Public Lab Wiki documentation


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We’re so glad you’re here, thanks for your interest in getting involved with Public Lab! 👋🏽 🎈

Public Lab is an open community -- you're welcome to simply start contributing in a variety of ways. Check out some examples of different ways to contribute below and get started with any that interest you. Whether you’re looking to connect with people at public events, ask or answer questions, develop and test tools or software for environmental research, or write about community science, there’s something for everyone! 🙋🏽 By contributing to the Public Lab community, you’ll be building shared knowledge on environmental issues and the ways that we can address them together.

Please read and follow Public Lab’s Code of Conduct, which ensures a respectful space for everyone 💚

Lead image: Balloon mapping at the Texas Barnraising, photo by @zengirl2

Getting started with contributing

If you’re new to Public Lab, here are some first activities to try:

Getting more involved with the community

And here are some ways to further engage and contribute to the Public Lab community. Any of these activities are great for a group! 😀 Doing this together can make the work easier and more fun. Find resources on organizing group events here or reach out if you have questions!

Contributing to software and code

code community graphic

A wonderful community of coders and developers contribute to Public Lab everyday by supporting our website infrastructure and open source software programs. Check out the links below if you’d like to get involved, newcomers are welcome and encouraged to join!

Contributing to hardware

dust sensor

Image: @warren

Some of the activities listed above involve testing and documenting methods and tools for community science, but there’s much more you can do!

  • Our Community Kits program is designed to support the creation of new tools, kits, and resources by inviting designers, developers, researchers, tinkerers, community organizers, inventors (and anyone else who is interested) to consider working with the Public Lab Kits Initiative to develop, produce, and distribute your open source research tools!
  • Have you purchased a kit from the Public Lab store? You can help improve the kit by sharing on How did the assembly go? How have you used the kit? Do you have any ideas for improvements? Did you use any Public Lab software to collect or analyze data from your kit?

For educators

balloon mapping workshop in Houston

Image: @a1ahna

If you’re an educator or someone who works with schools, universities, or public workshops, there are some additional ways to get involved with Public Lab.

Make the case for community science

Do you have a knack for writing or fundraising? Help spread the word about community science and build more capacity for it by co-authoring papers and grants.

  • Write articles and papers (in research journals, newspaper op-eds, magazines, etc.) with other community members.
  • Co-author grants for funding research and for working with specific communities.

Benefits of contributing

✔️ By answering questions, commenting on research, improving information on community science methods, or offering insights on advocacy strategies, you’ll be supporting communities investigating local environmental issues;

✔️ Build a body of public research online and receive credit for your work. Your profile page will feature all your work on Public Lab;

✔️ Enable others to learn from your findings, progress, and challenges. Sharing what didn’t work is as helpful as sharing what did work;

✔️ Receive feedback on your research;

✔️ Find collaborators for research;

✔️ Build and apply skills and knowledge of interest to you: writing, documentation, building and making, law and policy, and much more!

✔️ Participate in any way you can, as much or as little as you’re able. All of it matters!

✔️ Find community with other people that care about environmental health and justice.

investigating pollution drawing

Image: @warren

Resources on using the Public Lab website

More to come!

Resources related to contributing on Public Lab

Questions? Want to learn more?

Looking for more help? Or interested in a more formal collaboration? Email

Thank you!

We hope you’ll join the Public Lab community in creating shared knowledge together! ❤️💡

via giphy