Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2015

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

First Advisor

Leysia Palen

Second Advisor

Ken Anderson

Third Advisor

Clayton Lewis

Fourth Advisor

Shaun Kane

Fifth Advisor

Andrea Tapia


The development of information and communication technologies (ICTs) has expanded the ways that people communicate and share information with one another. In the context of disaster, this has disrupted and reshaped the nature of the communication of emergency information and public participation in the emergency response process itself. Members of the public have been much quicker at adapting and improvising solutions in this new communication ecology than emergency response organizations. This difference in adoption reflects key differences in the formal constraints and responsibilities faced by emergency responders in comparison to the ability in the public sphere to improvise and organize more fluidly. My research focuses on the design and ongoing development of sociotechnical solutions within a community of emergency responders interested in integrating social media into emergency response practices. I look at both the solutions emerging across this community and the sociotechnical arrangements that support ongoing communication and the evolution of new ideas in a continual process of invention. My research spans four years, starting with an initial case study and progressing over time into a collaborative role that leverages my skills and knowledge of crisis informatics in the joint exploration of data analysis strategies and communication strategies.