Spring 2018 Global Change Fellow
Where are they now?
Lindsay is a Teaching Assistant Professor at Iowa State University.
Statement of purpose:
As scientists continue to research the various elements of global change and provide more evidence that action must be taken sooner rather than later, the need to effectively communicate these results grows. Effective communication is only possible if scientists are able to identify and utilize the methods that suit their audiences best, and identifying best practices requires assessments and evaluations of existing methods of communication. My dissertation research uses qualitative and quantitative approaches to evaluate a climate information website with the goal of improving the website to be as accessible as possible for its intended audience. As a Global Change Fellow, I will be able to interact with other global change scientists and be exposed to the most current global change research, thus strengthening my understanding of global change and helping me to identify areas of research in which effective climate communication will be needed in my future career.
Description of research:
My dissertation research consists of an eye-tracking assessment of the usability of a web-based climate decision support system for forestry stakeholders. In addition to identifying website design issues that impact the website usability for all users, I have examined the user characteristics (e.g., age, gender, education) that influence website usability and user understanding of the climate information provided through the website. My results have led to changes in the design of this website, but they can also be used to inform the design of future websites that aim to inform diverse audiences. My research best aligns with the SECSC Science Theme 1: Develop climate projections and determine appropriate projections to use for resource management, as my research evaluates the efficacy of climate projections for resource managers in the Southeast US.