While anyone may join Public Lab and take part in developing and applying Do-It-Yourself pollution monitoring techniques, the Public Lab non-profit supports peer production for community environmental health under three program areas: Open Land, Open Air, Open Water**. These program areas are assisted by hardware production and distribution through the Kits Initiative. Activities include:
- Developing, incubating and distributing hardware and software research tools (and associated methodology) that are low cost, easy to use, and modifiable.
- Collectively applying these tools in research and monitoring projects in particular locales.
- Advocating for community identified goals and objectives by sharing the resulting data and knowledge with peers, regulatory agencies, press and other stakeholders.
To support this framework, the Public Lab nonprofit has identified three different types of fellowships that the organization hopes to support: Initiative Fellows, Sprint Fellows and Co-Fellows. The following sections include information on current fellows, current fellowship openings and the structure of each fellowship program.
The role of an Initiative Fellow is to lead the day-to-day management of programmatic hardware and software development in their initiative area, to coordinate with Public Lab’s outreach team on events planning and community engagement, and to participate in monthly meetups and Public Lab’s annual conference. Initiative fellows provide support to community members for tool research and development, connect communities tackling similar issues, and coordinate closely with Public Lab staff. Fellows receive various levels of support from Public Lab including stipends and support for workspace, materials, and travel.
Current fellows include:
- Nick Shapiro, Open Air Fellow: http://publiclab.org/profile/nshapiro
The role of the Sprint Fellow is to support focused, project-based responsibilities in one of the three Initiatives (Open Air, Water and Land), such as overcoming a specific research or development hurdle. These fellowships are designed to be more nimble and based on immediate, concrete needs, whether that be related to a tool or a community-defined need. Sprint Fellows receive stipends to support workshops, travel and workspace for 3-6 month periods.
The Co-Fellows program provides funding and resources for two-person teams to develop and implement projects defined by a community need. Of the two-fellow team, typically one fellow would be actively working on a specific environmental issue and one fellow would come from a technical background. Co-Fellows receive stipends to support the development of their project.
** Read more about each initiative at: http://publiclab.org/wiki/nonprofit-initiatives
Sreyantha Chary Fellowship: Spectral Workbench macros and recipies May 20-August 20, 2015, By providing a “Recipes” platform for authoring and sharing step-by-step methods and protocols for specific spectrometric tests, from sample collection to preparation, scanning, and comparison, Chary will pilot the idea of stepwise methodological scaffolding and skill-sharing with potential application across Public Lab tools.
Yagiz Sutcu Fellowship: Public Lab beta Oil Testing Kit July 13-October 13, 2015, Yagiz will focus on the evaluation of the Oil Testing Kit capabilities to determine the accuracy with which the prototype Oil Testing Kit spectrometer can measure oil reference materials, and to conduct and synthesize results from a multi-user beta-testing program. For the beta-testing program, he will develop and refine written methods for users to analyze samples and assess uploaded user spectra for accuracy and precision.
Don Blair, Open Water Fellow, http://publiclab.org/profile/donblair