Data Refuge

Building refuge for federal climate & environmental data

Data Refuge logo
Data Refuge Stories at the Philadelphia Science Festival (Patricia Kim/PPEH).

Data Refuge Stories at the Philadelphia Science Festival (Patricia Kim/PPEH).

Data Refuge launched November 2016 in Philadelphia to draw attention to how climate denial endangers federal environmental data. With the help of thousands of civic partners and volunteers, the project has rapidly spread to over fifty cities and towns across the country. Data Rescue events create trustworthy copies of federal climate and environmental data (among other things), while the Internet Archive,, and a consortium of major research libraries holds these copies. Listen to Data Refuge team member Margaret Janz explain Data Rescue events on CBCRadio's Spark.

Now, Data Refuge is building a storybank to document how data lives in the world – and how it connects people, places, and non-human species. Data Refuge will grow the public storybank ( where we’ve already begun to deposit data stories. We’ve been gathering data stories at public engagement events in both formal and informal educational settings: from science festivals, to high school and college campuses, to research conferences.

We have also launched Data Remediations, a podcast connecting data with people and places through stories and art. Episodes feature the voices of data experts, artists, museum directors, researchers, librarians, and archivists, who help us learn about the lifecycles of data.

To learn more about Data Refuge, explore the following links: 






Thanks to generous support from the National Geographic Foundation, private donors, and a collaboration with the Libraries+ Network, Preserving Electronic Governance Initiative (PEGI), and the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), the Penn Program in Environmental Humanities (PPEH) is organizing this national data storytelling initiative. Our shared goal is to extend the work of thousands of volunteers who participated last year in over forty local Data Rescue events, and to shine light on the ways federal environmental data impacts us everyday. This next chapter will include data storytelling events around the country and a culminating event in Spring 2020.

In conversation with many partners, such as you, we can build refuge for federal climate and environmental data vulnerable under an administration that denies the fact of ongoing climate change. We are committed to fact-based arguments, and Data Refuge works to preserve the facts we all need.


You can also give by mail.


Instiutional Partners Building Data Refuge

Penn Libraries

University of Michigan Libraries

Internet Archive

Temple University Libraries

Environmental Data Governance Initiative


Union of Concerned Scientists

Climate Mirror

Libraries Network

and many more!