Pathways to Open Science


Pathways to Open Science is a remote event series for Black environmental & marine researchers to build community for the future of data intensive science. Led by Ileana Fenwick of Openscapes in partnership with Black in Marine Science (BIMS) and Black Women in Ecology, Evolution, and Marine Science (BWEEMS), the series will begin on January 26, 2023!

Program Details

This remote event series will convene Black environmental and marine researcher community members with the goal of developing a mindset for Open Data Science: the tools and practices enabling reproducible, transparent, and inclusive practices for data intensive science. If you’re feeling bogged down by folders full of files with names like “analysis_final_v5.xlsx” and/or like empowering others, we welcome you to join us!

This 6-part remote event series runs on Thursdays, January 26 - March 2. Event format will alternate weekly (all virtual):

  • 3 community calls: 1.5 hour calls with facilitated discussion, mini-lectures and community conversations with Black data scientists, data science leaders and students
    • January 26, February 9, 23 from 5:00 to 6:30 pm EST
  • 3 coworking sessions: 1.5 hour calls structured for folks to bring their own work, practice skill building, screenshare, and ask questions.
    • February 2, 16, March 2 from 5:00 to 6:00 pm EST

January 26: What is open science anyway? What can it mean for you?

Learn all about open science and data organization skills that will save you time and energy!


  • Alex Davis, Postdoctoral Fellow, The Diversity Project at UCLA, and Pathways co-organizer
  • Ileana Fenwick, PhD Student, UNC Chapel Hill and Pathways Lead
  • Aneese Williams, Environmental Management Systems Coordinator for the City of West Palm Beach, FL and Pathways co-organizer

February 9: Building our skills for a better tomorrow

Hear from experts about building community and your data science toolkit for more efficient research!


  • LaTreese Denson, Stock Assessment Analyst, NOAA Southeast Fisheries Science Center
  • De’Marcus Robinson, PhD Student, Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, UCLA
  • Jason Williams, Assistant Director, External Collaborations at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, DNALC; Education, Outreach, and Training lead for CyVerse

February 23: Data Science is for US

Join the conversation! Hear all about our journeys into data science and building community for innovation.


  • SherAaron Hurt, Director of Workshops, The Carpentries
  • Tony Orr, Research Scientist, NOAA Alaska Fisheries Science Center
  • Dawn Wright, Chief Scientist, Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI)

Join us every other week for coworking!

Feb 2, 16, Mar 2, 5:00 - 6:00 pm EST

Bring your code, bring a question or come learn a new skill with us!

The event series builds from our work at Openscapes, where we believe open practices can accelerate data-driven solutions and increase diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging in science. Since 2019 we have mentored >100 research teams, meeting them where they are as they develop enduring habits and community. All Openscapes events abide by our Code of Conduct.

How do participants benefit from this event series?

  • Build data science literacy and skills

  • Encourage community building and collaboration with other HBCU and Black scientists

  • Resume building experience and access to skill development resources after the program is completed

  • Networking opportunity

  • Welcome to the Openscapes community and Slack workspace as a resource for questions and networking

  • Free


Register via Eventbrite. If you are a Black marine scientist and/or an HBCU student, we would love to have you! We hope you are able to attend all six events, however, you are welcome to register for and join as many as you are able to. And please invite others to join you! If you are an ally, please help us amplify Black voices; we suggest allies do not sign up for this particular series.

Planning Team

3 smiling Black women standing in front of a BWEEMS-branded backdrop with an arbor of black, blue, green, and red balloons

Aneese Williams, Alex Davis, Ileana Fenwick (l to r)

Ileana Fenwick is PI (Principal Investigator) and Lead of the Pathways to Open Science program and a core Openscapes team member. She is an open science advocate and Marine Sciences Ph.D. Student at UNC Chapel Hill. Ileana’s research focuses on evaluating how marine communities respond to climate change and human impacts. Her work uses innovative quantitative methods to improve our ocean management outcomes. In addition to her research, Ileana is also a fierce advocate for HBCU engagement and equity in open science and marine science through her consulting and volunteer work.

Alex Davis is co-organizing Pathways to Open Science as a representative of BWEEMS. She is a marine ecologist and conservation scientist working as a Postdoctoral Fellow on The Diversity Project at UCLA. Alex uses her skills with diving, GIS and spatial ecology to address issues with marine invasive species. Alex is on the Board of Directors for BWEEMS.

Aneese Williams is co-organizing Pathways to Open Science as a representative of BIMS. She is a graduate of Hampton University where she studied Marine & Environmental Science. Aneese has an M.Sc. in Marine Biology & Fisheries from University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science (RSMAS). Currently, Aneese is the Environmental Management Systems Coordinator for the City of West Palm Beach, FL. She manages an Environmental Education Program that allows employees to be more aware of their potential environmental impacts associated with their everyday tasks, highlighting the importance of protecting the environment. She is an expert in problem-solving with data, working to “do things better in less time”.

Julie Lowndes founded and directs Openscapes and provides support for the Pathways to Open Science program.

Stefanie Butland is a core Openscapes team member and provides support for the Pathways to Open Science program.


  • October 2022: Partnership planning

  • Week of November 14-18: Liaison onboarding call

  • December-January 2023 planning meetings with liaisons and social media engagement, registration opens

  • January 26, 2023 - event series kick-off

  • March 2 - event series concludes

  • March-April - followup and publish cross-posted blog post!

Connect with us!

BWEEMS: WebsiteInstagramTwitter

BIMS: WebsiteInstagramTwitterYouTube

Openscapes: WebsiteTwitterYouTube

Background Information

To learn more about Openscapes approaches:

Promotional Graphics

poster for Community Call #1 with cartoon of kelp on the left and a Black woman sitting cross-legged, smiling reading a book

Enjoying the graphics for the event series in our social channels? Check out our incredible graphic designer LaWanda Walker!


This event series is possible through funding from Code for Science & Society through the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. Thank you!


Please cite Pathways to Open Science through the project’s Zenodo archive using DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.7662699. This DOI represents all versions, and will always resolve to the latest one.

The citation will look something like:

Ileana Fenwick & Julia Stewart Lowndes. (2023). Pathways to Open Science (2023.02). Zenodo.

Please visit the Pathways DOI link to get the most recent version - the one above is not automatically generated and may be out of date if we release an updated version.