Public Lab Wiki documentation

Community Science Forum

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Read about cutting edge techniques in hacking environmental science in our Community Science Forum, our research journal/archive/zine/map where we share ideas, techniques, and stories.

The Community Science Forum is printed on a 22.75x35" sheet of acid-free paper, and includes a full-color reproduction of our projects along with essays, illustrated guides, and interviews. It's a great way to stay abreast of the latest in the DIY environmental science movement.

Links provided to online versions of most articles.

Through 2019, most issues of the Community Science Forum were designed by longtime Public Lab collaborator Maria del Carmen Lamadrid, who has generously agreed to make the template available under CC-BY-SA license. Download available here.

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Issue 18 Student-Led Community Science Projects (Summer 2021)

Cover image of Community Science Forum Issue 18 showing the title Student-Led Community Science Projects in hand-drawn type and part of a photo of a Southeast Louisiana landscape

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Introduction to Student-Led Community Science Projects

Household Recycling in New Orleans

Collecting Microplastics in City Park

Observing Potholes in Louisiana

Calculating a Trash Estimate in the Mississippi River through New Orleans

Soil Contamination in Edgard

Challenges and Solutions doing Fieldwork

From Air to Soil

Soil Contamination in St. John the Baptist Parish

Issue 17 Cranston Print Works (Fall 2019)


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Introduction to Cranston Print Works

How a Leader and a Community Saved the Sprague Mansion

Recipes for Dyes: Chemicals, Metals, and Acids at Cranston Print Works

A Wintry Kite Mapping at Cranston Print Works

Coqui Water Testing

Memories with Molly

Immigration in Cranston

Issue 16 Odor Logging (Spring 2019)


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Smell and Evocative Instrumentation: The history of measuring odors

Taking Action: Odors in Court

Novel Methods for Assessing Industrial Odors

Putting Odor Issues on the Map: Using citizen science to curb odors in the EU

How to Use a Transect, illustrated by Sara Sage

How to Describe Odors Using FIDO, illustrated by Sara Sage

Issue 15 Gulf Coast (Late fall 2018)


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Educating a New Generation of Advocates

Recharging New Orleans: Rain Barrels and Environmental Justice

The Africatown Connections Blueway: Legacy and Rebirth

Sustain the Nine: Resilience in the Lower Ninth Ward

Fighting the Flood: Community Activism and Education in Pensacola

Issue 14 Crisis Convening (Fall 2018)


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Show You Can be Free in a Colony

For Us, by Us: A Network of Support for Puerto Rico

The Importance of Community-based Responders

Issue 13 Changing Environmental Governance Landscape (Fall 2017)


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How is the changing environmental governance landscape affecting your work? by Public Lab Staff

Back to basics, or a departure from environmental protections? History lends perspective by Leif Fredrickson, Environmental Data and Governance Initiative

Silver linings of community science by Gretchen Gehrke, Public Lab

What's happening with government agencies' environmental justice work? by Jill Lindsey Harrison, Associate Professor of Sociology, University of Colorado-Boulder

Let public lands speak for themselves by George Dusenbury, GA State Director, The Trust for Public Land

Roll up your sleeves and fight regulatory rollbacks by Stacy Shelton

Activate impact: fund boldness by Jake Mogan, The 11th Hour Project

Washington is one of many paths to sustainability progress. Green buildings can help by Jeremy Sigmon, Director, Technical Policy, U.S. Green Building Council

Issue 12 Water (Winter 2017)


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Photo Documentation of Frac Sand Mine Surface Water Spills by Lee Boland

Hydraulic Fracturing and the Rebirth of Citizen Water Monitoring in the U.S by Kirk Jalbert, Manager of Community-Based Research & Engagement, FracTracker Alliance

The Riffle: DIY and Open Source by Don Blair and Mathew Lippincott

Pollutant Discharge Permits by Gretchen Gehrke

A Sensor Journalist's Story by Jillian Clemente

What happens when we use timelapse to monitor blasting at mine sites? by Public Lab Staff

Issue 11 Frac Sand (Spring 2016)


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What happens when the mining stops? Focus on Reclamation by Gretchen Gehrke, Mathew Lippincott and Cheryl Miller

History of Community Air Monitoring in Western Wisconsin by Mathew Lippincott

Airborne Silica and Regulations by Gretchen Gehrke

Interview with Pat Popple by Stevie Lewis

Visual Reporting on Air Quality: EPA Method 9 by Stevie Lewis

Using Photographs in Fighting Mining Companies by Forest Jahnke, Crawford Stewardship Project

Local Knowledge and Aerial Imagery by Mary Kenosian

Documenting Runoff with Photography by Gretchen Gehrke

Issue 10 DIY Oil Testing (Winter 2016)


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Announcing Spectral Workbench 2 by Jeffrey Warren

DIY Oil Testing by Jeffrey Warren , Stevie Lewis and Gretchen Gehrke

Using the Oil Testing Kit with Gulf Coast Communities by Stevie Lewis

DIY Oil Testing Narratives by Ann Chen

Oil Sheen Testing by Matej Vakula

Spectometer Intensity Calibration by Yagiz Sutcu

Collecting Oil Sheen on Newtown Creek, Dutch Kills, Queens, NY by Matej Vakula and nameiswillis

Issue 9 Land Management Issue (Oct 2015)


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Gardening Toolkit Case Study

Photo Monitoring Plugin for NDVI Using Image J by Ned Horning

FarmHack by Dorn Cox and Severine von Tscharner Fleming

PhotoSynq by Greg Austic

Planet Leafiest (Nighthawk Panorama and Return to Planet LEAFFEST) by Chris Fastie

Issue 8 The Urban Waters Issue (July 2015)


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About the Urban Waters Project

An Ode to Maps by Diana Di Leonardo

By Molly Gordon

By Amy LeGaux

Announcing Mapknitter 2.0 by the Web Working Group

Issue 7 The 5 Year Anniversary Issue (May 2015)


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Public Lab Five Year Retrospective by Shannon Dosemagen

How to Get Involved with Public Lab illustrated by Molly Danielsson

A History of Crediting Hardware Contributions by Mathew Lippincott

Coder Crisis: Attracting Software Developers to Public Lab by Justin Manley, Bryan Bonvallet, Jeff Warren, and Molly Danielsson

Issue 6 The Waste Issue (Q3 2014)


Issue 6 explores trash in all its many forms.

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Download the centerfold featuring an activity for estimating the volume of your local landfill

Issue 5 The International Issue (Q2 2014)


Issue 5 is focused on highlighting the Public Lab community around the world. It's also our first edition printed in color.

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Download a PDF copy of the Map of Silwan

Issue 4 (fall 2013)


Issue 4 is focused on long term research in the New York City chapter.

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Issue 3 (spring 2013)


Grassroots Mapping Forum Issue 3 text

Issue 3 is an in depth look at community organizing in the Public Lab community.

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Issue 2 (summer 2012)


Grassroots Mapping Forum Issue 2

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Issue 1 (summer 2011)

Grassroots Mapping Forum Issue 1

Sold out!

  • A full color wall-ready map of an island in Barataria Bay showing oil spilled from the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill
  • An interview with Gulf Coast resident Barbara Marcotte (Shannon Dosemagen
  • Details on how to get started balloon or kite mapping (Jeff Warren)
  • Reimagining the data lifecycle by Shannon Dosemagen and Jeff Warren

Pre-press version (not the final edition which went to press): gmf-1-prepress-small.pdf

Get involved

Learn about and get involved in writing, editing, publishing, promoting, and distributing the forum on the forum planning page.

Using Content from Grassroots Mapping Forum

The Forum is a Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike licensed document. If you'd like to use content from it, go ahead! Mathew can provide high-res artwork and original files if those are helpful to you, just send an e-mail to GM_Forum_20131025_Page_2.jpg CSF17.pdf