This project studies how climate policy networks around the United States are evolving. It documents the ideological and policy networks operating at the state and federal levels on climate/clean energy issues and observes how they are changing over time. The research maps out what clusters are forming around particular climate-related issues, what explains the formation of these clusters, and how they are related to specific policy actors. The methodology, which builds on previously NSF-funded research (see COMPON below for details), involves data collected from public documents, social media, and from policy actors engaged in the debates around climate/clean energy issues.

Along with the federal level, the project is currently focusing on state-level activities in Florida, Nevada, North Carolina, and Ohio.  This project is funded by the MacArthur Foundation.

Previous Related Research (COMPON PROJECT):

I directed the US case study for this project, which was funded by a grant from the Human and Social Dynamics Program of the National Science Foundation from 2008-2012.

Recent Peer-reviewed publications include:

Jasny, Lorien, Joseph Waggle, and Dana R. Fisher.2015. “An Empirical Examination of Echo Chambers in US Climate Policy Networks.” Nature Climate Change. 5: 782-786. doi: 10.1038/nclimate2666

Fisher, Dana R., Joseph Waggle, and Lorien Jasny. 2015. “Not a Snowball’s Chance for Science.”  Contexts. Fall: 44-49. DOI: 10.1177/1536504215611896

Fisher, Dana R., Joseph Waggle, and Philip Leifeld.  2013. “Where Does Political Polarization Come From? Locating Polarization Within the U.S. Climate Change Debate.”  American Behavioral Scientist. Volume 57, Issue 1: 70 - 92.

Fisher, Dana R. Philip Leifield, and Yoko Iwaki. 2013. “Mapping the Ideological Networks of American Climate Politics."  Climatic Change. Volume 116: 523-545.

Survey Instrument

Dataset (formatted in accordance with the Institutional Review Boards at Columbia University [IRB Protocol # IRB-AAAG2612] and the University of Maryland [IRB Protocol #10-0751].


Code for running the analysis in R



This project analyzes the people who participate in large-scale protest events around the world: who are they, what motivates them to protest, and how are they connected to one another. Current research on this project is focusing on analyzing data collected from the Women's March on Washington (21 January 2017). In addition to looking at who is participating in the specific protest events, these data will also be compared to those collected at other large-scale mobilizations since 2000. Data have been collected at the 2014 People's Climate March, the 2009 Copenhagen Climate March, the 2004 RNC Protests, as well as a numerous other protest events.

Through this analysis, we will be able to answer broad questions about large scale political mobilizations, as well as those about political engagement, organizational embeddedness, network connections among protest participants, and how protest around contentious issues connect social movements and change over time.

-Piece on Preliminary Results of our study of the 2017 Women's March on DC.

-Presentation of the preliminary results of the study of the 2014 People's Climate March.

-Documentary Short about studying the People's Climate March by FiveThirtyEight, "The Collectors: Political Action."

-Papers published from the project are under "recent publications."



This project, which is a collaboration with colleagues at the US Forest Service, studies how civic groups are working together to steward their local communities in cities in the United States. Funded by the US Forest Service (USFS) and a grant from the National Science Foundation, we studied these groups in New York City starting in 2007. More recently, we conducted a similar census of groups in Philadelphia. These data arel being analyzed and compared with other cities.

The USFS manages a website for cities doing STEW-MAP analyses.

Recent Publications include:

Fisher, Dana R., Erika S. Svendsen, and James J.T. Connolly. 2015. Urban Environmental Stewardship and Civic Engagement: How Planting Trees Strengthens the Roots of Democracy. Routledge Press..

Locke, Dexter, Kristen King, Erika Svendsen, Lindsay K. Campbell, Christopher Small, Nancy F. Sonti, Dana R. Fisher, and Jacqueline Lu. 2014. “Urban Environmental Stewardship and Changes in Vegetative Cover and Building Footprint in New York City neighborhoods.”  Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences. 4(3), 250–266. doi:10.1007/s13412-014-0176-x



department of sociology ▪ university of maryland ▪