California's Environmental Data Capacity

This research collection is organized to support a study of the data infrastructure and capacity available for environmental sense-making in contemporary California, working to characterize California’s distinctive data culture and environmental governance style.   Through interviews with data actors (people who build or use data infrastructure), data ethnography (participant observation within data infrastructures) and analyses of relevant published and gray literatures, the study will develop new understanding of the valences of California environmental data infrastructure, and of the data imaginaries, cultures and pathways behind and produced by this infrastructure.  The study will advance theorization of “data capacity, “ drawing out how such capacity results from the interlacing of technical infrastructure with situated “data imaginaries” and “data cultures.” The study will also advance theorization of ways data capacity undergirds and shapes the processes through which societal problems become “public problems” (Dewey) that garner sustained journalistic, policy and educational attention.  Study results can help direct future investment in environmental data collection, infrastructure, design and educational programming to produce next-generation data actors. The study is part of a larger project to understand “late industrial” California through examinations of ways interlocking scales (local to transnational and atmospheric) and systems (sociocultural, technical, eco-atmospheric, etc) together produce risks vulnerabilities and governance challenges.


Creative Commons Licence


Created date

December 1, 2018

Group Audience