Transforming Agriculture, Perennially
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Civic Science

In The Land Institute’s civic science communities, people in many locations collaborate to learn together as they each grow, observe, care for, and study perennial grain crops.

Perennial, diverse civic science communities empower participants and researchers to build knowledge and enduring relationships with each other and with perennial grains.


Why Civic Science?

  • Civic science is an integrative, transdisciplinary method to grow perennial grain agriculture research and education. It weaves together science, story, and community. It invites diverse individuals and civic groups—not only large research universities and corporations—to participate in the obligations and rewards of collaborative scientific discovery and creation.
  • The agroecological data and new stories, experiences, and knowledge gained by participants and researchers in our civic science communities shape the development of a perennial future. Minoritized and marginalized researchers, communities, and places have human-plant relationships and land ethics that are critical to their leadership of—as well as participation in—perennial grain domestication. Civic science takes an ethnobotanical approach by respectfully engaging people who have many different sources of plant knowledge and skills.
  • Civic science broadens public engagement in research in order to catalyze and sustain the cultural changes necessary to advance perennial grain domestication. Since civic science is decentralized and can be more affordable, it may be a more replicable approach in underserved regions and help them retain plant diversity and community agency.
  • We hypothesize that a diverse, pluralistic network of people caring for perennial grain crops-in-process will build public understanding, trust, and legitimacy for perennial grains; accelerate their adaptation to a wide range of soils, climates, and pests; and increase the probability of these crops being valued when they are ready for widespread use.

Join us by supporting this work with a donation to The Land Institute.

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Program Team

Aubrey Streit Krug
Director of Ecosphere Studies

Anna Andersson
Research Technician, Civic Science

Lydia Nicholson
Post-Baccalaureate Researcher, Ecosphere Studies & Crop Stewardship

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