Hi there! I’m Zane, and I’m a researcher of emerging technology who specializes in understanding the sustainability opportunities and pain points of new technologies, and how they fit within the complex landscape of evolving climate policy.

I am a people-focused qualitative researcher, and use a varied toolbox of methods (including ethnography, policy analysis, situational analysis, focus groups, surveys, and usability testing) to ask and answer complex questions about how users, developers, and builders think about and operationalize sustainability across the tech supply chain.

I am currently a doctoral candidate at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania, a doctoral fellow at the Center for Advanced Research in Global Communication (CARGC). I recently completed a six-month graduate internship on Intel’s Carbon Reduction and Green Software team, where I helped build the sustainability roadmap for the Software and Advanced Technology Group, and focused on the changing needs of high-energy workloads (principally Web3, AI, and the Metaverse).

I am currently seeking opportunities to leverage my unique skills to help organizations better understand the complex and dynamic intersections between data infrastructures, energy production, and resource extraction, as I believe that in this knowledge lies the key to more just, equitable, and sustainable futures.

In addition to my forthcoming PhD, I also hold a B.F.A. in Film Studies from the University of Colorado at Boulder, an M.A. in History from California State University San Marcos, and an M.A. in Communication from the University of Pennsylvania.




PhD, Communication, University of Pennsylvania (2023)

MA, Communication, University of Pennsylvania (2018)

MA, History, California State University San Marcos (2016)

BFA, Film Studies, University of Colorado Boulder (2010)


Other Publications


Pasek, A., Lin, C.K., Cooper, Z.G.T., Kinder, J. (In press, July 2023). Digital Energetics. University of Minnesota Press.

Journal Articles
Cooper, Z.G.T. (2021). Of dog kennels, magnets, and hard drives: Dealing with big data peripheries. Big Data & Society. https://doi.org/10.1177%2F20539517211015430

Hogan, M., Edwards, D., Cooper, Z.G.T. (in press, 2023). The making of critical data center studies. Convergence.

Cooper, Z.G.T. (forthcoming). Cerium on the silver screen: A pre-digital media history of rare earth elements. Media + Environment.

Book Chapters
Hogan, M., Edwards, D., Cooper, Z.G.T. (2022). 5 things about critical data center studies. In Paul Dolan (Ed.), Colocation. Mixam.

Cooper, Z.G.T. (2020). Digital sovereignty as resource politics. In P. Chirumamila & C. Bergere, (Eds.), Critical Digital Sovereignties. CARGC Press.

Multimodal Publications
Agrawal, P., Cheah, S., Cooper, Z.G.T., Dillon, I., Fleming, B., McCullough, A.L., Wei, Y. (2022). Field notes toward an internationalist green new deal. [Multimedia publication]. http://www.internationalistgreennewdeal.org.

Cooper, Z.G.T., Gressitt-Diaz, K., Cassidy, K., Jacquot, E. (2019). Alchemical infrastructures: Making blockchain in Iceland. [Multimodal exhibit]. http://www.alchemicalinfrastructures.com
• (April-May 2022). Extraction: Earth, ashes, dust | Torrance Art Museum, Los Angeles, CA
• (Oct. 2020) Association of Internet Researchers Annual Conference | AoIR 2020, Virtual
• (March 2020) Infrastructure under blockchain: Field investigation on mining and urban upgrading | Conversazione, New York City, NY
• (Sept. 2019 – May 2020) Annenberg School for Communication | Philadelphia, PA

Other Publications
Kirsten D. Sandberg. (2023). “Web3 and Sustainability: How We Can Reduce the Climate Impact of Blockchains, How Blockchains Can Help Reduce Our Own,” foreword by Scott Chamberlain. Introduction by Tamara Kneese and Zane Griffin Talley Cooper. (Summary of roundtable I co-organized with Tamara Kneese for The Linux Foundation). https://www.linuxfoundation.org/research/web3-and-sustainability?hsLang=en

Kneese, T., & Cooper, Z.G.T. (2023). “Developer Experience and Sustainable Blockchains.” (Internal white paper produced for Intel’s Carbon Reduction and Green Software team)

Hogan, M., Edwards, D., & Cooper, Z.G.T. (2022). 5 things about Critical Data Center Studies: On elemental thinking. CommonPlace. https://commonplace.knowledgefutures.org/pub/jpy7pbq0/release/1

Kneese, T., Cooper, Z.G.T. (2022). Beyond the hype: Intel’s efforts for greener, sustainable blockchains. OpenIntel. https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/developer/articles/community/efforts-for-greener-sustainable-blockchains.html

Blog Posts

    Zane Griffin Talley Cooper

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