IBS Speaker Series: Studying the Impact of Today’s Infosphere on Disaster Readiness and Response: A Research Agenda

When: Monday, February 15th 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Where: Zoom link: https://cuboulder.zoom.us/j/98382278178 - email ibs-contact@colorado.edu for password.
Who: Ashley Ross

Abstract: Research over the past 60 years has extensively studied how individuals respond to risk information and how they act on this information to take protective actions. While this research has provided a number of important insights, it was largely done in the context of traditional media where singular messages, dispersed by a few central providers on a limited number of platforms, dominated. Today’s infosphere – the entirety of the information environment constituted of all information entities and their interactions – is more complex and interconnected. It is more digital, more mobile, and more platform-dominated. It exposes people to disinformation and increases the potential for more political polarization and social inequality in information use. Yet, we do not know how these unprecedented changes may influence how people access, interpret, and act upon information, including critical information related to hazards and disasters. Join Dr. Ross in exploring how we may approach examination of the impact of today’s infosphere on disaster readiness and response.

Bio: Ashley D. Ross is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Marine and Coastal Environmental Sciences at Texas A&M University at Galveston. A political scientist by training, her research explores hazard and disaster issues from a sociopolitical perspective. Her book Local Disaster Resilience: Administrative and Political Perspectives (Routledge, 2013) analyzed disaster resilience related to Hurricane Katrina and the Deepwater Horizon oil spill among U.S. Gulf Coast counties. Much of her research examines public perceptions related to hazard governance, including climate change and hazard mitigation. Some of this work considers how identity, race and ethnic as well as generational, influences attitudes towards climate change. Her current research explores how these identities as well as trust in science is associated with disparities in disaster information access, use, and interpretation.

Sponsored By: Natural Hazards Center