Stakeholder-Guided Environmental Science (STAGES): A National Science Foundation Research Traineeship

STAGES wordcloud puzzleThe National Science Foundation (NSF) National Research Traineeship (NRT) projects seek to train students from groups traditionally underrepresented in STEM fields of study.  This NRT seeks to train the next generation of interdisciplinary environmental scientists capable of harnessing the data revolution (HDR) for Stakeholder-Guided Environmental Science (STAGES). Coastal climate change is a grand challenge and there is a need to generate actionable new knowledge and solutions to address this challenge using convergent approaches. The CMSS program will house the STAGES program and offer a convergent training experience. This experience will connect innovative research to practitioner and community needs to answer stakeholder-guided questions of regional and national concern. 

STAGES will generate new knowledge: (1) from big data at the nexus of land-water-atmospheric connections to understand complex processes driving coastal environmental systems, and (2) regarding the integration of stakeholders and big data into academic research in ways that boost trainee involvement in convergent research and occupational readiness. Stakeholders include government agencies on all levels, non-governmental organizations, and community groups, with a common goal to improve the resiliency of Gulf Coast communities and environment. STAGES will provide a curricular foundation for convergent environmental science that is data intensive, starting each spring with coursework and a week-long field trip to experience the interaction of land-water-atmospheric events firsthand. Late Spring Stakeholder Workshops pair trainees and stakeholders to formulate data-focused research questions. Summer Big Data Blitzes prepare trainees for team efforts to answer questions, culminating in Fall Capstones to refine and communicate research results. Trainees will benefit from an interdisciplinary cadre of deeply experienced faculty researchers with extensive field, data science, and student training experience. During the training process, trainees will become better science communicators who can engage stakeholders and grasp the ethical dimensions of their decisions for long-term collaborations.

Diagram of STAGES training program

Executive Team

Dorina Murgulet, PI
Xinping Hu, co-PI
Chuntao Liu, co-PI
Jennifer Pollack, co-PI
Philippe Tissot, co-PI