Graduate Students - Hollie Smith
Graduate Research Assistant, Sustainability Solutions Initiative
IPhD Student, Department of Communication and Journalism
University of Maine
What problem/s are you working to solve?
I’m focusing on communication issues involving the public, media, policy makers and scientists. The more we can increase the flow of information exchange between these areas, the more people can learn about social and environmental issues in Maine, and make more informed choices.
What progress are you making toward solutions?
I’m working to better understand where people get their information about scientific issues, and how they make decisions based on that. The more we understand about information and decision making, the more we can try to increase evidence-based decision making and the relevancy of science in policy and public understanding.
How could your findings contribute to a more sustainable future in Maine and beyond?
My research and the partnerships that could come from it could increase communication between scientists, the media, and policymakers, and help people make more sustainable and informed decisions.
Why did you decide to join SSI?
I joined SSI because of the focus on solving problems and working across boundaries. The researchers within SSI are open to working with partners from other disciplines and the community. I think it’s such an important way to approach solving problems, and is the only way to reach sustainable solutions.
What’s the best part about collaborating on SSI research projects?
When you collaborate with scientists from other disciplines, you really get opened up to innovative ways of thinking and approaching problems differently. It’s a great way to integrate theory and practice to solve real-world problems.
Where’s your favorite place in Maine?
My favorite place so far is Camden. There are great hikes and scenery, and it’s a fun little Maine town.
What’s your ultimate Maine experience?
Walking five minutes from the University and enjoying miles of cross-country ski trails all winter long!
Mud season survival strategy?
Put away every pair of shoes except my old winter boots!
What sustains you?
Long walks with my dog, being surrounded by good people, and doing work that matters.
Additional information on Hollie and her SSI team
SSI Project: The Knowledge-to-Action Collaborative
Advisors: Laura Lindenfeld & Linda Silka