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Dr. Suzanne Birch Named Co-PI on National Science Foundation Grant

Dr. Birch poses with animal skulls

UGA Geography and Anthropology professor Dr. Suzanne Birch has been named Co-Principal Investigator for a substantial National Science Foundation (NSF) grant with the purpose of establishing novel data communication and networking infrastructure between historically sectioned disciplines. The stated mission of the NSF grant falls in line with a global trend towards increased transparency, interchange, and ethical collection of data in scholarly research. Just last week, the White House announced a new policy requiring all federally funded research data to be publicly disseminated upon publication beginning in 2026.

According to the project’s principal investigator, Dr. Jessica Blois, the grant is specifically intended to “advance ethical scientific practices in the use of paleoecological, contemporary ecological, paleoclimatic, and archaeological data.” The project encourages broad collaboration between data managers who handle environmental specimen and data resources to “maximize the scientific and educational value of data created and shared across different disciplines and communities. The ideology surrounding the project is summarized by the NSF acronyms FAIR (findable, accessible, interoperable, & reusable open science) and CARE (collective benefit, authority to control, responsibility, & ethics).

The project will also aim to re-examine the relationship between researchers and Indigenous stakeholder communities in order to promote increased inclusivity and transparency in all future research endeavors. A stated goal of the project is to "help foster partnerships and collaborations with Indigenous and other community stewards of natural and cultural heritage."



Associate Professor, Geography and Anthropology, Director, Quaternary Isotope Paleoecology Laboratory, Director, Center for Archaeological Sciences, Coordinator, Georgia Museum of Natural History Internship Program

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