Round Table: Alan Kolok - Environmental stewardship in the digital age: Using technology to empower communities
The College of IS&T Round Table presents:
Isaacson Professor of Research and the Director of the Nebraska Watershed Network
College of Arts and Sciences, UNO
Environmental Stewardship in the Digital Age: Using Technology to Empower Communities
Friday, October 3rd, 2014
11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
(Talk starts at noon.)
Subs and sodas provided on a first-come, first-served basis.
Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org.
A perfect storm has arisen in which innovations in analytic chemistry are combining with advancements in information technology that will allow lay-scientists to participate in the process of scientific inquiry. Two studies have been conducted in which local citizens participated to map the occurrence of the herbicide atrazine throughout two Midwestern watersheds. The first study was conducted in 2011, as citizens from within the Elkhorn River watershed collected data then uploaded it into a database via an interactive web site. The second study, conducted in 2014, involved citizens living across the Mississippi River watershed, who collected data then returned it to UNO via a number of different mechanisms ranging from mailed-in surveys to Twitter feeds. Insights into the individuals performing the tests suggest that a multi-level approach toward data acquisition may make the best use of the citizen scientists involved in the project.
Alan Kolok is the Isaacson Professor of Research and the Director of the Nebraska Watershed Network, College of Arts and Sciences, UNO. He received his M.S. from the University of Washington, Seattle, and his Ph.D. From the University of Colorado, Boulder. His research interests are varied but focus on environmental toxicology, with particular focus on trace organic water pollutants.
Dr. Kolok has collaborated with members of IS&T to merge information science with the latest developments within analytical chemistry. Recent research interests focus on equipping local communities with inexpensive, rapid detection tools to establish a role for the non-scientific community in environmental stewardship.