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As a member of the Community Engagement and Education working group of the DataONE project, Stacy Rebich Hespanha helps to create and evaluate learning resources and communication strategies for engaging Earth and environmental researchers, students, and educators in sound data management practices. She contributes to the effort to support open and secure access to all types of Earth observational data by helping to design learning resources and evaluate their effectiveness, support the growth of the DataONE user community and interactions between its members, and enhance DataONE visibility to researchers, decision makers, and educators. Her goal is to promote adoption of Earth and environmental science data management and sharing practices that not only serve the best interests of researchers and educators, but also stimulate advances in scientific understanding that support informed decision-making for society.
Beyond her work with DataONE, her research focuses on improving public communication about the science related to controversial environmental issues such as global climate change. Her research in this area focuses on characterization of the semantic content of past news media communication about climate change through algorithmic natural language processing of text (probabilistic topic modeling) and content analysis of visual images. In addition to characterizing semantic content of climate change news, her work focuses on understanding how various communication strategies evoke different emotional responses and the relationships between emotional response and basic human goals and values.