Cynthia HilmoeAlumni, Class of 2009
I have worked as an exploration/field geologist, museum staff, kayak instructor, gardener, remediation geologist, community pollution prevention specialist, grant program manager.
I came to ITP to explore how technology could be used to unify communities around potentially divisive environmental issues. Community members may be better able to agree on difficult decisions regarding ambiguous and confusing environmental problems when they realize similarities in their appreciation of a resource and the customs, traditions and economies that depend on it. As a digital immigrant, I am also intrigued by the technological paradox for children: the adverse impacts of pervasive technology on their health and well-being and the importance of technology in providing them with appropriate skills and social connectivity in the 21st Century. Technology --- from the Internet to wired toys, hand-held devices, public kiosks and exhibits --- can help reveal shared values and new paradigms when used as interactive social interfaces and outlets for creative expression.
Some issues I'd like to explore through this lens include the growing disconnect between children and nature outlined in Richard Louv’s book, The Last Child in the Woods; challenges posed by federal regulations related to non-point source water quality (residential, commercial and industrial stormwater runoff, agricultural runoff and construction runoff); and impacts associated with mountain top removal coal mining along the Appalachians.