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Through an innovative partnership with the 11th Hour Project, DSI serves as a centralized hub for software and data science for 11th Hour’s environmental, climate, and human rights grantees. See Recent Projects below for more information on our data science project collaborations with organizations addressing social and environmental issues local and global, and leveraging ethical and responsible applications of powerful data science tools.

See some of our past and present 11th Hour Project partners:

For Data Science Clinic presentations and write ups on 11th Hour grantee projects, click here. (11th Hour grantee projects are marked with a “†”).



  • Recent Projects
    • Energy
      • FracTracker Alliance maintains a mobile app that allows registered users to document potentially harmful encroachment of wells, pipelines, trains, refineries, landfills, mines, pits, and compressors within their local communities. The DSI is assisting FracTracker by constructing a backend, cloud-hosted application that routes new complaints to the relevant state and county regulatory agencies through automated email and web form submissions. The DSI has created pipelines for California, Colorado, Kentucky, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, and West Virginia. An additional 16 high priority states are in development.
      • Physicians for Social Responsibility in Pennsylvania initiated a research study to address health risks of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. As part of the fracking process, radioactive material is known to be produced or released into the environment at potentially dangerous levels. In preparation for outreach efforts on their study’s findings, DSI produced a series of data visualizations to help communicate these findings to the public.
    • Food and Agriculture
      • Californians for Pesticide Reform is a statewide coalition of more than 190 organizations, founded in 1996 to fundamentally shift the way pesticides are used in California. CPR collaborated with DSI and the Open Spatial Lab to create an open source, easily-maintainable data tool that enables CPR and partners to query, update, visualize, and utilize California PUR (”Pesticide Use Reporting”) data. The interactive tool allows users to filter or summarize PUR data based on year, active ingredient, product, commodity, and/or agricultural or non-agricultural use; it also produces maps with PUR data aggregated at different spatial scales and charts showing distributions and pesticide usage over time.
      • The Center for Good Food Purchasing tracks the types of foods that public institutions purchase, rating them on factors including sustainability, worker treatment, and animal welfare. DSI is creating a natural language processing model that will do an automated first pass of the food labeling task. DSI trained multiple different natural language processing (NLP) models to recreate the manual food product name standardization methodology that the Center uses to process invoices and receipts.
      • GRAIN is a small international non-profit organization that works to support small farmers and social movements in their struggles for community-controlled and biodiversity-based food systems. Carbon credit programs are widely criticized for lack of oversight, limited environmental benefit, and negative impacts to local communities’ sovereignty. GRAIN tracks news articles about land deals for carbon farming on DSI technical staff and Community Data Fellows have been working to create a tool for relevant news articles and to extract important details. The information is combined with related databases to create a dataset of carbon farming land acquisition deals across the globe.
      • The mBio project is a media analysis pipeline created by DSI to better understand the development of  genetically modified crops (GM crops), particularly across the African continent. African civil society organizations (CSOs) have raised important critiques, noting that biotechnologies pose threats to African sovereignty and the environment. DSI worked with collaborators at University of Cambridge and University of San Francisco to complete an analysis of GM crop development in Africa. The analysis produced a cleaned dataset and visualizations demonstrating the relative success of GM crop development led by different organization types.
      • Oakland Institute partners with DSI to track Ukrainian agriculture exports and the consolidation of agricultural land and land reform policy in Ukraine. This collaboration is analyzing the market share of Ukrainian agricultural exports to understand the impact of the UN’s Black Sea Grain Initiative and the large corporations that control large swaths of Ukrainian land. A Community Data Fellow aggregated and analyzed data on Ukrainian exports from the UN’s Black Sea Grain Initiative, global shipping records, and corporate financial reports to estimate the share of Ukrainian grain exports from large international corporations and oligarchs.
      • Perpetual is a nonprofit organization that aims to reduce plastic waste through city-wide, reusable foodware systems. As part of this system, a foodware flow model will take into account optimal distribution points to ensure that foodware is easily accessible to city dwellers, return is hassle-free, and cleaned with thorough and efficient methods . The DSI is collaborating with Perpetual to implement a data model which will help make the system feasible, sustainable, and convenient for users.
      • RAFI-USA (Rural Advancement Foundation International) challenges the root causes of unjust food systems, supporting and advocating for economically, racially, and ecologically just farm communities. RAFI’s initiative Challenging Corporate Power battles corporate consolidation in the food supply chain. DSI and RAFI are collaborating to visualize consolidation in the grocery market with an interactive time series map showing parent company ownership of grocery stores over time.
      • The DSI previously assisted RAFI in building an interactive map dashboard that shows consolidation in the poultry-packing industry. As large corporations gain control of more plants, farmers in such areas are vulnerable to exploitation. DSI students explored multiple crowdsourced and official regulatory datasets to estimate the location and number of farms in areas monopsony-captured by large poultry processing plants. We  built an interactive map and dashboard displaying market consolidation in the poultry-packing industry.
      • Hawai’i Alliance for Progressive Action (HAPA) and Pesticide Action Network (PAN) are working with the DSI to better understand the use of Restricted Use Pesticides (RUPs)—a dangerous class of pesticide unavailable for public purchase and associated with major health risks like asthma, birth defects, and cancer. The DSI is currently partnering with HAPA and PAN to clean and standardize records, compare listed pesticide application amounts against different regulatory standards and perform a geospatial analysis to determine if certain groups (e.g., school children, Native Hawaiians, low-income households) are more at-risk for pesticide exposure than others.
    • Human Rights
      • Climate Cabinet is working with DSI to recreate a map of rural electric cooperatives’ and municipal utilities’ eligibility for clean energy tax credit bonuses under the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). Since bonuses are higher for investing in low-income, Justice40, and IRA energy communities, referencing these maps will enable public utilities to invest wisely and maximize their tax credit value.
      • Climate Cabinet is also working towards public transparency in campaign finance. Climate Cabinet wants to empower candidates for state legislatures to speak to the political influence of the fossil fuel industry vis-à-vis campaign financing relative to the clean energy industry. DSI is locating and downloading historical campaign finance contribution data in order to write scripts to filter the datasets to include only contributions from the fossil fuel and clean energy industries.
      • Inclusive Development International (IDI) has partnered with the DSI to address the palm oil industry, which touches many different consumer products, from lipstick and pizza dough to soap, chocolate, and laundry detergent. Palm oil production has caused massive deforestation, including mills that have caused 47 percent of the deforestation in Indonesia — fueling global climate change and displacing communities in the process. IDI and DSI developed PalmWatch, a public, interactive data tool that links deforestation to mills, mill parent companies, and the consumer brands that source from them.
      • WoMin African Alliance partnered with DSI on a development project dashboard. For the past year, WoMin has been collecting data to track projects within its service area and link its programming (workshops, fairs, etc.) to those affected areas.  DSI is collaborating with WoMin to build a dashboard that will allow its staff members and partners to more effectively target communities in need of supportive services, and trace the legal and financial relationships among the banks, governments, and firms affiliated with development projects to identify “pressure points” most responsive to advocacy.
      • BankTrack is working with Inclusive Development International (IDI) and DSI to build a commercial loan disclosure pipeline. Each year, banks finance projects and companies around the world by providing billions of dollars of loans. This information is not easily available for individual cases and is even more difficult to view at a macro level. The end goal of this project is to create a publicly available database of corporate debt of publicly traded companies in order to track where and how they acquire financial capital.
      • DeBIT is a development bank investment tracker, created by DSI in collaboration with the IDI and Accountability Counsel. This tool regularly scrapes multilateral development bank sites for development project data and then cleans, aggregates, and merges that data with complaints provided by Accountability Counsel. Community advocates and researchers can then query and export that data through a public web interface. Since its launch in May 2022, IDI has used DeBIT to conduct training workshops with local advocacy groups.
    • Marine Technology
      • Blue Ocean Gear is dedicated to preventing lost fishing gear and the subsequent negative impacts of ghost fishing while also improving operational efficiency for fishers through better data tracking. Blue Ocean Gear wanted to leverage available datasets on ocean conditions to better predict fishing gear drift when it breaks free in strong ocean conditions and to better understand their buoy sensors relative to baseline measurements. Students trained two deep learning models on both real and synthetic drifter data to predict the trajectory of drifting smart buoys. The students also built pipelines to harvest wind and global drifter data and then made a first pass at training and testing a model on that data.
      • The Center for Biological Diversity is a nonprofit membership organization working on the issue of ocean acidification. Every two years, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requires states to solicit for data to help them identify impaired water bodies. The Center for Biological Diversity helps to ensure that states have the best available data during their reviews. This collaboration aims automated the sharing of data about ocean acidification on the West Coast for states to use as they prepare their Clean Water Act 303d lists of impaired water bodies.
      • GreenWave supports kelp farmers through their Kelp Climate Fund, which promotes the environmental benefits of macroalgae by paying farmers for the positive externalities created by kelp farms based on how much kelp they grow. GreenWave previously had farmers send in photographs of their kelp growths, but photos can vary widely in their angle, background, and resolution. This led to the need for a model that can predict the mass of kelp from a photograph. DSI students found the most promising method was a convolutional neural network (CNN) pre-trained to segment images into kelp and non-kelp sections. DSI staff cleaned the training dataset, refactored it and improved code quality. With this tool GreenWave will be able more quickly and accurately disperse funding to farmers.
      • Remora is a Costa Rican startup focused on sustainable fishing. There are many small-scale fishing boats and remote landing centers in Costa Rica, making tracking the health of fisheries challenging. Remora’s solution is a product called the Smart Scale — a device that uses computer vision to estimate the species, weight, and length of a fish from an image captured at the landing center. DSI built and trained a multi-task computer vision model that is able to classify the species and estimate the weight and length of fish from a single image — all while running on the computationally-constrained Smart Scale hardware.