Before I joined the Ph.D. program in STS at Virginia Tech, I was a creative writer and instructor in the humanities. I have an M.F.A. in creative nonfiction from Goucher College, and I've written poetry, nonfiction, and several articles for literary and mainstream journals.
It's this love of writing that transformed my career from writing essays and articles about weather and weather safety to becoming a researcher focused on social science methodology.
One day in 2011, as I was wandering through the ruins of Joplin, wondering about people's experiences with this tragic tornado, I had an overwhelming desire to return to school to understand more about the science of meteorology, the complexity of forecasting, and issues of social justice and recovery. A week later, I submitted my application to Virginia Tech.
Peer Reviewed Articles
Since then, I've been working on interdisciplinary projects with meteorologists, atmospheric scientists, and remote sensing scholars. One focus of my work so far is the importance of scientists engaging the policy process.
- "Science Policy: Using Your Voice to Inform and Inspire.” (EOS)
- “From the Lab to the Hill: Engaging Scientists in the Policy Arena.” (forthcoming, BAMS)
As an amateur storm chaser, I've written articles about this fascinating sub-culture. At one time, I tried my hand at a novel about a young researcher searching for the key to understanding tornadoes. (Stay tuned for this project in Summer 2015). Most recently, I published an essay in The American Scholar titled "What We Chase," which reflects on my experiences storm chasing with a group of Virginia Tech meteorologists during a deadly tornado season.
Weather Safety & Outdoors
Because of my love for my nieces and nephew, I'm committed to helping parents find activities that take their families out of doors and become prepared for severe weather. To this end, I've written dozens of articles on weather safety for local parenting magazines. Recently, I also completed an e-book, "Big Storm Coming!" tailored for parents who want to know what to do when severe weather is on its way.
The bulk of my writing includes essays and articles I've written about a variety of topics. I enjoy writing about weather, of course, but also experiences I've had in my family, in relationships, and with my world.
Other Places to Find Me
While I still love this part of my life and enjoy writing (when I have time!), my main focus is on research that advances our understanding of how people experience and make sense of weather disasters.
- Discovery News
- Social Epistemology
- Weather Safety Daily
- Culture Every Day
- Science and Technology Studies
In 2014, I published an essay that is part memoir part place-based writing about my childhood home in Utah. It's called "Geographies of Home" and can be found in the lovely collection Utah Reflections: Stories from the Wasatch Front.