NSF IGERT 2012 Video & Poster Competition - Evaluating a Wetland Enhancement Project for the Tuscarora
As part of an interdisciplinary team in the Ecosystem Restoration through Interdisciplinary Exchange (ERIE) IGERT Program, graduate students evaluated the hydrologic, ecological, and cultural aspects... More »
In 2011, I joined the 4th cohort of doctoral trainees in the Ecosystem Restoration through Interdisciplinary Exchange IGERT Program at the University at Buffalo (a.k.a. ERIE). I am glad to be in the company of a remarkable group of researchers in chemistry, biology, philosophy, geology, geography, and American studies. My background is in engineering and oral history, and the ERIE program makes for an excellent interdisciplinary environment for me.
After some early career work in environmental engineering research and consulting, I spent the last several years as a researcher and practitioner in oral history content management. Though seemingly different fields, the core challenges are the same in both environmental engineering and oral history. In both contexts, my work has been focused on taking large amounts of data and processing them into forms in which they can be interpreted meaningfully. I am looking forward to bringing methods I have learned from private consulting grounded in the humanities into the environmental sciences, particularly stream restoration (SR).
Just as traditional ecological knowledge is increasingly understood as a valuable component to ecosystem restoration, experiential knowledge from scholars and practitioners is another untapped resource that has been largely ignored. Recorded interviews combined with new, database-driven evaluation methods can allow this type of anecdotal knowledge to be used credibly as evidence in research. In the ERIE context, I hope that knowledge documented in this way can help fill gaps that exist between the theory and practice in SR and the broader ecological restoration.