Informing Climate Action

Headwaters Economics

Sharing data at the intersection of conservation, justice, and community

The U.S. contains 828 million acres of public land—and much of it is under threat due to economic trends and climate change. Headwaters builds the case for protecting it.

Partnership start date: 2015

Total funding committed: $613,126

Region: United States


What they do
As a nonprofit research group, Headwaters Economics collects and analyzes data on land use issues in the U.S. They’ve worked on projects like proving the economic value of protected public lands, and analyzing how vulnerable different communities are to climate change. Headwaters’ underlying belief is that data can empower public and private agencies to make smarter and more informed decisions about the value of land.

What our partnership does
Headwaters collects extremely granular data to tell stories about land use and climate change in the U.S. Working with Tableau Foundation, they’ve been able to translate that data into visualizations that clearly articulate the aims of their research and advocate for action.

Data to inform accurate Census representation

Where communities of color are most at risk of a Census undercount

An accurate Census count is critical for funding, accurate political representation, and more. Headwaters built dashboards to enable community organizations to ensure traditionally undercounted groups are represented.

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Neighborhoods at Risk

Built in Tableau, Headwaters' Neighborhoods at Risk tool enables cities to view every neighborhood's vulnerability to climate change—and take action to protect their communities.

Merging climate and socioeconomic data for impact

The Neighborhoods at Risk tool is designed to help city managers make data-informed decisions about issue mitigation and opportunites for beneficial investments.

A neighborhood-level view of climate change

Anyone can interact with the Neighborhoods at Risk tool to see how climate vulnerability changes across a city.

Using open data for municipal planning

At Tableau Conference 2018, Headwaters' Associate Director Patty Gude described how Neighborhoods at Risk was developed, and how it is being used.

Explore more collaborations with Headwaters Economics

Visualizing the value of public lands

Headwaters uses Tableau to showcase the immediate benefits of national parks to their surrounding communities in every state, including visitor spending and jobs created.

Documenting three different wests

Headwaters uses data visualization to show that there are three different types of wests, defined by their access to major economic markets.

Taking stock of federal coal mining programs

These data visualizations describes local economic impacts of federal coal mining programs.