Principal Investigators

Jeannette Sutton, Ph.D., is a Senior Research Scientist at the Trauma Health and Hazards Center at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, National Institute for Space, Science, and Security Centers. From 2004-2010, Sutton worked as a research faculty member at the Natural Hazards Center at the University of Colorado, Boulder, where she coordinated a number of research projects on community preparedness, regional collaboration and the Urban Areas Security Initiative, warning systems for extreme events, and most recently, the uses of social media during disasters and crisis events. Dr. Sutton is currently the Principal Investigator on two separate three year National Science Foundation-funded projects.  The first, Disaster Resilient Rural Communities, focuses on the effects of information access on perceptions of collective efficacy in rural communities affected by seasonal hazards (with Co-PI Charles Benight).  The second, Project HEROIC (Hazards, Emergency Response, and Online Informal Communications), is a comparative examination of online social networks that emerge in response to hazardous events (with Co-PI Carter Butts).  Sutton is also affiliated with Argonne National Laboratory where she conducts research on social media policy for emergency management and response.  In addition, Dr. Sutton serves as an academic advisor to Crisis Commons, and the volunteer technical community that responds to disasters. Dr. Sutton’s research has been featured in Nature, Reason, and Emergency Management Magazine. Sutton received her PhD in Sociology from the University of Colorado at Boulder, and a Masters of Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary. She served as a Victim Services Coordinator following the Columbine High School Shooting in 1999.

Carter T. Butts, Ph.D., is currently a professor in the Department of Sociology and the Institute for Mathematical Behavioral Sciences at the University of California, Irvine.  He currently serves as an area editor for the journal Computational and Mathematical Organization Theory, and serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Mathematical Sociology and Structure and Dynamics. Butts has also served as a council member of the American Sociological Association’s Section on Mathematical Sociology, holds paper awards from the ASA’s Sections on Mathematical Sociology, Rationality and Society, and Aging and the Life Course, and is a recipient of the Leo A. Goodman Award from the ASA’s Section on Methodology and the Linton C. Freeman Award from the International Network for Social Network Analysis.  At UCI, Butts is a member of the Institute for Mathematical Behavioral Sciences, the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2), and the California Institute for Hazards Research. He is also a member of the UCI Center for Organizational Research, the Center for Machine Learning and Intelligent Systems, and the Center for Emergency Response Technology, and is the coordinator of the UCI Social Network Research Group. In addition to his Ph.D. from the Department of Social and Decision Sciences at Carnegie Mellon University, Butts also holds an M.S. from Carnegie Mellon University, and a B.S. from Duke University.

Graduate Student Researchers

Emma Spiro is currently a graduate student in the Department of Sociology at the University of California, Irvine. She is a member of the NCASD lab at UCI. Spiro has worked on Project HEROIC developing data collection tools and modeling both conversation and local network properties. In addition to a M.A. in Mathematical Behavioral Sciences from UCI, Spiro holds a B.A. in Applied Mathematics and a B.A. in Science, Technology, and Society from Pomona College.

Sean Fitzhugh is a graduate student in the Department of Sociology at UC Irvine.  He is a member of Carter Butts’ NCASD lab.  He is primarily interested in data collection methods for Project HEROIC.  Fitzhugh holds an M.A. in Mathematical Behavior Sciences from UC Irvine in addition to a B.A. in Sociology and a B.A. in Political Science from the University of California, Berkeley.

Britta Johnson is currently working as a research associate at the Trauma, Health & Hazards and Psychology departments at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs.  As part of the Project HEROIC, Johnson is working on data monitoring and analysis.  She has a M.A. in International Disaster Psychology from the University of Denver, as well as B.A.s in Psychology and Communication Arts/Journalism from the University of Wisconsin – Madison.

Ben Gibson is currently a graduate student in the Department of Sociology at the University of California, Irvine. He is a member of the NCASD lab at UCI. Gibson is interested in data collection and population estimation methods for HEROIC. Ben holds an MA in Sociology from UAB.

Undergraduate Student Researchers

Daiki Hiramori is an undergraduate student majoring in sociology and minoring in mathematics at the International Christian University, Tokyo, Japan. He is currently visiting the University of California, Irvine as a one-year exchange student for the year 2012-2013. Hiramori’s areas of interest include sexuality and gender (with a focus on sexual and gender minorities), mathematical sociology, quantitative methodology, and social networks.

Past Affiliates

Matt Greczek is a graduate reseach assistant at the Trauma Health and Hazards Center and a graduate student in Sociology at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs.  Matt is currently working on data monitoring and analysis for Project HEROIC.  Greczek received his B.A. in Sociology from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

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