The nonprofit I See Change began as a public-media project, helping farmers in western Colorado observe and record yearly changes on their land due to weather and climate by creating a communal digital Farmers’ Almanac.
Then it started doing science. It joined forces with local media organizations, university-based scientists, and community groups in Harlem to investigate summer indoor-heat indexes for residents without air conditioning. Their findings raised important public-health issues, suggesting local governments should change the way they do heat advisories and organize cooling centers.
Next, the project went to New Orleans and worked with local residents to investigate and map flooding hot spots not recorded by the city’s inadequate rain gauges and outdated flood maps. It collaborated with the New Orleans Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The information it has generated will help pinpoint local flooding risks and assist the city in making better engineering choices and investment decisions in green infrastructure and storm-water management.