Data Refuge is a public, collaborative project headed by the Penn Program in Environmental Humanities and the Penn Libraries designed to address the following concerns about federal climate and environmental data:

  • What are the best ways to safeguard data?
  • How do federal agencies play crucial roles in data collection, management, and distribution?
  • How do government priorities impact data’s accessibility?
  • Which projects and research fields depend on federal data?
  • Which data sets are of value to research and local communities, and why?

Data Refuge is also an initiative committed to identifying, assessing, prioritizing, securing, and distributing reliable copies of federal climate and environmental data so that it remains available to researchers. Data collected as part of the #DataRefuge initiative will be stored in multiple, trusted locations to help ensure continued accessibility.

Data Refuge acknowledges--and in fact draws attention to--the fact that there are no guarantees of perfectly safe information. But there are ways that we can create safe and trustworthy copies. Data Refuge is thus also a project to develop the best methods, practices, and protocols to do so.

Data Refuge depends on local communities. We work in partnership with Environmental Data Governance Initiative (EDGI)Climate MirrorProjectARCC, and with local collaborators at #ProtectClimateData and other DataRescue events. 

This is the data catalog for Data Refuge.

This site is one part of the project. The vast majority of the government information gathered through this project is available from the Internet Archive through the End of Term Archive project.

This data catalog is a place to store data that was difficult or impossible to harvest through web crawlers. Data was added to this site by volunteers at DataRescue events that took place in the first half of 2017 all around the U.S. You can see the retired workflow used at most of these events on the documented here. Please note that the workflow developed in January that has populated most of the datasets found here is no longer being supported as of May 21, 2017. Data is no longer being collected in this catalog, although zipped files are in the process of being unpacked. Please contact us with questions.

Code for the Data Refuge CKAN theme can be found here.