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Community Science Notes

Modeled after our Legislative Science Notes, Community Science Notes summarize the research and policy context surrounding locally important issues, including public comment periods and ballot initiatives.

The process and products related to the research, publication, and distribution of Community Science Notes supports several objectives of the Missouri Local Science Engagement Network (LSEN), including: 

  • elevating the role of science and evidence in deliberative processes;
  • providing capacity, context, and content for local science advocates to use in broad engagement;
  • and raising the profile of science and evidence in the media.

Community Science Notes should always contain objective and nonpartisan research information. Writers should not make policy recommendations or include information that supports or opposes any policy alternative. All Community Science Note writers should adhere to the Missouri LSEN Code of Conduct.


Urban Heat Islands & Climate Change

Urban heat islands are regions that experience higher temperatures than surrounding areas, primarily due to the concentration of buildings, roads and other structures that absorb and re-emit heat. As climate change leads to higher temperatures, urban heat values are likely to increase.

October 2021

Tick-Borne Diseases

Tick-borne diseases are a public health concern to humans, livestock, and companion animals.

Stormwater Runoff

Stormwater runoff is excess rain or snowmelt that is not absorbed into the ground, but instead runs into surrounding waterways.

Proposed Landfill Expansion: Columbia, MO

Landfill is considered an effective method of waste management, primarily due to its low cost and limited technical requirements. However, landfill use may have unintended environmental and socioeconomic consequences if managed improperly

August 2021

Net Metering

The “Net Metering and Easy Connection Act” (Section 386.890, RSMo) allows customers who own renewable energy generators (e.g., solar panels) to sell electricity that they generate to utility companies.

Medical Marijuana Science Note

In order to help you better understand the science behind medical marijuana, we’ve summarized some of the most common findings by scientists related to this topic.

June 2019

Medicaid Expansion

Medicaid is a joint federal and state program established in 1965 to provide health insurance to low-income families, seniors, and individuals with disabilities. Under Medicaid expansion, adults (age 19-65) with a household income less than 138% of the federal poverty level would be eligible to receive Medicaid coverage.

July 2020

Food Insecurity & Urban Agriculture

In Missouri, 11.5% of households are considered food insecure because they have limited or uncertain access to affordable and nutritious food to maintain an active, healthy lifestyle. Urban agriculture can provide a source of healthy produce, increase healthy food knowledge, and promote community engagement within food insecure communities.


Published December 2021

Crayfish in Missouri

Crayfish are freshwater crustaceans that look like small lobsters and like to feed on animals and plant material. Eight crayfish species are only found in Missouri, with some being currently considered endangered. 

May 2021

COVID-19, In-Person Schooling, & Children's Mental Health

Childhood depression, anxiety and behavioral/conduct problems have been prevalent since before the COVID-19 pandemic. However, children’s mental health challenges have increased over the last year and a half due to difficulty coping with the changes and uncertainty surrounding COVID-19. 

September 2021

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