Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences

C-SEF Seminar: Dr. Jen Henderson, Texas Tech University

Monday April 10 2023 @ 1:00 pm





1:00 pm

Event Type

Open to Public

  • CIRES employees
  • CU Boulder employees
  • NOAA employees
  • Science collaborators
  • Host

    The Big Possibilities of Small Data: How Qualitative Methods Can Lead Change in Extreme Weather Hazards Research
    Dr. Jen Henderson, Assistant Professor, Geosciences, Texas Tech University
    Monday, April 10 at 1 pm
    Followed by a reception with light refreshments at 2 pm 
    Location: CIRES Fellows Room, Ekeley S274
    Although increasing national attention has focused on the benefits of artificial intelligence, machine learning, and big data to address complex environmental problems, there is likewise tremendous, yet often untapped promise in small, rich data from qualitative studies in the social sciences to do the same. These methodological approaches—interviews, focus groups, ethnography—are commonly recognized for their generative capacity to offer insights into the processes of meaning-making, the diversity of human experience, and how and why people make decisions. Less visible are the ways qualitative data can offer knowledge that can be useful and usable, enabling problems to be identified, systems to be co-designed, and new tools and platforms for information sharing to be built in the here and now. Through three illustrations of qualitative-led collaborative research, this presentation will illustrate how a rich understanding of forecasting and warning systems for extreme weather can be built through a deep engagement with a variety of experts in the weather hazards community. Across different contexts—developing training for forecasters’ situational awareness of compound hazards, co-producing a platform for interrogating; visualizing, and sharing ensemble model information; and creating systems to reflect expert understanding of local vulnerability—these cases likewise demonstrate how qualitative research can lead generative and important changes in extreme weather prediction and communication for expert communities that help create resilience to future weather disasters. 
    This seminar is part of the Center for Social and Environmental Futures (C-SEF) "Here and Now" Seminar Series. All are welcome.
    This event will be in person and live streamed.