Addressing Environmental Data Inequities

Learning roadmap co-created with youth advocates in summer 2023

Understanding the experiences of frontline communities disparately impacted by climate change is foundational to environmental justice. Environmental data, such as geospatial data about air quality, temperature, and traffic patterns, can provide insight on how communities experience climate change. However, there exist “data inequities” where frontline communities lack opportunities to access, interpret, and use such data. Furthermore, data alone do not fully represent the experiences of those directly experiencing climate change impacts on a day-to-day basis.

To address environmental data inequities, this project engages cohorts of youth from frontline communities in learning to use data for community awareness and advocacy about local climate change and adaptation strategies. In partnership with community-based organization Climate Resilient Communities and East Palo Alto Academy, this project consists of 1) conducting out-of-school learning experiences to equip cohorts of youth with the data, environmental, and advocacy skills to create “community mappings” of environmental impacts, 2) youth-led dissemination of mappings in frontline communities (East Palo Alto, CA) to foster collective awareness and advocacy, and 3) designing a toolkit with curriculum, technology, and social support to position youth as changemakers who can leverage environmental data to inform community insight. The long-term goal of this research is to develop toolkits to build capacity for youth advocates around the world to use data in support of environmental justice efforts.

Project Publications

  • SIGCSE 2023: Organized a Birds of a Feather Discussion to begin making connections between computing education and environmental justice


This project is funded by a grant from the Woods Institute for the Environment.

Benjamin Xie
Postdoctoral Fellow

Embedded Ethics Postdoctoral Fellow, Stanford Human-Centered AI Institute & Ethics Center. Assistant Professor, University of Denver CS.