Monday, November 19, 2018

Stop Motion with Isabella

As the semester is coming to a holiday break, Engaged Cornell student Isabella Armas-Leon got together with community researcher and actor Jose Miguel Hernandez Hurtado and with Karen Purcell to produce a stop motion video. This project is part of the dissemination materials being produced to share the work of the ICBOs in creative ways (transmedia storytelling).

Karen Purcell and Jose Miguel Hernandez Hurtado. Photo by Marilú López-Fretts.

It was fun and refreshing as the two took on  their roles explaining with body movement one of the ICBO Research results: "Access."

Isabella Armas-Leon directs the piece. Photo by Marilú López-Fretts.

Reflection from Our first presentation in San Diego

We'd like to share a look back at when we (the ICBOs), first presented our research results as a group panel in our annual meeting in San Diego on March 22, 2018. The meeting took place at the WorldBeat Center and included almost all the ICBOs (including our dear friend Pepe Marcos-Iga). It was our first presentation of our final results as an entire group.

Ever since, it's been an exciting and non-stop journey. Our collective perspectives have traveled throughout many conferences since then!

Here we share a few of our slides from our presentation on March 22, 2018.

We also received lots of feedback on the workbook for STEM-serving institutions. This great resource is now revised and it has been well received wherever we go. We're still requesting feedback on the workbook and revising the content.




Monday, November 5, 2018

Remembering our friend Pepe

Our ICBO family is missing one of our members, friend and ally... Jose Pepe Marcos-Iga. Pepe passed away September 18, 2018.

To you, Pepe, we dedicate our work!

 Pepe Marcos-Iga
January 5, 1974-September 18, 2018

Pepe leaves an important legacy in the field of environmental education, conservation, equity and inclusion; his inspiration and contribution to this work has been invaluable. We’ll miss your sense of humor, your brilliance and your passion to build a more equitable society. We are honored to have you as one of the ICBOs. Forever, we thank you, Pepe.

And one day
As I'm sitting here nostalgic of things to come
Remembering fondly what's still to be
The laughs will stop
The smiles will be no more
I will be distant from the warmth of hope
And I may be only left with memories
If I fail to see
The moments I have between you and me
Are these
Right now

 I've come to see
That to me
You'll still be there
Like a star from afar
Even if distant and gone
Your light will reach me
From the past
It's luminosity will last
As I hope to be
A star for others
Like you've been for me

Written by José González after hearing the news —Thank you José.


Pepe leaves behind his wife Tania and two amazing children. 
For those who wish to help Pepe's children's education, you can contribute to

Monday, October 29, 2018

The "Dear Researchers: Some Unsolicited Advice from the Community" workshop presented at Consmark 2018!

Bobby Wilson, John Annoni, Karen Purcell and Marilú López Fretts presented the workshop "Dear Researchers: Some Unsolicited Advice from the Community" at the Conservation Marketing & Engagement Conference (Consmark) in Arlington, Virginia on October 27, 2018.

Community researcher John Annoni, of Camp Compass Academy,
dialogs with workshop participants.

Karen and Marilu check the technical aspects before the workshop.

Community researcher Bobby Wilson, of Metro Atlanta Urban Farm,
takes on the research results during the workshop.

Workshop participants discuss the activities based on the ICBO workbook.

Karen and John discuss details about the workshop at George Mason University's Founder's Hall.

Bobby and Karen review notes before the workshop.

The ICBOs present at the North American Association for Environmental Education Annual Conference

On October 9 and 10, 2018, José González, Marilú López Fretts and Karen Purcell presented at the NAAEE Research Symposium and did a workshop at NAAEE annual conference, in Spokane, Washington. We were excited to share our "20 ICBO Rules" with environmental education researchers. We had great conversations with our participants and piloted interactive activities with our workbook for Informal Science Educators.

We didn't just work at the conference! We rode on scooters and enjoyed beautiful carousel.

Monday, October 1, 2018

Our Latest Presentation at the ASTC Annual Conference

The ICBOs presented at the ASTC annual conference on September 30 in Hartford, Connecticut. Bobby Wilson, Karen Kitchen, and Marilú López Fretts engaged in deep conversations during the poster presentation. Our newest ICBO poster features original art and reflects the evolution of the research framework.

Later that afternoon, they participated in a group discussion on the two strands of research during the session Examining Contextual Factors of Partnerships to Improve Cultural Diversity in Informal STEM Programming.

Bobby and Karen shared some of the ICBO results - mainly focused around ACCESS and Co-creation.

At the end of the session, the ICBOs piloted our newest version of the Informal Science Institution workbook filled with quotes from our research, artwork, and reflective questions. Make sure you get your copy. A pdf version of the ISE workbook is available for download here!

Finalizing our Community Framework

We continue to analyze our data and dig more and more deeply into our results.  As we have done so, we have discovered that our Community Framework continues to evolve and grow as we further understand our findings.

In the latest iteration of our Community Framework we find the same themes: Power and Privilege, Trust and Transparency, Realities and Relevance, and Commitment and Collaboration. But, we've found that Power and Privilege and Realties and Relevance represent challenges while Trust and Transparency and Commitment and Collaboration represent tools.

We've found that to represent the interplay among all the themes and the relationship between the tools and challenges, we needed to: 

1) Ensure that all the themes were clearly connecting with all the other themes -- thus all the colors  in the framework touch. 

2) Power and Privilege, represented in the blue is the category that most influences collaborations and all the other categories. It is the foundation of equitable collaborations and thus, appears on the outer edge as the base of the framework (looking at it from above). Realities and Relevance, represented in yellow indicate that even when following best practices and exhibiting the best of intentions, these break down when implementing programming and these challenges may prevent successful collaborations.

3) Trust and Transparency and Commitment and Collaboration depicted as two figures, one brown and and one cream, are connecting with each other, perhaps hugging, perhaps dancing. These are tools utilized to overcome the challenges. 

It is important to see the tools in the context of the power dynamics and the realities of the collaboration!

We can't promise that our Community Framework won't continue to evolve, because it is a living, breathing framework that changes with our communities and adapts to our collective understanding of our work.

The Partnerships for Impact Workbook is here!


To download the workbook, please click on the link below:
This workbook is a product of research conducted by the ICBOs and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology over three years, focused on how to create equitable partnerships between informal science institutions and community-based organizations in underrepresented communities.

The objective is to improve equity, diversity, and inclusion in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). The research comes from questions asked by community researchers to more than 30 other community organizations. It represents the community perspective.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Our Workshop at the American Community Gardening Association - So What?

This week’s presentation at the ACGA pre conference was exciting and powerful. We shared our results and latest drafts of our workbooks. The ICBOs used the arts (song and cultural traditions) to present difficult and hard-to-hear results. We are a strong and wild group of individuals!

We had lots of wonderful responses to the four-hour workshop. One of our audience members who runs a community-based organization told us that she had experienced everything in our presentation first-hand - and she wondered how our work was going to change anything. 

The power of our work comes in using  community-based participatory research - to document what communities have known forever: the sciences are not equitable. Our work not only documents the problems, but we also share tools on how to create more equitable collaborations between STEM institutions and community-based organizations.

 - Photos by Marilú López-Fretts. 

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Our framework keeps evolving

When we started our journey as community researchers, the framework that we developed contained four main themes for creating long-standing partnerships and meaningful collaborations: Trust and Transparency; Power and Privilege; Realities and Relevance; and Commitment and Collaboration.

Originally, we believed that each one was distinct.

Below is the original framework:

Today, as our framework keeps evolving and becoming stronger, we understand that all of the themes are interconnected and all must be considered when developing and achieving more equitable long-standing partnerships and meaningful collaborations. The new image includes many of the recommendations that have emerged from our research.

Here is the new framework as it continues to evolve:

ICBO Results: Authenticity and Motivation

Understanding motivation for forming collaborations and doing ‘outreach’ in underserved communities is important. Authenticity is especi...