New Space and Tech

NASA Boosts Open Science Through Innovative Training

By Keith Cowing
Press Release
April 11, 2023
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NASA Boosts Open Science Through Innovative Training
Transform to Open Science (TOPS)

NASA is awarding a total of $6.5 million to U.S. institutions for education and training in open science. The promise of open science is that NASA research and data should be more collaborative, accessible, inclusive, and transparent for everyone from the scientist and student to the city manager and citizen.

The agency’s Open-Source Science Initiative (OSSI) is promoting change in the openness and speed of access to scientific information by supporting new training opportunities. To kickoff the initiative, NASA is investing in a 5-year Transform to Open Science (TOPS) project, which helps researchers engaged with NASA and beyond to put open science into practice.

“NASA is opening up science like never before,” said Chelle Gentemann, program scientist for TOPS. “Opening science calls for a shift in both the culture of science and how we conduct research. These awards equip interested scientists and researchers to become the next leaders and innovators working in the open to transform their fields.”

TOPS projects target scientists and researchers at all levels of their careers – from undergraduate students to principal investigators to program managers. TOPS summer schools and virtual cohorts promote understanding of open science using an introductory curriculum called Open Science 101. A new curriculum called ScienceCore helps learners increase their knowledge and skills in specific disciplines.

“We are building an open science ecosystem for a more equitable, impactful, and efficient scientific future,” said Yaítza Luna-Cruz, program officer for the TOPS Training (TOPST) initiative. “Open science is about making sure that scientific knowledge is not only accessible, but also reproducible and inclusive. TOPS is a crucial step towards increasing participation of historically excluded groups across NASA Science.”

Summer Schools

TOPST summer schools will increase the adoption of open science practices by teaching introductory curriculum and increasing opportunities for collaboration. The selected institutions, their projects, and principal investigators (PIs) are:

National Louis University, Chicago, Illinois
Ensuring Culturally Responsive Practices and Community Building in Open Science
PI: Robyn Moncrief

Neuromatch Inc., Los Angeles, California
An Open, Community Supported, Accessible Summer School for Climate Science
PI: Nicholas Halper

University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Bringing Together Open Science and Research Software
PI: Madicken Munk

Virtual Cohorts

Virtual cohorts will offer remote learning and community building around open science principles and practices. The selected institutions, projects, and PIs are:

Code for Science and Society Inc., Portland, Oregon
TOPS OpenCore by Embedding Community Values
PI: Yo Yehudi

Ciencia Abierta Accesible: Community-Based Teaching of the TOPS OpenCore Online in Spanish
PI: Laura Acion

Don’t Use This Code, New York
Virtual Cohorts: Developing Lifelong Committed Interaction with Open Science
PI: Cameron Riddell


ScienceCore curriculum will complement existing training materials and provide information about open science tools and technology for NASA Earth and space science research. The selected institutions, projects, and PIs are:

University of Montana, Missoula
Satellite observations and models informing agriculture: Training for open science under climate change
PI: Arthur Endsley

North Carolina State University, Raleigh
Building a framework for ScienceCore Carpentry from a Marine Sciences Lab
PI: Lisa Lowe

NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland
ETHOS: ExoplaneTs in the epocH of Open Science
PI: Richard Barry

Million Concepts LLC, Louisville, Kentucky
Knowing the Sky: Building Open Science Skills through Native Knowledge Practices
PI: Sierra Brown

University of California, Berkeley
Examining Environmental Justice through Open Source, Cloud-Native Tools
PI: Carl Boettiger

Code for Science and Society Inc., Portland, Oregon
Reproducibly Analyzing Wildfire, Drought, and Flood Risk with NASA Earthdata Cloud
PI: James Munroe

Washington University in St. Louis
ExoCore: An open science curriculum for enhanced reproducibility and equity in exoplanet research
PI: Tansu Daylan

NASA’s Ames Research Center, Silicon Valley, California
Training in Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning for Space Biological Sciences Using NASA Cloud-Based Data
PI: Lauren Sanders

Columbia University, New York
Science Core Heuristics for Open Science Outcomes in Learning (SCHOOL)
PI: Kytt MacManus

Polyneme LLC, New York
Heliophysics ScienceCore curriculum development with emphasis on knowledge representation techniques to increase usability of NASA cloud-based datasets
PI: Donald Winston

As part of the Year of Open Science, NASA is awarding $2.7 million across these different projects this year, with a total of $6.5 million over three years. Read more about the projects.

For information about open science at NASA, visit:

SpaceRef co-founder, Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA, Away Teams, Journalist, Space & Astrobiology, Lapsed climber.