Hi, I'm Osanna!
Welcome to my ePortfolio
Throughout my scientific career, I have become increasingly preoccupied with impact. With sustainability and equity at the forefront of global conversation, I often reflect on my role as a scientist in ensuring a just and livable future. What is research really for, and how can we harness it to address our world’s most pressing challenges? My conclusion: science is thrilling, but only with skillful communication can it be leveraged for impact.
Growing up on a farm in the rural Midwest, I have always been fascinated by the interplay of nature and culture, and the complex systems produced. In every meaningful sense, the social and ecological are inseparable, as we are continually shaping, and being shaped by, our environment. I view this “interplay” not as a Venn Diagram of siloed disciplines, but rather a mindset with which to understand and interrogate our world’s sophisticated problems. During my academic career, I took advantage of every opportunity to immerse myself in different ecosystems, subjects, and cultures – resulting in 3 quarters of study abroad, countless off-campus excursions, a minor in Latin American Studies, and a firm belief in dissolving the nature-culture binary. Embracing this interdependence of systems and scales is, in my opinion, the first step in constructing just and effective solutions. These principles of interdisciplinarity and social-ecological systems lay the foundation for my work as both a scientist and a communicator. Most notably, they have taught me how to integrate the humanities into the scientific narrative.
While my background is in earth science, I’ve dedicated much of my time and coursework to the social sciences, which frame my perception of the world. I’ve learned that rigorously engaging the humanities is not only important but necessary in environmental science, and provides the groundwork for all good communication. Since ecological problems and social problems are inherently linked, focusing solely on the scientific side of the equation and ignoring the human experience leads to, at best, ineffective solutions, and at worst, catastrophic social and environmental damage. This lack of cultural awareness is a key ingredient in conservation’s problematic history, and human-centered communication is an essential tool for decolonizing conservation. While my technological and scientific skills have certainly proven useful, and as you will see in this portfolio have led to numerous discoveries and insights, only after integrating the humanities have I re-evaluated my worldview and gained the tools and frameworks to combat injustice in the environmental conversation, and fight for a more equitable future.
Over the years, I have grown skilled at a variety of communication modes and created impact for diverse audiences, disciplines, and objectives. This portfolio highlights the many ways my interdisciplinary perspective allows me to communicate complex analytical material to address social-ecological problems with sustainability and equity at the core.
In the same way each organ serves an essential function in the human body, and connects with one another to ‘collaborate’ towards a collective ‘goal’ of life, so too is this portfolio made up of connected communication structures with unique functions. Thus, I have arranged my artifacts according to three key body parts, each corresponding to the type of impact its targeted communication strategy produces, and which are connected through social-ecological systems.
My communication is conceptual, emotional, and practical. You can visualize this as speaking to the head, heart, and hand, which together form a holistic body. With this body of communication, I can better support collaborative research for ecocultural revitalization.
Centering humanity to educate, inspire, impassion, intrigue, reimagine, and open minds
The Heart: Emotional CommunicationSharing Stories
Centering purpose to empower, manage, improve, solve, address, convince, and modify behavior
The Hand: Practical CommunicationCatalyzing Change
Centering context to inform, explain, answer questions, provoke new insight, and further the discipline
The Head: Conceptual CommunicationPresenting Research
Hover and click to preview some of my artifacts, or navigate above using the menu to explore my work in context.