With a background in technical communication, I am primarily interested in how emerging technologies can help better address communication challenges, especially related to natural environments. In some cases, this may include visualizing phenomenon that is difficult to see or feeling like you are interacting with places and beings that are inaccessible for a variety reasons. In my dissertation, I look at how three AR and VR apps attempt to facilitate care between their users and representations of wildlife by relying on physically immersive designs.
Non-profit organizations have recently started developing 360-degree videos to educate public audiences about specific, place-based climate problems. Similarly, small and large companies have began creating nature-based apps to increase the mental well-being of users or educate them on specific topics. In my research, I seek to learn more about how to leverage the affordances of physically immersive media for environmental communication.
I am also interested in how emerging technologies can address specific, localized challenges related to environmental education, environmental equity, and climate change communication. Environmental degradation disproportionality affects marginalized groups, which means that listening to and supporting these communities is a necessary part of environmental communication. Physically immersive media brings the user's attention to the materiality of environments. I hope to partner with local communities to co-develop and research media that serves their needs.
Keywords: technical and professional communication, environmental communication, climate change communication, feminist materialism, human animal studies, augmented reality, virtual reality, app studies, game studies, and UXD.