Skip to content

University of California Santa Cruz


Chris Benner


Professor, Environmental Studies


Michael Matkin


Executive Director CITRIS and the Banatao Institute
Baskin School of Engineering



At UCSC, the ongoing work of supporting technology in the public interest and actively participating in the Public Interest Technology-University Network is led for the campus as a whole by an interdisciplinary partnership between the Institute for Social Transformation, housed in the Division of Social Sciences, and the Center for Information Technology Research in the Interests of Society–CITRIS–housed in the Baskin School of Engineering.

Chancellor Cynthia Larive

Faculty & Institution Building

Institutionalizing and Expanding the UC Human Rights Digital Investigations Network To Support Frontline Environmental Defenders

We will conduct a 16-month digital investigation with student researchers of diverse backgrounds across three University of California campuses to support marginalized and low-income communities impacted by environmental crimes in Latin America. Our project will draw on the expertise of all three campuses to conduct a collaborative training and digital investigation that integrates advanced data collection and analysis methods specific to environmental crimes. The project will build the skills and capacity of students across the three UC campuses as well as partners in Latin America. Specifically, our project will focus on the first phase of case building, information gathering and verification of facts that can then be used for diverse cases, accountability efforts and avenues for legal inquiry.

Principal Investigator

Sylvanna Falcón, Director, Research Center for the Americas and Associate Professor, LALS

Educational Offerings

Community-engaged Experiential Learning for All Students through a Scalable Community Consultancy for Public Interest Technology

The project advances experiential learning in PIT through a community consultancy that integrates human-centered design and business strategy to deliver real-world projects for nonprofits; promotes participation from students of diverse backgrounds; and links tech projects across the University of California, Santa Cruz, to community needs.

Principal Investigator

David Lee, Assistant Professor of Computational Media

Faculty and Institution Building

Teaching Public Interest Technology for Next Generation Changemakers: online teaching toolkits for designing effective community-engaged learning of technology for social change

The project will create an online teaching toolkit for non-STEM faculty interested in designing community-engaged learning courses on public interest technology with a focus on teaching underrepresented students in tech fields with strategic digital skills needed to work for social justice.

Principal Investigator

Juhee Kang, Assistant Teaching Professor, Sociology Department

Educational Offerings

Diversifying Tech Pipelines: Recruiting and Peer Mentoring of Human Rights Digital Investigators

We inspire motivated students to pursue public interest technology careers through mentorship, training, and hands-on, real-world research experience conducting digital human rights investigations, while cultivating a pipeline for students into industries in which they remain under-represented.

Principal Investigator

Sylvanna Falcón, Associate Professor in the Latin American and Latino/a Studies Department