I've been an interdisciplinarian since high school when I realized I was torn between two subjects: English and microbiology. I spent my time studying for both until I entered college and added a third interest: psychology. Split between these three areas, I came up with a plan. I double majored in English and Psychology and got a minor in microbiology. The deciding factors? My love of the history of psychology and, of course, poetry.
Since then, I've focused on creative nonfiction as a way to encompass my many interests, using the genre as a vehicle to explore different topics from weather to family history. This trend of interdisciplinarity continues in my Ph.D. work in STS where I find the combination of philosophy, history, and sociology, among other disciplines, invigorating and satisfying.
Part of my interest in interdisciplinarity extends to my funding line, which comes from a fellowship in a Virginia Tech initiative called Interdisciplinary Graduate Education Program, or IGEP. My specific interest is in remote sensing technologies--satellites, Doppler radar, and areal photography--and the socialpolitical and ethical nature of its history and use today. Much of my work in this area includes the policy implications of emerging technologies.
- What are the policy implications of drone technology for weather research, for example?
- How might satellites be used to monitor ongoing recovery from disasters? Who ought to have access to this information?
- How might participatory GIS and other crowd-sourced maps supplement and reveal gaps in official government maps?