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. This is an ongoing collaboration with Black in Marine Science (BIMS), Black Women in Ecology, Evolution, and Marine Science (BWEEMS), HBCU marine science professors, and now PREreview and Antoinette Foster, PhD. The program is led by Ileana Fenwick, with Alex Davis, PhD, and Aneese Williams. The 2024 series ran from January 25 to February 29.

2 zoom selfies of 48 Black people smiling and waving, a cartoon of a Black woman sitting, smiling, reading a book called Open Science, and a word cloud with community, personal stories, resources, as largest font words

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 25 - February 29. 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 25, February 8, 22 from 5:00 to 6:30 pm EST
  • 3 coworking sessions: 1 hour calls structured for folks to bring their own work, their code, or questions, screenshare, and come learn a new skill with us!
    • February 1, 15, 29 from 5:00 to 6:00 pm EST


Register via Zoom. 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 join as many as you are able to. 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.

What will Pathways to Open Science look like? Check out the speakers in our 2024 Series and speakers and resources shared in our 2023 Series.

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

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, PhD, 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, PhD, 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 - November 2023: Partnership planning

  • November 29: Planning team kickoff call

  • December - January 2024 planning meetings with liaisons and social media engagement, registration opens

  • January 24, 2024 - event series kickoff

  • Februrary 29 - event series concludes

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

Connect with us!

BWEEMS: WebsiteInstagramTwitter

BIMS: WebsiteInstagramTwitterYouTube

Openscapes: WebsiteMastodonYouTube

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!


The 2024 Pathways event series is funded in part by Mozilla, NASA Earthdata, and Openscapes LLC. We are grateful to Mozilla Foundation’s Alumni Connection grant that supports our collaboration with PREreview and Dr. Antoinette Foster’s expertise in values-guided career navigation and anti-racist scholarly review. Pathways to Open Science was kicked off with 2023 support from the Code for Science & Society Event Fund 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.