As a Squash Plant Grows: Social Textures of Sparse Internet Connectivity in Rural and Tribal Communities

Marisa Elena Duarte, Morgan Vigil-Hayes, Ellen Zegura, Elizabeth Belding, Ivone Masara, Jennifer Case Nevarez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Researching and designing Internet infrastructure solutions in rural and tribal contexts requires reciprocal relationships between researchers and community partners. Methodologies must be meaningful amid local social textures of life. Achieving transdisciplinarity while relating research impacts to partner communities takes care work, particularly where technical capacity is scarce. The Full Circle Framework is an action research full stack development methodology that foregrounds reciprocity among researchers, communities, and sovereign Native nations as the axis for research purpose and progress. Applying the framework to deploy television white space infrastructure in sovereign Native nations in northern New Mexico reveals challenges for rural computing, including the need to design projects according to the pace of rural and tribal government workflows, cultivate care as a resource for overworked researchers and community partners, and co-create a demand for accurate government data around Internet infrastructures in Indian Country and through rural counties.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number16
JournalACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2021


  • Native American
  • community-based participatory research
  • rural computing
  • spectrum

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human-Computer Interaction


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