We try to use a few tools that interoperate well and are open source and collaborative.

We also explore and learn new tools but always always with an eye towards interoperability with our current tooling, and with an understanding of how the open science community and environmental/Earth science communities are working.

Below are the tools that we use, why we use them, and set up instructions. (Here are some Macbook setup notes).

Google Workspace

We use an Openscapes Google Workspace. This is our default system for Champions Cohorts, however, we have adapted when required to use MS Teams / Sharepoint.

  • Calendar
  • Drive
  • Docs
  • Sheets

We prefer to use Zoom over Google Meet, which we found has some limits to functionality e.g. breakout rooms


  • version control for everything that’s not Google Drive
  • coordination with Issues and GitHub Projects
  • publishing all our R-based web communications (see next)
  • comms through website



We use Slack as a way to build community by hosting a space for people to connect with each other around Openscapes-relevant topics. Members include people who have participated and mentored in a Champions Program, Pathways to Open Science, or other Openscapes programs.

Channel definitions

These are meant to help people know where to post or ask questions. These definitions are listed in the Slack channel Topic and Description (because the Topic preview is visible in the channel, while the Description is not).

When people join, they automatically land in #welcome #general #seaside-chats #events #cool-finds #shared-joy #random.

#welcome: A place for people new to our community to introduce themselves and for the rest of us to make them feel welcome; the default channel that members cannot leave if they leave all other channels

#general: General announcements from the Openscapes team and others

#seaside-chats: A place to discuss ongoing progress. Friendly Q & A about good enough practices, team culture, tools …

#events: Events that might be of interest to others in our community. Openscapes events go in #general

#cool-finds: Posts, datasets, podcasts, repos, papers, videos, packages, …things you found that are cool

#jobs: Job opportunities, seeking work, offers to connect people with those “on the inside”

#shared-joy: Sharing joy of any shape or size

#random: Non-work banter and water cooler conversation



In our Openscapes group library, we have resources not limited to academic articles, but also youtube videos, blogs, teaching resources, and more.