PUBLIC LABORATORY FOR OPEN TECHNOLOGY AND SCIENCE INC

aka Public Lab   |   New Orleans, LA   |  publiclab.org

Mission

The Public Laboratory for Open Technology and Science (Public Lab) is a community, supported by a 501(c)3 non-profit, that develops and applies open-source tools to environmental exploration and investigation. By democratizing inexpensive and accessible Do-It-Yourself techniques, Public Lab creates a collaborative network of practitioners who actively re-imagine the human relationship with the environment. The core Public Lab program is focused on "community science" in which we research open source hardware and software tools and methods to generate knowledge and share data about community environmental health. Our goal is to increase the ability of underserved communities to identify, redress, remediate, and create awareness and accountability around environmental concerns.

Ruling year info

2013

Executive Director

Jordan Macha

Main address

3014 Dauphine St., Suite E

New Orleans, LA 70117 USA

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EIN

45-2846555

NTEE code info

Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (C01)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

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Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Kits Initiative

The Kits Initiative creates, assembles, and distributes kits from the open research designs of the Public Lab community to foster and develop the reach of open, accessible science, by placing tools in the hands of those that need them. The main goal of the program is to support the scaling up of development and production of kits to enable thousands more people to produce their own environmental data and continue to shape these technologies.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of unique website visitors

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults

Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of countries represented by visitors

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Number of countries and territories represented in website visitors

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Public Lab programming focuses on the research, development, and refinement of open source hardware and software tools and methods that help people share data about community environmental health. Our goal is to increase the ability of underserved communities to identify, redress, remediate, and create awareness and accountability around environmental concerns. The non-profit organization at the heart of the Public Lab community achieves this by providing online and offline training, education and support, and by focusing on locally relevant outcomes that emphasize human capacity and understanding.

Volunteer researchers work collaboratively to design, refine, and implement inexpensive, open source tools to monitor environmental health issues where they live. They are hacking affordable, off the shelf technology to create easy-to-use environmental monitoring tools, then take them to the lakes and streets that matter to them to track air and water quality, collect evidence about pollution, and share expertise. The data produced is designed to function as civic information that is visually accessible and distributable in standard formats so that residents can use it to inform community decision-making.

Community & Outreach
-new partners, sites
-events, workshops
-ongoing relationships
-co-authoring & culture of documentation
-education & curricular work

Research
-new tools, prototyping
-defining needs with place-based communities
-field testing and collaboration
-iterative process refinement - based on evaluation

Open Data
-archiving
-diverse formats - kml, geotiff, tms
-data uptake by research, policy, legal, local communities

Evaluation
-quantification, gathering/assessment
-interpretation/analysis, publication
-participatory approaches, co-authoring
-self-criticism, improvement

Sustainability
-fundraising
-legal
-kit & print sales

In the three years since our founding, Public Lab has grown from a mailing list of 200 “grassroots mappers” to a community of 9,000 community researchers, supported by a robust web presence, local research hubs, and a team of nine nonprofit staff members. We have built an innovative space where activists, educators, technologists and researchers share their expertise in science, technology, community organizing, activism, and social science, and learn reciprocally from one another. Public Lab is reframing the way people imagine and participate in science.

Financials

PUBLIC LABORATORY FOR OPEN TECHNOLOGY AND SCIENCE INC
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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PUBLIC LABORATORY FOR OPEN TECHNOLOGY AND SCIENCE INC

Board of directors
as of 02/22/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Janet Haven

Data & Society


Board co-chair

Shelby Ward

Sustainable Tennessee

Micah Sifry

Personal Democracy Media; Civic Hall

Catherine Bracy

TechEquity Collaborative

Gwen Ottinger

Drexel University

Rajul (Raj) Pandya

American Geophysical Union’s Thriving Earth Exchange

Mike Ma

Nex Cubed

Elaine Garvey

Assurance Services Group of Postlethwaite & Netterville’s