenting the process on
  • Work on an overview of existing regulatory pathways, and what testing methods may be recognized, with links to relevant agencies.
  • Document case studies on how soil testing has been used, particularly those related to oil and gas contamination, and post them to
  • Attend Public Lab monthly OpenHours.
  • Engage in the Public Lab Q&A system on soil related questions.
  • Help develop formats for people to share their soil testing data online with Pubic Lab staff and coding community.
  • Attend a weekly call with Public Lab staff. -If available, attend the Public Lab Barnraising in Houston February 22-24th. (transportation, food, and housing will be covered by Public Lab)
  • Maintain and adhere to nonprofit policies and procedures, Public Lab values, and the Code of Conduct.

Skills, knowledge, and abilities required:

  • Excellent communication skills in online, written, and verbal formats;
  • Ability to work collaboratively, both in-person and with remote colleagues, to envision and promote positive change, and to be supportive of others;
  • Ability to facilitate activities amongst a highly diverse community of people from many different fields and experience sets;
  • Technical proficiency (with full support from colleagues)--ability to learn, disseminate, and teach about technology and reporting in the context of advocacy;

Public Lab is committed to a diverse, multicultural work environment. We encourage people with different ability sets, people of color, and people of diverse sexual orientations, gender expressions, and identities to apply.

To Apply: Send a resume and the answers to the below questions in a single document to by December 19th. No phone calls please.

1.) Why are you interested in this fellowship? What about working on this issue intrigues you?
2.) How would your past experiences benefit your work as a fellow?
3.) If awarded the fellowship, what would you hope to learn, and what would you hope to accomplish?


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