Beth Schechter is the Executive Director of the Open Cannabis Project, a nonprofit whose mission is to create an open data set about cannabis plants, including hemp. This kind of data can help bring clarity to our understanding of the wide variety of these plants that currently exist. It can also be used as a protection against overbroad patents as well as a resource for studying the plant, discovering variability of data produced by different labs, and to create better data standards in the cannabis industry overall.
Leading up to this role, Schechter’s work has centered around making complex information digestible by beginner audiences and available to the public. She’s written curriculum on HTML, CSS, and Javascipt basics, a guidebook for communities in Ghana wishing to exercise land tenure rights, and ghostwritten articles on the science of cannabis. Her passion and ability for technical writing and instructional design were discovered through her work as a co-founder of Maptime, a nonprofit that brings people together in communities around the world to learn about using open source technology for making maps. She’s also used these skills to develop a fellowship program at data visualization studio Stamen and to advise experts on how to distill their knowledge into beginner-friendly materials.
Schechter holds a MS in Digital Media from Georgia Tech, where her work focused on participatory design with foragers and farmers, and BA in Philosophy from Georgia State University, where she focused on legal theory.