Cohort Planning


Since 2018 we have iterated on a strategy that works well for planning and coordinating with partners, and engaging and attracting research teams to participate in the Champions Cohort.

Planning with partners can take several months, depending on the needs of their community and how well they already know about the opportunities in the Openscapes Champions Program.

Planning document

We make a copy of our Openscapes-CohortPlanningDoc to share with our Partners. This planning document is to help us finalize dates and text language for announcing and coordinating our Openscapes Cohort.

The following is a high-level overview of what is in the Planning Doc and announcement, with example text.

The later section on Champions Cohort tech setup describes and links to the CohortPlanning GitHub Project through which we manage checklists in Issues focused on engagement and tech setup after dates are set.

Partners Planning Call

The Partner Planning Call kicks of the collaboration. In this meeting we share lessons learned from recent Cohorts, introduce cohort structure and teams, Pre-Cohort Engagement, and onboarding any assistants. Partners share more about the research community, and we discuss the planning timeline and propose dates for the Cohort.

Schedule Cohort Dates

Schedule the Cohort dates early as possible!!

We have found this procedure to work best:

  1. We schedule date-times for all Cohort Calls that work for anyone involved with leading the Cohort Calls. This includes asking/exploring for any big conflicts like conferences that this community attends.
  2. We announce the opportunity ~2 months ahead with the scheduled date-times and ask for team leads to nominate their teams. We’ve found setting the date-times in advance (no doodle) streamlines scheduling and it makes this event seem more “official”. Plus, having team leads commit to the times on behalf of their whole teams creates more buy-in.

The [NAME] Openscapes Champions Cohort will run from September - October 2021. We will meet as a Cohort via Zoom five times over two months for 1.5 hours, on alternating Thursdays or Fridays. We propose the following three options (we’ll send Google Calendar Invites when confirmed). Would these times work for us:

Option 1) Thursdays at 12-1:30 pm ET. Dates: September 16 & 30, October 14 & 28, November 11

Option 2) Thursdays at 2-3:30 pm ET. Dates: September 16 & 30, October 14 & 28, November 11

Option 3) Fridays at 12-1:30 pm ET. Dates: September 17, October 1, 15 & 29, November 12

Example: NOAA Fisheries

Openscapes has led 5 Champions Cohorts with NOAA Fisheries (NMFS, the National Marine Fisheries Service) since 2020. We’re planning 2-3 more Cohorts for 2022. Planning each Cohort has involved proposals to center supervisors, presentations to center leadership, coordination with center staff, and presentations to recruit participants and “ask me anything” sessions to answer questions, building from Openscapes’ pubs, slides, etc and operations overview.

Coming soon: link to the NMFS Openscapes README with planning resources reused/remixed across NMFS science centers.

(We additionally have a 3-year proposal for NMFS-wide Openscapes 2023-2025 modeled after NASA Openscapes that we’re presenting to leadership).