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Citizen Communications as a Form of Public Participation in Disaster

Arrangementet er afholdt
(blev afholdt torsdag, 20. april 2006, kl. 15:00-17:00)

Leysia Palen, Assistant Professor, University of Colorado, Bolder.

Place:  Store Auditorium (Benjamin-122),
Aarhus Universitet, Aabogade 34, 8200 Århus N.

Recent world-wide crisis events have drawn new attention to the role information communication technology (ICT) can play in improving warning and response activities.  Drawing on disaster social science research, we consider the role of public participation in disaster and how ICT is extending this participation, particularly in the form of citizen-to-citizen communications. We review information dissemination and consumption activities in cases of recent disasters, showing how low- and high-tech citizen communications vary in part depending on the physical, temporal, and spatial characteristics of disaster. We characterize three primary types of those communications, and consider how they map to formal response efforts, and, in so doing, raise questions about the ability of command-and-control organizational response models to support these important activities.  We discuss how information science can contribute to a complex domain with thoughtful technological innovation and knowledge about the interaction between ICT and organizations.

Leysia Palen is an Assistant Professor at the University of Colorado, Boulder in Computer Science with affiliations to the Natural Hazards Research and Applications Information Center (NHRAIC); the Institute for the Alliance of Technology, Learning and Society (ATLAS); and the Institute of Cognitive Science (ICS). Her training and interests are socio-technical, with a focus on ethnographic studies of work practice that inform technology design, implementation, and policy.
Prior to her appointment at Colorado, she completed her PhD at the University of California, Irvine in Information and Computer Science, where Jonathan Grudin was her advisor, and her undergraduate education in Cognitive Science at the University of California, San Diego.  Professor Palen has recently been awarded a National Science Federation Early CAREER Grant to study information  dissemination in disaster events. She is currently spending a sabbatical year at the University of Aarhus at the Center for Interactive Spaces and the Center for Pervasive Healthcare.

Leysia Palen

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