Investigating the Flint water crisis

This project seeks to increase the accessibility of a unique and important publicly-available set of emails on the Flint Water Crisis released by Michigan’s then-governor Rick Snyder. In early 2016, Snyder published a large archive (around 455,000 pages) of emails relating to the crisis from multiple government agencies. Flint residents brought Flint’s water catastrophe to light by conducting their own research and collaborating with experts, an example of the role of “citizen science” in ensuring water quality and access. We seek to contribute to these efforts by making the contents of the archive easily searchable to members of the public, especially affected communities.

Our mission and goals

We are prototyping a website and initial data visualizations and analyses, and will keep expanding the website’s capacity iteratively. This project has involved students in conceptualization and execution from its beginnings in 2017. As of 2020, this project is also a collaboration with the Digital Publishing and Scholarship Studio at the University of Iowa’s library.