Research

ArchesMy research focuses on geographic information organization, access, and use. This includes the Research Data Management (RDM) of geospatial data, research data disovery, information-seeking behavior of scientists, as well as job analyses of data managers facilitating research data services. Also, I have used Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to spatially analyze information agency locations, market areas, and information agency services and resources.

Geographic information generally consists of facts, data and/or evidence pertaining to events, activities, and things located on (or near) the surface of the Earth. The processes by which humans chose to organize, access, and use geospatial data are fundamental to many sciences and our everyday lives. Whether the data reuse is to inform facility location decisions, efficiently distribute vaccines, or to quickly navigate a new space, geographic information is essential. The field of Information Science provides a multidisciplinary lens to systematically study geospatial data, its special properties, and how it is discovered and evaluated for re-use.

Geographic information organization considers the creation of geographic representation, the development of government geographic information policy, the implementation of metadata schema and standards (e.g., ISO 19115), and the knowledge organization of placenames (e.g., U.S. Board on Geographic Names).

Geographic information access and use explores the unprecedented volume of data created, available, and transformable that present challenges and opportunities for information professionals related to supporting RDM. Past work on location-based Q&A provides a theoretical framework and methodological approach to future study of how scientists discover data. Current and future efforts include the study of scientists' fitness for use determination during data discovery, data management evaluation and compliance, and the user experience design (UXD) of location-based services and web-based mapping applications.

Data occupations, education, and training studies addresses the curricular needs to meet employment demands for knowledge workers in the areas of science data and its management throughout the research lifecycle. In order to support this rapid growth of jobs in these areas a workforce is needed that will be trained not only in geospatial technologies, but its organization, access, and use. The IMLS projects Collaborative Analysis Liaison Librarians (CALL) and Geographic Information Librarianship (GIL) both included survey validations and interviews of current professionals to inform course development and now has resulted in three electives offered at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville School of Information Sciences and a Geographic Information pathway. Professionals working in museums, libraries, archives, and data centers act as stewards and intermediaries to a rich variety of geospatial data and with shifting user needs and data types further job analyses work will be conducted to better understand all the occupations to produce applicable education and training (e.g. earth scientists, biologists, and so forth).

Selected Publications