Doctoral Candidate
Science and Technology Studies Department
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

(Updated November 2014)

Kirk_2014I am a fifth-year Ph.D. candidate in the Science & Technology Studies Department at RPI.  My research interests encompass the study of social movements, the politics of technology, and scientific cultures. As a Ph.D. student at RPI, I have conducted research on a number of projects building up to my present research on efforts to manage and interpret data collected by citizen science water monitoring groups facing challenges posed by unconventional natural gas extraction in the Marcellus Shale. This work is supported by funding from the RPI Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences (HASS) Fellowship, as well as from a Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant from the National Science Foundation (Award #1331080). I am currently living in Pittsburgh, PA, conducting field research while also in residence as a visiting research scientist at the FracTracker Alliance.

Prior to beginning doctoral studies, I was an instructor at Clark University (’01-’09) and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts (’05-’07), building and teaching courses in communications and culture, history of technology, as well as electronic arts and film studies. During this time I was also a resident caretaker for the Massachusetts Audubon Society (’07-’10), working on land-bank conservation projects, as well as facilitating environmental education programs with local community groups. I received an MFA from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston (’03-’05) and received a BS in computer science from Worcester Polytechnic Institute (’93-’97).