Openscapes Reflections Booklet

Information and open resources for the Openscapes Reflections Program


April 29, 2024

Registration is open for the 2024 Reflections Program!

Dates: April 29 - May 17 2024 (1 hour/week)


Openscapes Reflections is an open data science coaching program for researchers and those who support research. Reflections is a 3-week program (1 hour/week) modeled from professional leadership coaching, skills increasingly core to the Openscapes approach. Running in May each year, Reflections is a light-weight way to reflect on your workflows and make goals going into summer.

We designed Reflections to be rewarding for people who haven’t been part of Openscapes initiatives so far, as well as returning folks who want some accountability and space to reflect on their workflows and plan how open data science practices can fuel institutional culture change. We wanted to create a space for us all to get a little less stuck in our daily workflows (folders full of files with names like “Report_with_figuresFINAL_v2.doc” anyone?) so we can redirect our energy to the part of our work that we care about, connected to our values for climate change and social justice. If this sounds enticing to you, we hope you’ll join us.

Reflections program helps folks identify and plan around their workflow needs in 1 hour/week - 2023 summary blog post & participant testimonials


Over the last five years Openscapes has helped hundreds of researchers improve their work and life with kinder, open science. We know many like you have been looking for a lighter-weight way to get involved or continue building habits to support yourself and your colleagues. We’ve designed the Reflections Program to meet this need and also be more accessible and affordable. We’ve specifically designed it for people who: 

  • have been interested in Openscapes Champions (a 10-week mentorship program for environmental and Earth science teams) but have not yet participated due to cost or booking availability

  • have participated in Openscapes initiatives and would like this opportunity for onboarding new team members, or want to revisit their work-in-progress themselves

  • have participated in Openscapes Pathways to Open Science and are interested in next steps for building more resilient workflows

  • have not yet been involved with Openscapes, and regardless of discipline, job title, career stage, and proximity to data and code, are feeling some amount of workflow friction, or are curious about open science

We know that making space to talk about workflows is so important for teams – Seaside Chats and Coworking are often cited as the most valuable parts of Openscapes when we check in with teams we’ve worked with in academia and government. Spaces to talk are where folks identify their needs and begin addressing them through individual skillbuilding and shared workflow redesign, whether or not they work with data or code. Making this space to reflect is an integral part of Openscapes Champions and we think it will be helpful to folks as a stand-alone program that can include far more people.

What is a workflow? We broadly define workflows as the tools, habits, and practices that we use to complete, collaborate on, and share our work. Read more in Defining our workflows.

Program Details

Reflections will run for 3 weeks in May 2024 for 1 hour each week, from April 29 - May 17 2024. Through weekly prompts and community huddles, you’ll have opportunities to reflect on your own time asynchronously or with others synchronously in a way we hope leaves you feeling intentional and empowered.

  • Tuesdays: Reflection prompts received via email
  • Thursdays: Community Huddle with the Openscapes team and other participants (Optional, via Zoom at 12pm EDT)
  • Fridays: Huddle recording available online for reflecting asynchronously

Each week will have a specific focus. Here is how we hope you’ll feel after each week:

  1. Reflect - I have reflected how I work and noticed what feels good and what feels stuck.

  2. Imagine - I have seen more of what’s possible with open data science and how my peers work and can see myself incorporating this too.

  3. Set Goals - I am empowered by what’s possible and have a starting plan and community to weave this into my ongoing work, and I know I am not alone.

Reflections is a self-paced program to improve your daily workflow, no matter where you are starting from. We’re hoping this is something that will be valuable for you year after year, both for reflecting yourself and onboarding your team.


This program has a $95 value. Please register through this short form. We intend to make this program accessible to anyone interested, with sponsorship available through the registration form.

Registration includes 3 weekly reflection prompts and 3 live Huddles with our team and the community via Zoom (we will send optional calendar invites). These calls will be recorded and uploaded online so that you’re able to watch them on your own time if you can’t attend live.

All reflection prompts are openly available through this Booklet. Yes, you can do the Reflections program for no cost from these open educational resources alone (as is true with all Openscapes resources!). We encourage you to do this alone (or with your colleagues) if this is right for you. By registering above you receive additional structure, accountability, and a supportive community. You also invest in open science and Openscapes open resources and programming.

What to expect

No judgment, just support and community! We know from experience it is intimidating to change how you work, and this process takes time and small steps. Through Reflections we will focus on this journey together.

Each week you’ll reflect on the prompts in this booklet, and have the opportunity to join a Huddle to reflect in community with like-minded folks, ask your questions, and discuss your experiences. The Huddle kicks off with the Openscapes team sharing experiences that can you can reflect on and react to for your own work. This is how we all learn together, reimagine our work, and drive culture change.

You may be asking yourself what to “reflect” on during this period and where to start. More often than not, when prompted we can identify what we need, but we don’t give ourselves the space in our lives to do so. Further, the open data science landscape has completely changed how we can do and share our research, and few of us have had the opportunity to find where to learn the skills required to engage. The Reflections program is a space to ask, What works for me? Where am I stuck? What would improve my work? What will I do next? We’ll each answer these questions for ourselves together in a space where we each make a plan to improve how we work and support culture change more broadly.

Is this for me?

We hope so! This program is for you if:

  • you’re sensing you could improve your daily life by rethinking parts of your workflows

  • you’re looking for accountability and space within limited time availabilty

  • you’re open to trying new things

You do not need any previous experience with data, code, or open science. We designed Reflections for people across career stages, disciplines, and areas of expertise.

We see open science as a movement rooted in creating a more inclusive, collaborative, and kinder future for our planet and society. This movement is being built with folks just like yourself bringing these principles to your work in whichever way you do it. Wherever you are now is the right place; this program gives you that space and guidance to figure out where to start or take your next step. We’re excited to meet you and begin the conversations.



Openscapes is an approach for doing better science in less time. 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, enabling increased efficiency and resilience for teams so that their work has more enduring impact.

Learn about Openscapes initiatives that complement the Reflections Program.

Our team

Julie Lowndes and Ileana Fenwick are designing and leading the Reflections Program this year. Stefanie Butland will be tech hosting. We are super grateful to Erin Robinson for introducing us to coaching as a skill for open data science and having the initial idea for the Reflections program. We’re also grateful for many formative conversations with Liz Neeley.

Two women smiling at the camera outside at night. The woman on the left is Black and wearing a black shirt and a lanyard that says RStudio. The woman on the right is white and wearing a yellow shirt and glasses.

Ileana Fenwick and Julie Lowndes at the 2022 RStudio conference

Hi! I’m Ileana, a core member of the Openscapes team. I learned about open data science as a first year PhD student and these tools have transformed how I do my work. Going from never hearing about open science before to implementing these strategies and tools is challenging! We don’t expect you to do it all in these next few weeks. This is a space to study your own habits and workflows so we can improve incrementally and help each other.

Hi! I’m Julie, a core member of the Openscapes team and also director. Since I first felt empowered by the R coding community I’ve made it a priority to welcome and support as many others as possible. I never thought I was a “computer person”, and I have been encouraged and built skills with many mentors and coaches along the way. I have learned how to experiment and incorporate the new things I learn into my daily work, and gained confidence with data, code, facilitation, and speaking up. I’m excited to have this time to reflect with you!

Please ask us your questions! We look forward to learning together with you on this journey in the first iteration of this program.

This Booklet

The Booklet is written as an open educational resource to reuse and remix. This open curriculum is improved iteratively and the most recent version is always available online. Each chapter in the Reflections Booklet introduces prompts to guide your reflections.

And also, awesomely, it’s created with the same tools and practices we use in analyses: R/RStudio - R Markdown and Quarto - and GitHub.


All material in the Openscapes Reflections Booklet is available under a CC-BY 4.0 licence.

Please cite this guide as:

The Openscapes Core Team, Lowndes & Fenwick (2023). Openscapes Reflections Booklet (v2023.04.0).