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National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis

Morpho Initiative

Collaborative data science in service of environmental management

Morpho Butterfly Logo

The Morpho Initiative is an applied environmental science initiative launched by NCEAS. Morpho convenes working groups consisting of government agency, NGO, tribal, and academic researchers to develop and accelerate science in the service of environmental management. Projects are enhanced by hands-on training in data science and management skills that can help tackle the project's near- and long-term challenges. Through this approach, Morpho aims to advance necessary skills while developing the science results that can inform solutions to urgent issues facing our changing planet - from wildfires to biodiversity loss and climate change. 


The Need

  • Solving today’s data-intensive environmental challenges requires transdisciplinary collaboration, the application of advanced tools, and diverse ways of knowing
  • Rarely are agency, NGO, tribal and academic researchers from diverse disciplines funded to convene, co-develop and co-execute data-driven environmental science, despite the clear need for this
  • Resource managers and researchers hold a vast amount of key environmental data sets, innovative ideas, and opportunities for impactful science to action. Integrating data science learning with hands-on application of skills in the development of synthesis products can make data more usable and research outputs more impactful

The Opportunity

Morpho accelerates science and builds capacity in the service of management solutions by:

  • Engaging a range of relevant researcher and practitioner expertise in synthesis groups
  • Providing tailored and targeted trainings in reproducible open data science, team science, data management and storage, facilitation, and communication
  • Leveraging matching funds to extend project impact
  • Funding 2-3 working groups annually with ~$75,000-125,000

  • 2022 Funded Proposals

    Read more about the first two funded Morpho Initiative working groups, covering prescribed burn practices in the West and the decline of grassland bird species.

  • 2023 Funded Proposals

    Read more about the second cohort of projects funded through the Morpho Initiative - three projects addressing kelp, pollinators, and fire.