My Research

Bridging connections between physical, human, and applied geographies through the lens of human enthusiasm

Below is a selection of research I have conducted in academic, R&D, and governmental environments. For a comprehensive list, please view my curriculum vitae here.

Grateful Dead Landscape Memorialization

Although the Grateful Dead no longer tour with their original lineup, the legacy they left on not only the Bay Area but the rest of the world is significant. This legacy is strengthened by hundreds of small business owners across the United States who have named their establishment after a reference to the band.

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Empathy and Placemaking in Doctor Who

Can Doctor Who be a conduit for creating more compassionate viewers, making the places that those viewers inhabit more compassionate by proxy? I used focus groups, social media data mining, and literary analysis to understand how the show's plotlines can influence the ideologies and opinions of viewers.

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Science Fiction as Peacemaking

Can science fiction make us more peaceful human beings? Science fiction speaks toward real social issues through a lens of metaphor, oftentimes evoking very real human emotional responses to robots and fantastical creatures. Could this compassion translate into our lives beyond the screen?

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Placing One's Self in Ink: Geographic Tattoos

Whether a souvenir from a trip abroad or a flash design from a local shop, geographic tattoos allow the wearer to distinguish what areas on Earth hold significance to them by permanently inscribing borders or place attributes onto their body. How do tattoos influence our understanding of place identity?

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Modeling Population Stability in Africa

Many population models fail to account for cultural and social factors that influence stability. I created a data-driven model fusing cultural, environmental, and geopolitical data for each country in Africa to provide a country-by-country prediction of stability across the continent over the next five years.

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Visual Experiences and Information Retrieval

In the world of information retrieval, researchers strive to understand how users engage with online searching by running experiments with search tasks. In this research, I am working with a team to explore how images in a search task influence a user's engagement and motivation with the search experience.

Coming soon!

Future Directions

My scholarship, regardless of whether I am working in academia, will continue down several specific paths: (1) I strive to continue to understand the fan communities that surround Let's Plays on YouTube and Twitch, as well as communities that develop around video and board games; (2) I will be digging deeper into my scholarship-activism on veganism and particularly how vegan establishments can be an ethical and moral alternative to foodie scenes within urban environments; (3) I am interested in furthering my understanding of human-computer interactions and particularly how humans retrieve information from the internet and how that information is processed.