Pre-cohort engagement

Overview

Pre-cohort engagement is focused on potential participants for the Cohort.

We focus our engagement/recruitment of team leads (i.e. PIs) to coordinate for their teams. This is so there is buy-in for the team to invest time into learning with the Openscapes Cohort. The Cohort will explore software and practices that help teams collaborate more efficiently, and are not only for people who code or work with data.

We begin this engagement once we’ve scheduled the dates, ~2 months before the Cohort begins: see the Program Design Chapter for details about timing.

Depending on the Cohort, recruitment may happen by the partners internally rather than by Openscapes. Approaches we’ve iterated/formalized can still help in these cases - for example having a public webpage with all information (which gives it some official “weight” and is also a single place to point folks to for details), and focusing on engaging and building trust with team leads so that their teams are approved to spend time.

Announcement: call for nominations

Once we finalize schedules and text in the CohortPlanningDoc, we announce the opportunity as ask team leads to nominate their teams.

Email, Twitter, Fliers

Our partners will distribute the announcement via their channels through email, listserves, fliers, etc. We can also tweet the announcement from our account (https://twitter.com/openscapes). All announcements will link to the opportunity’s post on the Openscapes events page (see next).

Openscapes events page

We create a post on the Openscapes Events page with details about the opportunity. This can be cross-posted elsewhere. It will be linked in any email correspondance, fliers, tweets, etc. Here is an example: https://openscapes.github.io/events/posts/2021-05-07-css-champions

Program overview

This is a professional development and leadership opportunity for NOAA research groups to explore open data science practices.

Openscapes is an approach for doing better science in less time[^1]. We help research groups reimagine data analysis, develop modern skills that are of immediate value to them, and cultivate collaborative and inclusive research communities. Openscapes’ mentorship and community engagement approaches center on open data science as kinder science[^2], enabling increased efficiency and resilience for teams so that their work has more enduring impact.

Openscapes Champions is a remote-by-design mentorship program for environmental and Earth science research teams to explore open data science practices. Participants attend as a team with their research group in a cohort with other teams, together learning how to reframe data-intensive science as a collaborative effort. By discussing open software tooling and communities enabling reproducible research (e.g. R/Python, GitHub, metadata, cloud), participants develop collaborative skills, mindsets, and habits and establish shared practices for increased efficiency in their own research, while contributing to a more inclusive scientific culture.

This opportunity is funded by NOAA Northwest Fisheries Science Center (NWFSC).

Cohort details

Our NWFSC Cohort will meet four times over two months, on alternating Fridays.

  • Dates: Sep 17, Oct 1, Oct 15, Oct 29, 2021
  • Times: 11:00-12:30 pm PST
  • Where: remotely, via Zoom
  • Who: Cohort of 7 NOAA research groups. Each team consists of a team lead (PI, project lead, etc) and up to 4 team members of your choice (analysts, technicians, students, postdocs, etc).
  • Cost: Free; this opportunity is sponsored by NWFSC
  • Expected time commitment: The minimum expected time commitment is 6hrs/month for 2 months. This includes 3 hours/month over Zoom as a full Champions Cohort, as well as teams meeting independently to further discuss topics between Cohort Calls.

Nominate your team to participate

Nominate your team by filling out this Google Form by August 20, 2021. This opportunity is open only to those affiliated with NOAA NMFS. Please submit one nomination per team, preferably by the team lead (PI, project lead, etc). We will confirm participation by late August 2021.

Learn more about the Openscapes Champions Program, stories from previous cohorts], and FAQs about forming your team. Questions? Contact Openscapes: openscapes at nceas.ucsb.edu

Google form

Potential participants can sign up via Google Form (or Google Sheet - see below).

Google Form: The events page links to a Google Form (~10 minutes) that research leads fill out to nominate their team to participate. Below is example text - and remember to change the settings (so it’s not restricted to any particular respondents) and have the thank you message say when they’ll expect to hear from us.

Title: NASA Openscapes Champions Cohort

Hello! This form is to nominate your research group to participate in the NASA Openscapes Champions Cohort. This is a professional development and leadership opportunity for scientists that use data from NASA’s Earth Observing System Data and Information System (EOSDIS) Distributed Active Archive Centers (DAACs) and are interested in collaborative open data science practices and migrating their workflows to the cloud.

This opportunity is open only to research groups that use data from NASA DAACs. Please provide one nomination per research group, by February 1, 2022. See https://nasa-openscapes.github.io/champions for more information about NASA Openscapes, and https://openscapes.org/faqs for more details about team composition.

  • First name

  • Last name

  • Email address

  • Web presence (website, Twitter, GitHub) (optional)

  • ORCID (see https://orcid.org/)  (optional)

  • Which institution are you affiliated with?

  • How did you hear about this FDD Openscapes opportunity?

  • Who is the lead of the research group you are nominating?

  • Are you this research group lead? If not please explain

  • [Any other NASA specific questions]

  • Briefly tell us why your team would be a good candidate for our Champions cohort. We aim to invite a diverse group of researchers to learn together. Please tell us how your interests, career position, expertise, reproducible research efforts, and/or potential of future contribution to the open science community will help make a productive and creative cohort. Or simply tell what you hope to learn by joining and what types of data challenges you face.

  • What is your research focus? (15 words or fewer)

  • Please share any relevant projects you might have worked on (links appreciated)

  • Have you attended an “open” event before? For example through the NASA Cloud Hackathon, Pangeo, Mozilla, The Carpentries, or National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS)? Please share.

  • Openscapes is committed to providing a welcoming community for all participants. One of our priorities is to support and amplify the diversity of researchers participating in open science. Therefore, we strongly encourage applications from women, people of colour, LGBTQ, differently-abled individuals, and any other underrepresented minorities in research. If you identify with any of these groups and wish to share this information with us, or wish to share specific needs that would help make your experience participating in this remote workshop series easier or more comfortable, please use the box below. (optional)

  • For this opportunity, you will participate as a team with up 1-4 other members of your research group. Please describe who some of those individuals might be. Please see openscapes.org/faq for more details on selecting a team. 

  • Please confirm you and your team are available for all program events:

    • May 7, 12:00-1:30pm PST

    • May 21, 12:00-1:30pm PST

    • June 4, 12:00-1:30pm PST

    • June 18,12:00-1:30pm PST

  • Where will you be joining from? This helps us understand time zones as we coordinate.

  • Please read and agree to our code of conduct before you submit your application to participate. [paste short summary, link to full CoC). (required).

    • Radio buttons: agree, disagree
  • Thank you for the information. Anything else you’d like to share?

  • Submit button: “Apply”

Confirmation message: Thank you for the nomination. We will be in touch in late August.

Google Sheet: For some cohorts, a Google Form isn’t the right way to have potential participants to share their interest, particularly as team form. NOAA Fisheries partners have found it best to coordinate internally with a Google Spreadsheet, that may or may not be linked from an events page. Here is a Template Sign-Up Google Sheet from SEFSC & AFSC.

Selection and coordination

Selection and coordination varies somewhat depending on the Cohort. Academic cohorts are most often nominated by faculty PI, so first email communications are with them and then team/lab/group members are added as a second step as teams confirm, and finally we write the cohort as a whole. Government cohorts are often selected within the agency with less focus on “team lead”, and so email communications are sent out to the whole cohort from the start. Below are examples of the Academic cohort process, ending with the Cohort Welcome email to the whole cohort - see there for examples for welcoming government groups as well.

We have example text for these that we will pull into a template Google Doc and link here

Selection rubric

We have a selection rubric and work with partners to select participating teams. Many groups have their own internal process however, and that’s great.

Email to confirm team leads

When teams have nominated themselves, we send an email to potential team leads with more details and ask them to reply cc’ing their teams and scheduling 1:1 intro calls.

Subject: Welcome to the FDD Openscapes Champions Cohort 🎉

Dear [PI],

Thank you for nominating your team to participate in the FDD Openscapes Champions Cohort! We are excited for you to be a part of the cohort; this email is your official acceptance. To confirm you’re still able to participate, please:

  1. Book a 30-minute intro call on August 27 or 30 – or suggest other times if that is not possible, preferably September 10. These are short intro calls with Openscapes and team leads to start getting to know each other, share more details about the Champions Program, learn about the team, how they work, their goals for the Cohort, and answer any questions.
  2. Respond to this email, cc’ing your team members (up to 4 others). We will then add you and your team to Google Calendar invites for all 4 Cohort Calls.

Our cohort page details the dates and times, as well as some background about Openscapes and FDD. We will also email the full cohort closer to the September 17 start date.

Please let us know if you have any questions! We’re looking forward to working and learning with you.

Cheers,
Julie Lowndes and Erin Robinson
Co-Directors, Openscapes

Email to decline

Declining nominees is the worst.

Dear NAME,

Thank you for nominating your team to participate in the Openscapes Champions CS&S Cohort; we appreciate your interest in learning with us. This was our first open call and we had more interest than we expected, and have not been able to accept all of the great teams that applied. Unfortunately, this means that we are not able to include you in our CS&S cohort.

We will be looking to offer more opportunities like this one as we grow Openscapes as a program, and invite you to stay tuned through our (infrequent) newsletter and via Twitter @openscapes. There are also upcoming virtual opportunities at NCEAS, including through the Reproducible Research Techniques for Synthesis course in July.

Cheers,

Julie Lowndes and Erin Robinson

Co-Directors, Openscapes

Team setup and calendaring

Here’s the process as they PIs confirm with their teams:

  • Add to OpenscapesParticipants [ 2021-fdd ]
  • Add team leads and members to the Cohort Calls on the Openscapes Community Google Calendar
  • Reply all welcome email to team members with confirmation

Thanks [PI],

And hi [folks], great to meet you all! OpenscapesParticipants [ 2021-fdd ] is our growing participant list, would you all please update information for your row? I’ve also just sent Google Calendar invites and will be in touch more before our first Cohort Call on [date].

Looking forward to it,

Julie and Erin

Follow teams on Twitter

As we are introduced to team leads and members, we follow them on Twitter from the Openscapes account.

1:1 Intro calls

These are short intro calls with Openscapes and team leads to start getting to know each other, share more details about the Champions Program, learn about the team, how they work, their goals for the Cohort, and answer any questions.

We use Google Calendar Appointment Slots to schedule 1:1s with each team lead. This is a way for us to get to know each other and to learn more about their team’s needs. We schedule these 1:1’s for ~1 month before the start of the cohort.

Example text in the Calendar Appointment Slots:

  • Short intro calls with Openscapes and team leads to start getting to know each other, share more details about the Champions Program, learn about the team, how they work, their goals for the Cohort, and answer any questions.

Openscapes Champions Cohort Intro Call

[ Participants ]
27 August 2021
30 minutes

Agenda:

  • Intros

    •  
  • Openscapes Champions Cohort

    • 2 months to think about where you are and where you want to go

    • Focus on open science, collaboration, data, inclusion

    • Geared towards adult learning – focus on your own work

    • Mentorship for you and your team (up to 5 total people)

      • Don’t need a shared project: idea is that there are common workflows across projects.
    • What it’s not: a coding workshop or webinar. Engaging discussions w/ your team and peers. 

    • 4x 1.5-hour Cohort Calls over Zoom, Sept-Oct 2021

      • Seaside Chats (data-oriented meetings) on alternating weeks

        • Distribute learning load and build leadership & resilience 
      • 1x GitHub Clinic – publishing & collaboration from the browser

  • Team and whole research group

    •  
  • Goals for the next few months? – start thinking about these

    •  
  •  Other 


Cohort welcome

Here is an example Cohort welcome email as a first email communication with a (government) group, and below is cohort welcome email when we have already been communicating with PIs, and then their teams individually.

Welcome to Openscapes – NMFS AFSC Champions Cohort

Hello All,

We are so excited to welcome you to the 2022 AFSC Openscapes Champions Cohort! Our first Cohort Call is on January 28 and we wanted to share some information with you, including how to prepare for the cohort series. Em Markowitz, Josh London, and Megsie Siple from AFSC are assisting this cohort; we are all available to answer any questions so please do not hesitate to contact us. Many thanks to Jeremy Rusin for coordination and support in creating this opportunity.

  • Dates: January 28, February 4, 11, 25 and March 11, 2022
  • Times: 12:00-1:30pm PT
  • Where: remotely, via Zoom (from the browser)

Plan.

Openscapes is an approach for doing better science in less time. Through the Champions program we help research groups reimagine data-intensive science, develop modern skills that are of immediate value to them, and cultivate collaborative and inclusive research communities. The Champions Program is designed for you to all participate actively with your team and across teams in the cohort, so please come prepared to engage with your colleagues. Within your team and across teams we have a mix of backgrounds, technical/coding/data experience, responsibilities, and more – this is intentional. You are all welcome here and provide value to our cohort; there are no technical prerequisites to participate.

You can learn more about past cohorts at openscapes.org/blog (including NEFSC, NWFSC, NMFS, and FDD cohorts), as well as openscapes.org/media.

Preparing for our Cohort. This week, please:

  1. Check that you’ve received Google Calendar invites with Zoom links for our 5 Cohort Calls starting Jan 28. You’ve also received invites for optional Co-working times in ~alternating weeks (described more below). If you have not received these invites, please let us know.

  2. [Book a 30-minute intro call on Jan 20 or 21] – or suggest other times if that is not possible. These “1:1’s” are a chance for your team to meet the Openscapes team, learn more about what to expect, start thinking about your goals, and ask any questions. Please discuss with your team and book a time (one time per team).

We’ll email again following the intro calls with more information, and ask that you read Lowndes et al 2017: Our path to better science in less time using open data science tools before January 28.

Additional Information.

All Openscapes events abide by our Code of Conduct.

Will be recording all Cohort Calls. They will be available for you if you miss a meeting or to use as a reference, and to help us improve the program, but not shared publicly. If you have any concerns about being recorded, please let us know.

Schedule “Seaside Chats”: In the alternating weeks when we do not meet as a cohort, your task will be to meet as a team to further discuss and apply what we learn to your work. We call these meetings “Seaside Chats” and suggest you schedule them with your team now. People usually schedule these as 60-min meetings but you can make them whatever length you want. Megsie, Em, and Josh are able to join some of your Seaside Chats as well to help.

Optional “Co-working” sessions: times to implement what we’ve learned during Cohort Calls, where we work on our own projects at the same time together. Sometimes, this means quiet work with check-ins to break up, be accountable for, and get feedback on focused work, and sometimes this involves breakout rooms and screensharing to plan and problem solve.

Please let us know if you have any questions. Thank you for being a part of it; we have an exciting group assembled and we’re looking forward to getting to know all of you and strengthening relationships within the Cohort.

Cheers,

Julie, Em, Josh, and Megsie

Week prior

~1 week prior to the beginning of the Cohort, we email the full Cohort, welcoming everyone and sharing the plan and a few action items. This includes providing an email address that can access Google Drive and their GitHub username!

Welcome to Openscapes – SASI Champions Cohort

Hello All,

We are so excited to welcome you to the 2021 SASI Openscapes Champions Cohort! Our first Cohort Call is in one week on September 9 and we wanted to share some information with you.

Plan.

Openscapes is an approach for doing better science in less time. Through the Champions program we help research groups reimagine data-intensive science, develop modern skills that are of immediate value to them, and cultivate collaborative and inclusive research communities. Our Cohort is supported by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation’s Symbiosis in Aquatic Systems Initiative (SASI), and we’re partnering with protocols.io, a secure platform for developing and sharing reproducible methods.

Cohort Logistics.

Details and short intros of participating labs are at https://openscapes.github.io/2021-sasi. We pulled intros from your websites; if you have edits please do so through GitHub – and if you don’t yet know how to do this, you’ll learn in our GitHub Clinic after Call 1!

Before Sept 9, please:

  1. Check that you’ve received Google Calendar invites with Zoom links for our 8 Cohort Calls starting Sept 9. If you have not received these invites, please let us know.
  2. Complete your information in OpenscapesParticipants [ 2021-sasi ] to make sure you can access the software we’ll use (Google Drive and GitHub).
  3. Read Lowndes et al 2017: Our path to better science in less time using open data science tools. Optionally, you can also review the slides/video of a recent plenary.

Additional Information.

All Openscapes events abide by our Code of Conduct.

Will be recording all Cohort Calls. They will be available for you if you miss a meeting or to use as a reference, and to help us improve the program, but not shared publicly. If you have any concerns about being recorded, please let us know.

Schedule “Seaside Chats”: In the alternating weeks when we do not meet as a cohort, your task will be to meet as a team to further discuss and apply what we learn to your work. We call these meetings “Seaside Chats” and suggest you schedule them with your team now (PIs do not need to attend).

The Champions Program is designed for you to all participate actively with your team and across teams in the cohort, so please come prepared to engage with your colleagues. Within your team and across teams we have a mix of backgrounds, technical/coding/data experience, responsibilities, and more – this is intentional. You are all welcome here and provide value to our cohort; there are no technical prerequisites to participate.

Meet the Openscapes team.

We’re the team you’ll see most often on the calls, along with a few guest speakers:

Please let us know if you have any questions. Thank you for being a part of it; we have an exciting group assembled and we’re looking forward to getting to know all of you and strengthening relationships within the Cohort.

Cheers,

Julie, Erin, Lenny, and Emma

Day prior

Hi All,

We’re excited to meet you all with your teams as a full Cohort tomorrow at [ Time ] Pacific Time!

You should have all received Google Calendar invites with the Zoom call-in information; call-in info is also pasted below. We’ve also just invited you to the [ Openscapes_CohortCalls folder ] where all agendas and other documents will be organized throughout our Cohort.

Please also update your information in the [] OpenscapesParticipants spreadsheet ] and learn about the other participating teams at [ https://openscapes.github.io/2021-sasi ].

Looking forward to it! Cheers, Julie, Erin, Lenny, and Emma

Zoom call-in information

[ via web and phone ]

Guest teachers

We invite guest teachers to present topics during Cohort Calls, either from our existing slides or they can contribute their own on a similar topic. For example, Dr. Jessica Couture contributed a new slide deck on metadata and presented this during the data strategies for future us lesson. Most of our guest teachers are Champions from previous cohorts (Jessica is a Champion from the 2019-inaugural cohort), and we are able to offer an honorarium for their time and expertise.

Hi [ potential guest teacher],

How are you? I hope you’ve had a break this summer and are doing ok with everything going on.

Openscapes a few Champions cohorts we’re leading this fall, including one with researchers using fisheries dependent data in the US Northeast coordinated by Gavin Fay, Andy Jones, and Rachel Baum (here’s the cohort page).

We wanted to see if you’d be interested in being a guest teacher at one of these Cohort Calls for 20-25 minutes, presenting ~12 mins of slides and leading the following discussion (likely breakout groups and then group discussion). We’re thinking of you joining the second call and presenting about data strategies for future us, or the third and presenting about coding strategies for future us. You could either present from our existing slide decks, or present something on-theme from your work, and we can help you with the format and timing. Cohort Calls 2 & 3 are on October 1 & 15 from 12-1:30pm ET (exact time TBD but you’re welcome to just attend for your part). We are able to offer an honorarium as well.

We’re excited to hear your ideas, and if this isn’t the right thing now to think about if there’s another way we can involve you in the future if you’d like. We’d love to chat with you about it in any case, would you be able to suggest a few times for a 30-minute call?

Cheers,

Julie and Erin

Followup email the week before:

Hi Emily and Chanté,

We’re excited about your guest teaching and wanted to check in about it. We’ve had a good first week and two GitHub Clinics and people are excited to learn from how you both work!

I’ve just shared our [draft Agenda] for this second Cohort Call on October 1, with Emily planned for 11:45-12:20. Would you be able to share your plan by Sept 30 and we can iterate? We can work with you and iterate the discussion prompts following your slides if you’d like, and whether it would make most sense to have more of a group discussion rather than breakouts.

How does all this sound? Happy to meet to chat about it/review together if you have questions, or continue discussions by email.

Thank you!

Cheers,

Julie