Current Activities

October-December 2023: NMFS Mentors Cohort!

Through facilitation and practical training for mentoring, teaching, and coaching, Openscapes will help NMFS mentors strengthen skills and strategies to support colleagues with diverse comfort levels with software, coding, and data, while also strengthening relationships across centers/offices. Through this, mentors will identify and co-create on common resources and activities – such as code or databases for identical tasks or community developed standard practices – so there is less reinventing at each center.

The FY24 mentor cohort will start with a mentors-only Openscapes Champions cohort (facilated bi-weekly group meetings) during which Openscapes will guide the mentor cohort in discussing the needs and challenges for adoption of Open Science in NMFS and to develop actions to take. The facilitated meeting are vitual and twice monthly. Mentors will also collaborate asynchronously (e.g. Google Chat, GitHub). During the fall session, mentors will learn and practice coaching and mentoring skills in preparation for the winter Champions cohorts. We will also start identifying cross-center roadblocks that mentors can collaborate on throughout the next years.

Timeline & topics

  • Dates: Twice monthly starting October 17, 2023
  • Times: 12:00 - 1:30pm PT / 3:00 - 4:30 pm ET < note revised time
  • Location: Remotely, via Google Meet

Mentor Calls

Mentor Calls are when we convene as a group to learn and plan. Agendas are accessible to Cohort participants in our Cohort Google Folder; they are also an archive of our live notetaking.

Date Mentor Call Topics
10/17 1. Openscapes mindset for mentors: What does it mean to be a mentor? What does Open Science at NMFS mean?
10/31 2. Developing strong Open and Collaborative Communities
11/14 3. The art of teaching skills: running GitHub clinics
11/28 4. Supporting teams to tackle workflow change through the Champions Program
12/12 5. Reflections and shaping future plans

Seaside Chats

Seaside Chats are for small-group coworking in weeks alternating between Mentor Calls. Topics are to reflect with your other center mentors in-between cross-center cohort calls. Note particants from different centers or offices can have Seaside chats together. We will organize our Seaside chats after the first mentor calls.

Date Seaside co-working sessions
Week of 10/23 Begin work on an Open Science Pathway for your center, office or program. Where are you at? Where would you like to be? Do you have the info you need to answer this?
Week of 11/6 Keep working Open Science Pathway for your center, office or program with specific discussions of needs/challenges
Week of 11/20 Cross-FMC discussions of Open Science Pathways and work on shared organizing with GitHub
Week of 12/4. Discuss ideas and plans for coordinating & engaging staff in Open Science goals

Previous Activities

January-June 2023

From January-May through our bi-weekly meetings we are learning coaching skills with Tara Robertson, a DEI consultant and leadership coach who has worked with Openscapes since 2021. We are learning valuable coaching skills - how to ask open-ended questions, how to listen - that make us better equipped as mentors, teachers, and leaders. When listening as a coach, we’re trying to help the other person define their problem and find their solution, outside of our expertise. This is different from mentoring, when we do have an answer within our expertise. Developing these coach listening skills, what questions to ask, and when to use mentoring vs coaching skills, is the focus of our sessions; we are practicing coaching skills together to tackle common challenges and skill-build together. Read more in our blog post: How coaching skills have made us better open data science mentors.

Our mentor-coach sessions are cross-government, and include Openscapes mentors working within and across their own institutions.

2022 July-August

The NMFS Openscapes mentor group is meeting bi-weekly. Current focus is on activities surrounding the summer cohorts at SEFSC and Cal EPA.

2022 Spring

Mentors and other interested folks across science centers and regional offices met several times to plan and give presentations about NMFS Openscapes efforts to individual science centers and the NMFS Science Board.

2022 January-March

The AFSC Mentors met bi-weekly during the 2021-2022 AFSC cohort.