Faculty Research Initiative Video Series
Faculty across the College of Arts and Sciences are engaged in exciting, thought-provoking, paradigm-shifting research and creative work. In the Faculty Research Initiative video series, we invite scientists and scholars to summarize their work to promote engagement and understanding with a wider audience, break down disciplinary divides and find unexpected collaborators.
To learn more about interdisciplinary research opportunities, contact Lisa Florman at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Environmental anthropologist Nick Kawa, an assistant professor of anthropology, studies how human culture mediates our relation to nature and the environment. Currently, he studies our relation to human excrement and examines ways in which we might come to see our waste as not being “waste” at all.
Erin Lin, assistant professor of political science, studies the effects of war — and especially of unexploded bombs — on agricultural development. Concentrating on the jungle villages along the Cambodia-Vietnam border, Lin has used her skills in ethnography, geocoding and econometric analysis, as well as data mined from soil fertility maps, the Cambodian census and payload drop coordinates from declassified U.S. Air Force records from the Vietnam War, to gauge the effects on farming and locate where remaining unexploded ordnance might be.
Neutrinos, almost-massless subatomic particles, zip through matter all the time. John Beacom, the Henry L. Cox Professor of Physics and Astronomy, researches neutrinos and how they interact with other forms of matter. From this, he can tell the temperature of the core of the sun and whether a nuclear reactor on Earth is functioning.
People shape the environment, and the environment shapes people, says Kendra McSweeney, professor of geography. Her latest research examines the devastating impact of U.S. drug policies on Indigenous people in Central America, which has pushed organized drug traffickers into increasingly remote areas, displacing populations native to those regions.