Complex social issues can be better addressed collaboratively by stakeholders through democratic decisionmaking. A key prerequisite for engaging the public is the ability to gather what we know about a public issue and present such knowledge in a concise fashion. This is commonly done through a citizen's panel who performs collaborative information seeking and analysis. The outcome of such process is to inform other local citizens to form perspectives and opinions. This work focuses on understanding collaborative information seeking behaviors in this process, and design of awareness support to collaboration. Specifically, we describe an ethnographic study that observes community practices and identifies requirements for supporting awareness in collaborative information seeking. Based on these findings, we developed a web-based visual analytic tool that supports activity awareness to encourage collaborations in seeking issue-based knowledge.