New Initiative Aims to Preserve and Protect U.S. Environmental Data

Credit: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center/Reto Stöckli

The Environmental Data & Governance Initiative (EDGI) is an international network that leverages research and online tools to track and respond to the undermining of evidence-based environmental governance in the United States. Collaborating with partner DataRefuge, we are organizing and supporting #DataRescue events in cities across the country.

As a new administration arrives in Washington in January 2017, change is coming both to environmental policy and the scientific and evidence-based work that has long supported and steered it.

This project brings together an international network of social and natural scientists, lawyers, and other information and environmental professionals that compose the diverse range of skills needed to document and advocate for the vital important of evidence-based environmental policy. SSEHRI Core Faculty Sara Wylie and Phil Brown are playing substantial roles in this new project.

EDGI’s diverse team is working to document the transition and protect the federal government’s vast trove of environmental data. #DataRescue events focus on identifying the most important data sets from EPA, NOAA, NASA and other federal agencies and to then download and preserve that data. EDGI is coordinating with a number of university libraries to keep this data publicly accessible. In addition to data preservation, EDGI is also monitoring thousands of URLs for changes to the content of agency websites and is conducting interviews with agency employees in order to document changes.

For more information about EDGI and for ways to get involved, visit their website at https://envirodatagov.org/.

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