In September TASCHA welcomed new senior research scientist Jason Young to the team. Jason had just finished his PhD with the Department of Geography from the University of Washington before being hired by TASCHA. His dissertation explored how Canadian Inuit, an Arctic Indigenous people, are using information and communication technologies to participate in environmental politics related to climate change. He was particularly interested in understanding both the capacity and limits of digital technologies for bridging differences between Western science and Indigenous knowledge systems in the negotiation of environmental policy. Prior to his dissertation work, he did research with Indigenous communities in the Peruvian Amazon. This work used participatory methods and geospatial technologies to produce digital maps of Indigenous knowledge of the area, for use in land tenure struggles and natural resource management. Given his longstanding interest in the intersections of digital knowledge politics and Indigeneity, he is excited to engage with the many researchers at the iSchool doing work on Indigenous knowledge systems.
Beyond these specific research projects, he brings a few other academic interests to the team. He has years of experience using geospatial technologies, both as a practitioner and, more recently, as an instructor. During his dissertation he also began to dabble with computational methods for analyzing big data sets, and is eager to learn from the work being done in this area at the iSchool. He has a strong interest in working across the divides between academic research communities, practitioners, and policymakers, and has research experience working with organizations including the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, the US Geological Survey, and the US Department of Defense.