Living, Breathing Data: Sharing and Interpreting Green Infrastructure Data to Promote Behavioral Change
Green infrastructure is a sustainable and climate resilient approach to urbanization that reduces the impact that we as humans have on our environment. Traditional impermeable infrastructure causes excessive stormwater runoff, which disrupts the nutrient balance and water properties of the surrounding watershed. Green infrastructure installments such as porous pavement, rain barrels, and green roofs provide various ecosystem services, and restore urban water quality. As communities shift to being more climate resilient, the responsibility to develop green infrastructure rests on individuals as well as institutions. The Rochester Museum & Science Center in Rochester, New York, has constructed a Green Infrastructure Showcase on their campus and is working with the Rochester Institute of Technology Environmental Science Program to collect data and assess the efficacy of their green infrastructure. The goal of this thesis is to communicate that data to the public by using Tableau, an online data visualization platform, and by prototyping an interactive software demo that could be installed within the museum. This thesis addresses the following research question: How can scientific data visualizations and dashboards be used to convey meaningful conclusions about green infrastructure to the public? This question is explored by examining engaging exhibition components and visualization design and by analyzing four case studies. The intended outcome of this project is threefold: to share data from the green infrastructure showcase; to visualize and interpret scientific data for visitors to the museum; and to show how data may promote behavioral change. The thesis offers a method for museums to share numerical data in a way that is more engaging than a static display of numbers. This thesis proposes that living, breathing data—quantitative information presented as a series of data visualizations that visitors can interact with—fosters visitor engagement and may motivate visitors to change their behavior in order to be responsible stewards of the environment. Ultimately, by creating data visualizations, interpreting the data, and sharing it with the museum’s public, museums have the capacity to encourage individuals and communities to make more informed decisions about how to implement green infrastructure in their cities and in their daily lives.
Museum Studies (BS)
Stanek, Nick, "Living, Breathing Data: Sharing and Interpreting Green Infrastructure Data to Promote Behavioral Change" (2022). Thesis. Rochester Institute of Technology. Accessed from
RIT – Main Campus