The influence of interactions between place and energy imaginaries on renewable energy acceptance. How are interpretations of new renewable energy technologies shaped by the surrounding context of visions and expectations about energy and desirable futures for a community? I aim to understand renewable energy transitions as place-based phenomena, tracing how individual projects and their risks and benefits are interpreted through the lens of place and energy imaginaries. Identifying context-specific drivers of public acceptance reveals sociocultural influences that can be critical to successful climate action.
Changing coastal landscapes, risk perception, and risk mitigation behaviors. How do local culture, experiences, and relationships with place shape how people experience and cope with flooding risk? I explore how personal ties to coastal landscapes through family, cuisine, and water-based activities provide a pathway to increased risk awareness of coastal land loss. While heightened attachment to a threatened place raises the potential for disruption to individual and community wellbeing, strong ties to place also fuel motivations for place-protective mitigation actions.
Natural hazards, disaster social media, and regional identity. How can we use social media in disaster contexts to improve risk communication, preparedness, and response? In this work, I explore the functions that disaster social media serves both during disaster events and in the intervening periods, finding in the case of Alaskan earthquake Facebook groups that people turn to social media to manage uncertainty about their personal experiences, share stories, and reinforce a sense of identity as “earthquake country,” which can lead to both a sense of bravado towards risks and a strong sense of community in response to extreme events.