Public Lab Wiki documentation

Sandbox projects

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Community science projects begin when frontline leaders facing environmental injustice set goals and go about producing the knowledge needed for self-determination. Projects follow a non-linear trajectory that may include organizing, mobilization, empirical documentation, and advocacy based on the results.

Read about milestones achieved by projects around the world on the Stories page.


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There are a few main approaches for collecting environmental evidence that documents reality and supports locally held goals:

  • Establishment of a baseline → change detection
  • Environmental surveillance (Internet of Things, trend spotting)
  • Exploring existing data (FOIA, data science, close reading)
  • Watchdogging, hotspotting, bounty hunting
  • Study Design with a disprovable hypothesis

In Public Lab's educational work, we use the following framework: