For twenty years I conducted research at Clark University on the social aspects of environmental risks, with a focus on the topics of risk communication, public trust, and vulnerability. After a brief sojourn at the EcoTarium (a museum of science and nature located in Worcester), I began teaching at WPI in 2006. I have taught more than 600 students in ID2050 and advised more than 100 IQPs in the UK (London and Worcester), US (Nantucket, Washington, DC, and Worcester), Australia, New Zealand, Puerto Rico, and Switzerland. As center director, I am responsible for identifying project topics and sponsors at the London and Nantucket Project Centers. Given my ongoing research interests in environmental issues and museum studies, these projects typically involve a mix of government agencies, museums, and non-profit social service organizations. I enjoy project-based teaching because it is a wonderful way to get to know both the students and the issues they are researching. In helping teams frame their projects, I find I often learn as much as they do about a topic, and this makes teaching ID2050 a fresh experience every time. Advising off-campus offers special opportunities to get to know students in a more informal setting. As a Brit, I love to advise in the UK in particular since it gives me the opportunity to introduce students to the culture, history, architecture, and landscapes of England. As an avid bicyclist, runner, and lover of nature, I especially enjoy advising in Nantucket and encouraging students to explore the island. Of course, I bring similar enthusiasm and interests to my advising wherever I go.
N magazine features the amazing project work that WPI students do at the university’s Nantucket Project Center that makes a difference to this local community.