Science-i: Bridging Worlds Competition and Workshop 2024

Dates: May 6th – 7th, 2024
Location: DLR 131, Purdue University

Join us for the “Science-i: Bridging Worlds” Competition and Workshop, a pivotal event dedicated to advancing collaborative research in Forest Science. This event is tailored to unite professionals and communities, fostering a shared commitment to innovative forest research and sustainable practices

Program Highlights:

  • Keynote talks and panel discussions led by global experts, community leaders, top scientific journal editors, media reporters, and representatives from international organizations, all centered around advancements and challenges in Forest Science.
  • Interactive sessions with indigenous leaders sharing traditional ecological knowledge.
  • Workshops on leveraging Science-i for collaborative research projects.
  • Networking opportunities to foster partnerships and collaborations.
  • Complimentary high-performance computing resources for all attendees.
  • Catered lunch and dinner free of charge to all attendees
  • Live music offered by young musicians from West Lafayette


Foster Collaboration: Unite atmospheric, social, biological, and ecological scientists with indigenous communities, tribal and community leaders, students, and educators, all with a common focus on advancing forest science.

Promote Sustainability: Highlight and advance sustainable practices within forest research to address global environmental challenges through a dedicated lens on forest ecosystems.

Enhance Diversity: Celebrate and incorporate diverse perspectives and knowledge systems specific to forest science, ensuring a comprehensive and inclusive approach.

Innovate Research: Leverage Science-i’s state-of-the-art cyberinfrastructure to revolutionize methodologies in understanding and interacting with forest ecosystems.

Keynote Speakers and Panelists*

  • Meredith Bastian, Editor, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA (PNAS)
  • Bryan Van Stippen, Director, National Indian Carbon Coalition
  • Florence Palla, Coordinatrice, l’Observatoire des Forêts d’Afrique Centrale
  • Cang Hui, Professor, Stellenbosch University
  • Javier Garcia-Perez (Gamarra), National Forest Monitoring Team, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)
  • Liz Kimbrough, journalist, Mongabay

*note: subject to change and more may be added

Phase I of Science-i: Bridging Worlds Competition and Workshop

Global Big-Idea Competition

February 10th to March 4th, 2024

Purpose of the Global Competition:
“Science-i: Bridging Worlds” workshop is sponsored by the National Science Foundation, Purdue University, and Science-i as a pivotal event dedicated to advancing collaborative research in Forest Science. As Phase I of this event, we are calling for “Big Ideas in Translational Forest Research.”

Who Should Participate

All Science-i members and the general public, especially underrepresented researchers from indigenous and rural communities, as well as countries in the Global South, are encouraged to enter this global competition.

The Award

The three leading competitors will be awarded a certificate and the esteemed privilege to participate in the “Science-i: Bridging Worlds” workshop at Purdue University, USA, in May 2024. This distinguished gathering not only provides comprehensive travel support but also offers an unparalleled opportunity to delve into the practical implementation of their groundbreaking ideas. It stands as an extraordinary forum for evolving visionary ideas into significant scientific breakthroughs.

In addition, the leading competitors will benefit from:

  • Exclusive access to the largest global terrestrial biodiversity database.
  • Collaborative support from an esteemed international network of specialists in forestry and forest sciences.
  • Utilization of cutting-edge cyberinfrastructure, encompassing advanced supercomputing resources. HPC resources will be made available via the NSF ACCESS program for computing-intensive analyses

How to participate

To participate in this Global Competition, please fill out the competition web form with one’s biography and details of the Big Idea, by the deadline outlined below.


  • Deadline for submitting the Big Idea:  Friday, February 16th, 2024
  • February 17th-29th: All submissions will be evaluated and scored
  • March 1st-4th: Announcement of the Winners
  • May 6th-7th: Winners will attend the Science-i: Bridging Worlds Workshop
  • May 2024-May 2026: Winners will be supported by Science-i to turn their ideas into tangible research discoveries.

Resources for Big-idea Competitors

Participants will benefit from:

  • Exclusive access to the comprehensive global terrestrial biodiversity database.
  • Collaborative support from an esteemed international network of specialists in forestry and forest sciences.
  • Utilization of cutting-edge cyberinfrastructure, encompassing advanced supercomputing resources.


  • Science-i Board of Advisors, which is comprised of renowned scientists and community leaders, will jointly evaluate all Big Ideas entries.
  • The evaluation will be based on:
    • Scientific merits, including innovation, feasibility, potential for impact, and interdisciplinary collaboration
    • Alignment with the missions and resources of Science-i.

Science-i ( is an innovative initiative designed to revolutionize collaborative forest research by integrating advanced cyberinfrastructure, data analytics, and inclusive knowledge systems. It aims to address the urgent global challenges of climate change, biodiversity loss, and deforestation by leveraging the critical role of forest ecosystems in maintaining environmental balance and sustainability.

Since its establishment in 2016, Science-i and its partner Global Forest Biodiversity Initiative (GFBI) have published numerous high-profile publications in Science, Nature, PNAS, and other top journals. Science-i is currently supporting 20 research projects.

Core Objectives of Science-i:

  1. Enhancing Computing Capacity: Science-i seeks to provide the computational power necessary for processing large datasets and complex models, enabling researchers to tackle intricate environmental problems with greater efficiency and accuracy.
  2. Promoting FAIR Data Access: The initiative is committed to ensuring that forest research data is Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable (FAIR), facilitating open and collaborative science.
  3. Bridging Knowledge Gaps: By integrating traditional ecological knowledge with cutting-edge scientific research, Science-i aims to foster a more holistic understanding of forest ecosystems, recognizing the invaluable contributions of indigenous and local communities to conservation efforts.
  4. Fostering Global Collaboration: Science-i is built on the principle of collaboration, bringing together a diverse community of scientists, researchers, policymakers, and community leaders to work towards common goals in forest conservation and sustainability.
  5. Driving Innovation: With a focus on innovative technologies and methodologies, Science-i is poised to lead breakthroughs in forest research, from remote sensing and big data analytics to machine learning and AI-driven insights.

Science-i represents a forward-thinking approach to environmental science, emphasizing the power of collaborative research, the importance of diverse knowledge systems, and the need for innovative technological solutions to address pressing global challenges. Through its efforts, Science-i aims to empower the scientific community, enrich the diversity of voices and perspectives in research, and contribute significantly to the sustainable management and conservation of the world’s forest resources.

For more information on this workshop, please contact us at Jingjing Liang

For assistance with travel and accommodations, please contact Jennifer L Spitznagle

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