Bio

Issues surrounding emergencies and disasters are often complex in nature. These complex issues require complex solutions. They include the need to discover high quality information about a local area or particular topic; organize information into usable products for decision-making; increase distribution of important messages to target populations quickly; engage target audiences in the design and use of information systems; and ultimately enhance local information systems by strengthening the capacity to adapt, learn, and innovate in a way that makes communities more resilient to disruption. My scholarly work has contributed to all of these areas.

My research, teaching and service have helped organizations, which respond to emergencies, make use of large amounts of citizen-produced data, which in turn may improve the speed, quality, and efficiency of emergency response, leading to better supports for those who need them, and even, more lives saved. Given the increasingly overwhelming level of data directly contributed by citizens that response organizations are required to process, my work has transformed the way in which response organizations operate by helping identify more accurate and timely situation awareness information than is possible with traditional information gathering methods; such as enhancing situational awareness, better allocation of resources, facilitating crisis management training and better informing disaster risk reduction strategies and risk assessments. In the arena of emergency management and response, my work has offered opportunities to leverage layers of spatial, temporal, and social infrastructure to enhance event detection and pre-response to crises. The results of my work have contributed directly to the policy-making bodies of the United Nations, the Obama Administration and several emergency management and international relief organizations, such as NetHope, the Red Cross and Mission Critical Partners.

In sum, my international reputation is visible in the following: organizing and leading several international conferences; 13 grants worth $4,239,009 that have resulted in 14 completed Ph.D. and 6 MS theses; 51 journal articles, 73 peer-reviewed conference proceedings, and 12 book chapters.  I have been an invited speaker at 45 conferences or events, including the keynote speaker at my home discipline annual international conference. My teaching is showcased in the 14 different courses I have led for my College at the undergraduate, Honors and graduate levels. I have served as the Director of Graduate Programs for my College and the chair of 20 graduate student committees. Of the 8 PhD students for whom I was chair who have graduated, two took excellent positions in Industry while the other six took tenure track academic positions. Two of these have already earned tenure. Among the MS students for whom I have served as chair, two have taken jobs with the National government, two have taken jobs with industry and two have gone on to seek a Ph.D. I have served on 47 graduate student committees.