- Bachelor of Arts, UNIVERSITY OF OREGON
- Master of Arts, SAN DIEGO STATE UNIVERSITY
- Doctor of Philosophy, UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON
I am a rhetorical critic with research and teaching expertise in the areas of environmental communication, science communication, social movements, and Native American rhetoric. My expertise also includes rhetorical methods, particularly the use rhetorical field methods that incorporate ethnography, oral history, interviewing and other participatory approaches into the practice of rhetorical criticism. I have three current lines of research.
First, my research examines the rhetorical dynamics of nuclear controversies, with an emphasis on highlighting marginalized voices in these controversies. I have studied the controversy over the Yucca Mountain high-level nuclear site and pointed out the ways in which Western Shoshone and Southern Paiute Native Americans have been excluded from participatory decision making processes through nuclear colonialism. I also completed an oral history project--Nuclear Technology in the American West--that archives the stories of people involved in nuclear issues, particularly nuclear waste, in the American West. I am currently writing a book about the rhetoric of nuclear colonialism and challenges to it through a comparative analysis of the Yucca Mountain and Skull Valley high-level nuclear waste sites.
A second research line involves the study of public controversy over energy policy and energy democracy. I have worked on an Department of Emergy research project that examined the social, cultural, and policy implications of carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) technology, developed public outreach and education tools, and analyzed the ways that CCS science and engineering professional talk about the technolgy among themselves. I am currently working on an NSF-funded project that examines the rhetoric of scientists and engineers engaged in research, development, and commercialization of low carbon energy technologies, such as wind and nuclear. This project examines the complex interactions between science, policy, and publics.
My third line of research examines social movements and protest. I have studied the ways in which social movements employ place/space as rhetorical tactics, the tactics of a variety of Native American social movements (including resistance to nuclear colonialism, the Free Leonard Peltier movement, and challeneges to Native American mascots), and the efforts of the climate change movement to rally supporters and demand transformative change. I am currently building a digital archive about the history of the use of the Utes nickname and other Native American symbols at the University of Utah.
I teach undergraduate and graduate courses on environmental and science communication, rhetoric of social movements, nuclear issues in the American West, Native American activism, place/space, and argumentation. I also teach "Field Methods in Environmental Humanities," the core methods course for the Environmental Humanities MA program.
I received a Ph.D. in Communication from the University of Washington, an M.A. in Communication from San Diego State University, and a B.A. in History from the University of Oregon.
Outside of academia, I enjoy spending time with my partner, kids, and cat. I try to preserve some time for reading, hiking, and traveling.