Julia Drapkin

iSeeChange is a groundbreaking environmental reporting project that combines citizen science, participatory public media, and cutting-edge satellite and sensor monitoring of environmental conditions.

Incubated in 2012 by executive producer Julia Kumari Drapkin at Colorado public station KVNF via AIR’s Localore project, the award-winning project is poised to expand nationwide in 2015. The team will work with media and scientific partners across the country to help audiences document environmental shifts in their backyards and connect to the bigger-picture climate changes transforming all of our lives and livelihoods.

The project’s growing list of collaborators includes NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the Berkeley BEACO2N project, Yale Climate Connections, the Allegheny Front in the Western Pennsylvania, KPCC in Pasadena, WWOZ in New Orleans, Developing Radio Partners, and more. AIR is providing additional support for the project’s expansion to new station partners, with founding support from the Wyncote Foundation and the Ford Foundation. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory will offer both financial and technical support to incorporate data from the Orbiting Carbon Observatory (OCO2), the first dedicated satellite mission designed to monitor regional variations in atmospheric CO2.

This year, the iSeeChange team will extend its crowdsourced reporting platform, The iSeeChange Almanac, to these new partners, and conduct user research to add additional features and improve existing ones. In the coming months, the team will work the OCO-2 team to develop a related app to help synchronize local citizen climate reports with satellite data as well as integrate regional carbon levels from the BEACO2N sensors. Combining these two perspectives—a global view of the earth from space and a granular view from individuals on the ground—offers an unprecedented opportunity to match big science with daily life, and surface hidden patterns and stories. Stay tuned:


NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory will be a key science partner in this next phase, providing support for high-level satellite data from its Orbiting Carbon Observatory 2, which monitors atmospheric carbon dioxide levels from space. Visualizations of this satellite data, collected at the same spot every 16 days help to show the earth “breathing,” and suggest regional variations in atmospheric CO2. as well as solar induced fluorescence — a marker of plant productivity — in various regions across the earth.

The iSeeChange project will use this data to prompt user-generated observations of related phenomena on the ground. This project will make iSeeChange the first-ever citizen science story platform to work hand-in-hand with a specific satellite mission — demonstrating NASA’s growing commitment to supporting citizen science for learning and public engagement.

The Allegheny Front is a weekly public radio program based in Pittsburgh that covers the environment, energy and climate change.  The program airs on stations throughout Pennsylvania and surrounding states.  

Developing Radio Partners is dedicated to bringing information on the most important topics in development—population, climate change, health and governance— to those who are hardest to reach, using the most effective media: local radio and text messaging. DRP is currently working on a population growth project in Malawi and is about to begin implementing a climate change project in Zambia with community radio stations.  DRP is partnering with the African Climate Policy Centre in three African countries.

WWOZ 90.7 FM is the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Station, a community radio station currently operating out of the French Quarter in New Orleans. WWOZ's mission is to be the worldwide voice, archive, and flag-bearer of New Orleans culture and musical heritage, both of which are impacted by changes on the Louisiana coast.

KVNF Community Radio has been serving the western slope of Colorado since 1979. It is the mission of Mountain-Grown Community Radio KVNF to participate in and reflect the diversity of its community by presenting a program service which addresses the community’s education, information, cultural, and entertainment needs.

BEACO2N is the Berkeley Atmospheric CO2 Observation Network - a multi-sensor instrument measuring carbon dioxide and air quality. The instrument started with 25 locations around the city of Oakland, California and is growing to the surrounding communities​. Overseen by Professor Ronald C. Cohen, BEACO2N is a scientific instrument and a tool for learning about the atmosphere and climate. BEACO2N ​collaborates with ​​local schools, museums, community organizations and government agenicies​ to bring citizens highly-localized, realtime atmospheric data. This data helps to identify important pollution sources, document the neighborhood-level effects of global phenomena, and provide direct measurement of the efficacy of the government policies, industrial actions, and community choices that are affecting the atmosphere​. Together, BEACO2N and iSeeChange were named as part of the 2014 White House Climate Change Data Initiative.

Yale Climate Connections helps citizens and institutions understand how climate change is affecting our lives and what diverse people and organizations are doing today to address climate change-related risks. Through articles, radio stories, and videos, we “connect the dots” between climate change and energy, extreme weather, public health, food and water, jobs and the economy, national security, the creative arts, and religious and moral values, among other themes. Yale Climate Connections is a project of the Yale Center for Environmental Communication, School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, Yale University.

KSJD/Community Radio Project KSJD’s mission is to promote and sustain non- commercial, community based broadcasting that supports the inclusive voice, education and interest of our rural audience in Montezuma County, Colorado and the Four Corners area. Community Radio Project envisions a diverse, resilient community informed, entertained and empowered by a vibrant public media service. CRP is the licensee for KZET, KSJD and KICO, serving the Four Corners area of Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico and Utah, including the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe and portions of the Navajo Nation.

KPCC / Southern California Public Radio (SCPR) is a member-supported media network that operates 89.3 KPCC-FM in Los Angeles and Orange County, 89.1 KUOR-FM in the Inland Empire and 90.3 KVLA-FM in the Coachella Valley. SCPR aims to strengthen the bonds that unite Southern California's diverse communities, to create highest quality news and information, and to be a forum for engaging audiences on regional and global issues.


Julia Kumari Drapkin Julia Kumari Drapkin is the executive producer and creator of iSeeChange and She is a radio, television, and multimedia producer based in New Orleans with a passion for finding innovative ways to connect people to their environment and to each other. iSeeChange was born out of over 7 years of covering natural disasters and climate change science across the globe and in her own backyard. Drapkin currently serves on the board of the National Federation of Community Broadcasters and has served as an editorial advisor and contributor to Yale Climate Connections. Drapkin has worked as the Senior Science Reporter for The Nature Conservancy; a foreign correspondent and radio reporter for PRI's The World and Global Post in South America; and as a photojournalist for the Associated Press in South Asia and the St. Petersburg Times. She was a NSF Polar Fellow in 2009 and a Metcalf Environmental Reporting Fellow for PRI's The World in 2007. Most recently she’s worked as multimedia reporter for the Times Picayune in New Orleans. Prior to journalism, Julia did research anthropology and archaeology for over 7 years in Latin America, where she geeked out on Mayan farmer’s almanacs.

Lindsey Wagner is a user experience researcher and designer. She loves working with others to produce inspiring and valuable experiences. With a background in art and tech- nology, she organically moved into a design centered role at a leading interactive agency in Boston where she co-founded the user experience department. Through early 2013, she worked as a user experience lead on 8 national public media projects. When Lindsey is not architecting websites, she is often creating sculptures at a clay studio, curating bike rides around Boston or scheming up adventurous travel!

Lily Bui is a sensor journalism researcher and M.S. candidate for MIT's Comparative Media Studies program. Most recently, she has been a STEM Story Project Associate at the Public Radio Exchange (PRX); the Executive Editor at SciStarter, PLOS CitizenSci, and Discover Magazine's Citizen Science Salon. In past lives, she has helped produce the radio show Re:sound for the Third Coast International Audio Festival out of WBEZ Chicago, worked on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.; served in AmeriCorps in Montgomery County, Maryland; worked for a New York Times bestselling ghostwriter; and performed as a touring musician. ​In her spare time, she t​inkers with electronics and t​hinks of cheesy science puns.

Dan Leininger is a programmer, UI designer, musician and inventor based in New Orleans. In addition to iSeeChange he has worked on several notable projects such as HappyFunPlanet, a web-based peer-to-peer learning platform, SciPhundify, and PatentDive. Together with his brother, Eric, Dan is developing applications that focus on peer-to-peer accreditation, micro-publications and collaborative repeatability in scientific experiments.

Karen Yuen began her career at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in 2001 as the Earth Public Engagement Manager, and led an experienced EPO team in supporting the missions, while thematically aligning the work with NASA’s goals and objectives for nearly a decade. Since 2010, Ms. Yuen has been the Project element manager-EPO for the Soil Moisture Active Passive Mission (SMAP) and the Orbiting CarbonObservatory (OCO-2). She is also the NASA Applied Sciences Program Performance Lead. Ms. Yuen has received 7 NASA Group Achievement awards for her work on various missions.

Andrea Lecos is iSeeChange's graphic designer and artist. She is a Paonia, Colorado-based freelance graphic designer and mixed-media artist, with her business County Road Productions and also a part-time landscape designer. She has a B.S. Biology/Minor Geology, M.A. Landscape Design, and a certificate in Horticultural Therapy. Some past experience includes working for the US National Arboretum and Smithsonian-Folkways Recordings (Smithsonian Office of Folklife & Cultural Studies) in Washington, DC. Andrea is a musician, songwriter and vocalist, and despite all of the banjo jokes, she is sometimes found performing with her husband in the band Hard Pressed.

Jessica Clark is a journalist and news futurist whose work connects thought leaders across disparate disciplines. She founded media strategy and production firm Dot Connector Studio in November 2013, and is working with the iSeeChange team to develop partnership and outreach strategies and materials. From 2011-2014, she worked as AIR’s media strategist, focusing on national public media transformation production Localore. From 2007-2011 she led the Future of Public Media Project at American University’s Center for Media and Social Impact. Clark has developed research and events with several universities and national media networks, including NPR, PBS, CPB, Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society, USC Annenberg, and MIT. She holds a BA/MA from the University of Chicago. Learn more:

Jacopo Durandi is a physicist. He is the co-founder of Pramatha Ltd. and its CRO. In his career he experienced diverse contexts, both in Italy and in Germany, ranging from the study of bio-inspired nanomaterials, to the construction of gaseous particle detectors, to an activity as a consultant in the automotive field. One of his biggest passions in his free time is studying how particles can be entangled in each other’s lives, quantum entangled.

Lorenzo Moriondo strongly believes in lifelong education through online learning. He participated and translated to Italian the first experience of courseware at Udacity, a worldwide learning platform founded by Google engineers. He is operating with Python programming language and relational and non-relational database since 2011. He is actually involved in developing RESTful APIs at