Spring 2020 Virtual Showcase of Resident Fellows and
Global Challenges Research Teams

Each year, our Resident Fellows and Global Challenges Research Teams display summaries of their research at the School of Global Environmental Sustainability (SoGES) spring open house. While we can’t be together in person this year, we still want to recognize our Fellows and Teams and showcase their work. Browse the gallery below and explore these digital displays.

About the SoGES Resident Fellows and Global Challenges Research Teams:

Our Resident Fellow program allows CSU faculty time and bandwidth to accelerate creative approaches and ideas for addressing complex sustainability problems and enable initial steps toward lasting solutions. It also provides a mechanism for deeper involvement in SoGES programs and activities. SoGES provides seeding funding to enhance scholarly contributions to sustainability, accelerate progress, and engage in the academic life of the School. Learn more about SoGES Resident Fellows.

Our Global Challenge Research Team (GCRT) program supports “high-risk/high-reward” approaches to research. The GCRT program provides seed funding to foster new, creative approaches to complex sustainability problems and enable initial steps towards lasting solutions.
Learn more about SoGES Global Challenges Research Teams.

We are developing new technology that will empower individuals to measure air and water quality in their homes and to reduce or eliminate such hazards when detected. Moving forward, the SPEHRE team will train individuals from health disparity populations (those living in poverty or from disadvantaged backgrounds) to deploy the “Home Health Box” (a cutting-edge sensor package for air and water pollution) within their homes for a one-week period. Collected data will be analyzed by CSU/SPHERE researchers and disseminated back to home occupants using a simple infographic report.

My sustainable livelihoods research has taken on a whole new meaning in the current pandemic. In Ecuador, my case study location, agricultural workers are on the front lines: their work is undoubtedly essential, yet they are extremely vulnerable to economic and health calamities. The parallels to what we are seeing in the US are clear. So too is the conclusion that we need to redouble efforts to foster social, environmental, and economic sustainability and resilience for vulnerable populations everywhere.

Prison agricultural activities are far more common than most people think. From row crop farming and ranching to gardening and horticulture, it is important to understand that incarcerated people are producing food in correctional facilities throughout the entire United States. Although largely hidden from public view, this work takes place to discipline incarcerated people into new habits of work, reduce the costs of mass incarceration, and relatedly, feed hundreds of thousands of people behind bars. In many cases, the penal system also claims that this work can have therapeutic benefits, provide vocational training, and support the greening of prisons.

My research question is to determine which data visualization design choices lead the user to have the best sensitivity to the information and the least amount of bias. To answer this question, I conducted empirical studies on human observers across a wide range of visualizations. I distilled their responses into the two components of sensitivity and bias, and recorded which designs promote sensitivity and decrease bias. A big misconception about data visualization is that as long as the data is present, people can comprehend the information. In reality, there’s a lot more to it. For example, I found that choices in how a designer maps color onto the data can have large impacts on comprehension, and that visualizations that used shades of a single color led to the best comprehension.