PLACE4FEWS will develop and implement a strategic Public Participation in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Research (PPSR) protocol for engaging communities, disseminating information, and communicating the impacts of local decisions through the Food, Energy, and Water (FEW) nexus.

The FEW nexus is a dynamic, coupled natural-human system in which interregional trade, river basins and aquifers, irrigation districts, crop belts, states, tribes, and cities, power grids, climate gradients, and seasonal timescales interact.

The FEWSION project is funded by the NSF to produce the first detailed maps and public visualization systems for the U.S. FEW system. Most FEW goods and services originate in rural and small communities, and over 99% of US counties contain rural and small communities. Yet smaller local communities lack the information and the FEW policy sophistication of Megacities.

The objective of this proposal is to pilot a PPSR model to engage the residents and leaders of small US communities in the resilient management of their FEW systems using a nationally scalable PPSR protocol that leverages and enhances the FEWSION project’s transformative data science and visualization tools. To address this problem, science education experts at the Center for Science Teaching and Learning (CSTL) at Northern Arizona University will partner with the FEWSION team to engage education and community leaders in co-creation and evaluation of the PPSR protocol.

We are beginning to recruit passionate participants in this project, especially in the Flagstaff area, but also nationwide! The project's press release and recruitment campaign are pending fall and winter of 2017. If you have questions, contact the project or stay tuned for that release.

Volunteers Needed to Study Flagstaff’s Food, Energy, and Water Systems.

Public Participation in STEM Research: Local Awareness and Community Engagement for Food, Energy, and Water Systems (PLACE4FEWS)

We are looking for 8-10 citizens of the Flagstaff region (not limited to city boundaries) who are committed to the scientific study of our local Food, Energy, and Water Systems and to the communication of research findings to our city’s leadership and citizenry. Participants will work with Northern Arizona University (NAU) scientists to identify the sources of our community’s food, water, and energy supplies and to research the security and sustainability of those supplies. This project is designed as a pilot program that will provide the foundation for sustainable citizen science that will improve FEW Systems in Flagstaff, Arizona, and will serve as a model for other communities across the United States. Be a part of a first-of-its-kind NAU science project that will help improve our community’s sustainability and security! Learn more about how you can apply to participate in PLACE4FEWS here.

Links to Resources

FEWSION Education Page
Center for Science Teaching and Learning at NAU
Argonne National Laboratory Decision and Infrastructure Sciences Division
City of Flagstaff, Arizona



Sponsors and Funding

NSF/USDA ACI-1639529, INFEWS/T1: Mesoscale Data Fusion to Map and Model the U.S. Food, Energy, and Water (FEW) System

NSF 17-047: Public Participation in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Research: Capacity-building, Community-building, and Direction-setting


Contact the Complex Systems Informatics Laboratory at the NAU School of Informatics, Computing & Cyber Systems if your passion lies in making a difference in the field of Informatics.