Engaging Community through Science

Leaders in masks by Old Well.

A new program, I4 Boundary Spanners, launched in summer 2020 to engage North Carolina communities through data science, public policy and service to address community-specific needs during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sponsored by the UNC Graduate School, Southern Futures Initiative and the North Carolina Policy Collaboratory, this program strives to train a diverse group of Carolina graduate students as I4 Boundary Spanners: students who appreciate and can mobilize the dataverse to empower their communities to include, identify, investigate and influence (the four Is) around issues that impact their physical, environmental and economic health.

“I4 Boundary Spanners is all about the synergies built from conversations, which underscores what the NC Policy Collaboratory strives to be,” said Jeff Warren, executive director of the North Carolina Policy Collaboratory and adjunct associate professor of geological sciences. “I love talking to legislators about the power that can be harnessed across the UNC System, working together across disciplines. That’s really important and what’s been missing from a lot of physical science research…the people quotient.”

Through this program, Carolina faculty and students will be working to provide relevant and time-sensitive data to legislators and other leaders across North Carolina to help guide the state’s response to the continuing pandemic. 

Read the complete Carolina Story to learn more about this program…

Related Stories


Food for Thought

Carolina’s libraries connect a dad and daughter

A mathematical biologist walks up to a farmer