This blog post was submitted by the Data Refuge Team, including Patricia Kim, Bethany Wiggin, Paul Farber. In case you are not familiar with the Data Refuge project, check out their website!

We have now launched the first phase of the Data Refuge Stories project with the a grant from the National Geographic Foundation. We are currently developing storytelling tools and a national Data Storybank that illustrates how federal climate and environmental data lives in the world and connects people, places, and non-human species. The site is still under construction and is being populated with new data stories on an almost daily basis.

While Phase One is based mostly in Philadelphia, we have already tested the first of our tools (called “Data MadLibs”) at the American Geophysical Union last December in New Orleans, in partnership with the Union of Concerned Scientists. You can read more about it here.

As a part of our first phase, we will continue to test our tools in conjunction with Endangered Data Week and Love Data Week, and the series of Love Data Month events hosted by Penn Libraries throughout February. These tools will include the “Data MadLibs” and a Data Valentine-making contest.

Phase Two launches in mid-2018 and will scale the Data Stories project nationally with several competitive fellowships that task journalists to tell stories about data in Climate Cities. Phase Three launches in 2019 at National Geographic headquarters, where a diverse range of stories will be shared at a two-day conference.

Take Action!
We are very eager to continue our collaborative work of storytelling, and we think that since the theme for LDW is “Data Stories,” that we’d make a great match. With that in mind, we would greatly appreciate it if you could spread the word about our ongoing work and storytelling tools—and, if you’d like, contribute to our Omeka Storybank by adapting our tools, both throughout the months of February and March, and longer-term when we move into the national phase of the project.

We have a few slides with that include a description of this exciting new aspect of Data Refuge. Please continue to follow us on social media (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook) as well, where we’ll be updating our followers.