This event is hosted by The University of Melbourne's Faculty of Engineering and IT.
Technologies are increasingly important in supporting people to learn about nature, conduct environmental science investigations, and save species. However, to date such topics receive relatively little attention in design research literature despite there being unprecedented rates of environmental degradation, species loss, and climate change.
Jessie Oliver will share findings from her PhD research that explore how to design enticing experiences for people to learn about bird calls to inform conservation of Australia’s endangered Eastern bristlebirds. She will share lessons learned to highlight the diverse and promising avenues for design research to shape future technologies that support the health of people and ecosystems alike.
Prior to delving into design, Jessie had diverse roles as an ecologist and environmental educator. Her favorite roles involved being immersed in diverse ecosystems to investigate or teach others about nature. However, she was also intrigued by what could be learned from more mundane tasks in ecology, too. She valued understanding ecosystem changes on a long-term scale by carrying out tasks such as processing decades of satellite images or understanding what seabirds were eating by identifying fish ear bones left behind in regurgitated seabird pellets. Her realization of the power of technology in supporting education and ecological endeavors was first piqued while working as a seasonal educator at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Jessie became enamored with the realization that well-designed technologies could empower people to learn about birds and share their observations with scientists (i.e. a form of citizen science), revealing unprecedented ecological insights not otherwise possible. Inspired, Jessie delved into helping found the Australian Citizen Science Association in 2014 and embarked on design research not long after.