Archive | February 2013

GWSN members to attend Sunbelt Conference in Hamburg, Germany

 (Photo courtesy of Sunbelt conference website)

GWSN members, Kelly Jiang and Dr. Ulrike Gretzel, as well as Lindsay Young, Sneha Narayan and Dr. Nosh Contractor, recently had abstracts accepted to the 33rd Sunbelt Social Networks Conference of the International Network for Social Network Analysis (INSNA). This year’s conference will take place from May 16-26 in Hamburg, Germany. The website states that the Sunbelt conference “will provide an interdisciplinary venue for presenting current work in the field of social networks.”

INSNA is an organization comprised of researchers interested in social network analysis, and publishes the Connections Journal. Social network analysis focuses on revealing patterns of people’s interactions, which can provide valuable information on the potential success or failure of an organization or society, according to the INSNA website.

Two sets of abstracts were submitted by GWSN members. Doctoral student, Kelly Jiang (Texas A & M University) and Dr. Ulrike Gretzel (University of Wollongong) submitted an abstract entitled, “Information exchange between mentors and mentees: Examining communication linkages between participants in the Rocky Mountain Sustainability Science Network Academy”. The other abstract, entitled, “Issue spaces as semantic and social networks: Does what you know determine who you know and vice versa?”, was submitted by doctoral students Lindsay Young and Sneha Narayan with Dr. Nosh Contractor from Northwestern University’s Sonic lab.

Ms. Jiang and Dr. Gretzel’s project assessed the mentoring network within the Rocky Mountain Science and Sustainability Network’s  summer academy. The academy brings students from around the U.S. and Mexico to participate in a week-long workshop for undergraduates entering internships or jobs on public lands, or embarking on summer research projects related to environmental science, climate change, or sustainability. During the academy, students hopefully build mentoring relationships with speakers, and graduate student team leaders, as well as stay connected with other students via the RMSSN facebook group and through blogs written over the course of the summer. Ms. Jiang and Dr. Gretzel’s research analyzed the information exchange amongst the students and mentors to better understand network gaps, which can inform the best means for improving and strengthening mentoring relationships. See the full abstract here: Sunbelt 2013: Information exchange

Ms. Young, Ms. Narayan’s and Dr. Contractor’s research focused on what is called an “issue space”, whereby there is a focal topic around which people from different backgrounds gather around. The issue space for their project dealt with professionals working on gender and sustainability issues. These professionals were asked a series of open ended questions about unique challenges and opportunities that women bring to the discussion on climate change and sustainability. Ms. Young, Ms. Narayan and Dr. Contractor looked at answers regarding the issue and how similar people’s responses were to one another. This research looked at how the answers related to the overall social interactions of people interviewed to better understand how gender and sustainability issues are promoted and discussed within a diverse social structure. See the full abstract here: Sunbelt2013: Issue Spaces

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