Data Centers and invisible information infrastructure, 2013-
Book Project: Documenting Aftermath: Event Epistemology and the Informatics of Disaster, 2013-
This book examines the history of earthquakes in California to understand how information practices associated with different information orders are critical to how people know about and experience events, what I call event epistemology. Earthquakes and Information is a book dedicated to understanding the relationship of historical information orders to event epistemologies. Based on archival research examining the San Francisco Bay Area earthquakes of 1868, 1906 and 1989, and an analysis of the contemporary information infrastructures that underpin planned disaster response, I investigate how ordinary Californians made sense of the earthquakes in these eras and speculate about how information orders today shape contemporary post-earthquake information practices.
Dissertation research: Post-disaster information environments, 2007-2012
My dissertation research examined the information and communication practices of ordinary Californians after earthquakes in 1868, 1906, and 1989. Research included interviews and archival work in a variety of online and offline archives, including Bancroft Library, National Archives, California State Archives, Society of California Pioneers, and California Academy of Sciences. My research was supported by a National Science Foundation Dissertation Improvement Grant. Early versions of this work were presented at the International Conference on Information Systems for Crisis Response and Management in 2007, ACM Conference on Creativity and Cognition in 2007, the iConference in 2008, the UC iSchools PhD Workshop in 2009, the iConference in 2011, the Society for the History of Technology in 2011, the Society for the Social Studies of Science in 2012, and the Association of Internet Researchers in 2012. My dissertation advisors were AnnaLee Saxenian and Paul Duguid.
Berkeley Sitrep Project, 2008-2009
My colleagues and I worked with the United Nations Office For Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs researching the situation reporting (sitrep) process for humanitarian emergencies. Research included in depth document analysis and over one hundred interviews, round tables and focus groups with participants in New York, Geneva and Nairobi. The first sitrep report and the first sitrep report appendix was written in 2008 after our first phase of research. The follow up report was written in 2009.
Digital Youth Project, 2004-2006
The Digital Youth Project project aimed to produce ethnographic investigations into three emergent modes of informal learning that young people are practicing using new media technologies: communication, learning, and play. As a Graduate Student Researcher, my colleagues and I conceived of Freshquest with my masters thesis advisor, Peter Lyman. The Freshquest team investigated the technological careers of young people. We analyzed how Freshmen at Berkeley and Ohlone College use technology to support their social network using surveys, interviews and focus groups. My research contributed to the culmination of the Digital Youth project, a book called Hanging Out, Messing Around, Geeking Out: Living and Learning with New Media by Mizuko Ito et al., published in 2009. Digital Youth was funded by the MacArthur Foundation. I also contributed research from Freshquest to a practical reference book for teachers called, Teaching Tech-Savvy Kids Bringing Digital Media Into the Classroom, Grades 5-12 by Jessica Parker, published in 2010. My colleagues and I worked with Peter Lyman writing a literature review with the Exploratorium, Kids’ Informal Learning and Digital-Mediated Experiences, a white paper for the MacArthur Foundation. Principle Investigators: Michael Carter, Mizuko Ito, Peter Lyman, and Barrie Thorne.
Garage Cinema Research, 2003-2005
The Social Uses of Personal Media research group conducted ethnographic research on the social uses of photography, especially digital photography. Our research included interviews amateur photographers in their homes. We also conducted usability studies of camera phone applications such as MM2 (for mobile metadata sharing). Two of our papers were presented at the ACM CHI conference in 2005: MMM2: Mobile Media Metadata for Media Sharing, and The Uses of Personal Networked Digital Imaging: An Empirical Study of Cameraphone Photos and Sharing. We also produced unpublished papers: The Social Uses of Personal Photography: Methods for Projecting Future Imaging Applications and From What to Why?: The Social Uses of Personal Photos. Principle Investigators: Marc Davis and Nancy Van House.