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Sophia Liu

Innovation Specialist

Contact Info


Short Biography

Dr. Sophia B Liu is an interdisciplinary Innovation Specialist at the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) working with the Science and Decisions Center (SDC); the Mineral Resources Program (MRP); the Energy and Minerals, and Environmental Health (EM-EH) Mission Areas; and the Office of Enterprise Information (OEI). She worked at the USGS National Earthquake Information Center (NEIC), the St. Petersburg Coastal Marine Science Center, and the Energy, Minerals, and Environmental Health programs at the USGS National Center as a Mendenhall Postdoctoral Fellow conducting research on crowdsourcing, citizen science, and civic hacking. Dr. Liu applies human-computer interaction (HCI) and computer-supported cooperative work (CSCW) techniques to the fields of crisis informatics and earth science. She investigates the social and behavioral uses of information and communication technology (ICT) around disasters to inform the design of future crowdsourcing projects, citizen science, and civic hacking efforts that improve government services. She also explores the opportunities and challenges with integrating data from the general public and how data science is enabling the communication of information and science online in more interactive ways. Dr. Liu was also awarded a National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship in 2006. Her doctorate research at the University of Colorado at Boulder focused on the use of social media pertaining to historically significant crises and the emergence of socially distributed curation as a way of managing crisis information in the social media landscape. She has given numerous invited talks on the emerging use of social technology for emergency management and the rise of open innovation through crowdsourcing and citizen science. As an innovation specialist and user experience researcher, Dr. Liu investigates the Socio-cultural, Technological, Organizational, and Policy (STOP) interfaces that need to be redesigned to improve government services.



Innovation Specialist

 

U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)
 – Present (5 months) in Reston, Virginia

Funded by the Mineral Resources Program; Energy and Minerals, and Environmental Health Mission Areas; Office of Enterprise Information (CIO); and Science and Decisions Center

Provide internal leadership at USGS & Department of Interior in participatory science & innovation
- Serve as the Crowdsourcing and Citizen Science (CCS) Coordinator for USGS and DOI
- Facilitate and coordinate the development of a CCS catalog for USGS and DOI
- Initiate and develop CCS activities at USGS to advance the use of participatory methods
- Raise awareness of CCS methods across USGS

Provide external leadership within the US government in participatory science and innovation
- Serve as the Co-Chair for the Federal Community of Practice on CCS
- Coordinate with other federal agencies on CCS federal activities like Citizen Science Day
- Participate in related federal meetings on CCS, open data, and open innovation

Develop CCS projects and participatory innovation activities at USGS
- Develop new applications for communicating USGS Mineral Resources science products
- Raise awareness of CCS Toolkit (http://crowdsourcing-toolkit.sites.usa.gov)
- Advance the use of innovation hackathons across USGS mission areas, regions, and offices

 

 

Mendenhall Postdoctoral Fellow

U.S. Geological Survey - The National Center
 –  (11 months) in Reston, Virginia

Funded by the USGS Energy and Minerals, and Environmental Health mission areas to design and develop Civic Hacking projects related to hydraulic fracturing, critical minerals, and toxic contamination after extreme storms by engaging Data Scientists to visualize and communicate USGS science in a more intuitive and interactive way.

Collaborating with the Science and Decisions Center (SDC) to develop a USGS Citizen Science Guidebook and collaborating with the USDA Forest Service to develop a special issue on Citizen Science for the Natural Inquirer, as well as analyzing the socio-economic impact of citizen science and geospatial information.

Member of the Federal Community of Practice on Crowdsourcing and Citizen Science (FCPCCS) and participating in the development of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) Citizen Science and Crowdsourcing - Open Innovation Toolkit.

 

Mendenhall Postdoctoral Fellow

U.S. Geological Survey - St. Petersburg Coastal & Marine Science Center
 –  (2 years) in Tampa/St. Petersburg, Florida Area

Funded by the USGS Natural Hazards Coastal & Marine Geology Program and Core Science Systems National Geospatial Program and led the development of the “iCoast – Did the Coast Change?” Citizen Science Project (http://coastal.er.usgs.gov/icoast) designing a crowdsourcing web application that asks volunteers to compare and classify aerial photographs of the coast before and after Hurricane Sandy to improve USGS coastal erosion prediction models.

Participated in the National Geospatial Program Future Viewer Evaluation Team to improve The National Map (TNM), The National Map Corps, and other USGS geospatial products.

Member of the Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology (DHS S&T) First Responders Group's Virtual Social Media Working Group (VSMWG) and helped to publish "Using Social Media for Enhanced Situational Awareness and Decision Support.

 

Mendenhall Postdoctoral Fellow

U.S. Geological Survey - National Earthquake Information Center
 –  (1 year 2 months) in Golden, Colorado

Funded by the USGS Natural Hazards Earthquake Hazards Program and the Core Science Systems National Geospatial Program to work on the Tweet Earthquake Dispatch (TED) and the “Did You Feel It? (DYFI)” Citizen Seismology projects

Conducted ethnographic research (interviews and participant observation) investigating the emergence and formalization of crisis crowdsourcing to inform the development of a Crisis Crowdsourcing Framework (see Liu 2014 publication).

Conducted informal interviews and participant observations with 35 stakeholders in NYC (i.e., NYC Office of Emergency Management, USAR Team, FDNY, FEMA, UN Global Pulse, UN Dept of Public Info, UNOCHA, UNICEF, New York Times, Standby Task Force, Sahana, OpenIR, Crisis Commons, professor, graduate students, Digital Democracy, SIPA New Media Taskforce, Open311) to discuss issues regarding the integration of official and crowdsourced geographic information around crises.

Conducted informal interviews and participant observations with 45 stakeholders in the DC area (i.e., FEMA, NGA, US Department of State - Humanitarian Information Unit, USAID - Office of US Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) and Office of Transition Initiatives (OTI), American Red Cross, G & H International, NPR, US Army Corp of Engineers, Esri, Ushahidi, OpenGeo, InterAction, TechChange) to discuss the interface challenges with sharing geospatial information between volunteer technical communities (VTCs) and government agencies.



Download CV


Liu, Sophia B., Carl Shapiro, and Pierre Glynn. (2015). Enhancing Public Participation to Improve Natural Resources Science and its Use in Decision Making. Paper abstract to be presented at the American Geophysical Union (AGU) 2015 Annual Fall Meeting for the “Valuing Trade-offs in Natural Resources Using Geospatial Information” session in San Francisco, CA, December 14-18, 2015.

Liu, Sophia B., Barbara S. Poore, and Richard Snell. (2015). Iteratively Developing the iCoast Crowdsourcing System Amidst Federal Administrative Challenges with Designing Social Technology. Paper abstract submitted to the 1st Citizen Science 2015 Conference in San Jose, CA, February 11-12, 2015.

Liu, Sophia B., Barbara S. Poore, Nathaniel G. Plant, Hilary F. Stockdon, Karen Morgan, and Richard Snell. (2014). USGS “iCoast – Did the Coast Change?” Project: Crowd-Tagging Aerial Photographs to Improve Coastal Change Prediction Models. Poster abstract to be presented at the American Geophysical Union (AGU) 2014 Annual Fall Meeting for the “Era of Citizen Science: Intersection of Outreach, Crowd-Sourced Data, and Scientific Research II Posters” session in San Francisco, CA, December 19, 2014. https://agu.confex.com/agu/fm14/preliminaryview.cgi/Paper22526.html.

Glynn, Pierre David, John W. Jones, Sophia B Liu, Carl D. Shapiro, Harry L. Jenter, Dianna M. Hogan, David L. Govoni, and Barbara S. Poore. (2014). Citizen Science, Crowdsourcing and Big Data: A Scientific and Social Framework for Natural Resources and Environments. Paper abstract to be presented at the American Geophysical Union (AGU) 2014 Annual Fall Meeting for the “Assessing the Socioeconomic Impacts of Big Geospatial Data and Crowd Sourcing II” session in San Francisco, CA, December 17, 2014. https://agu.confex.com/agu/fm14/preliminaryview.cgi/Paper7079.html.

Anya, Obinna, Laura Carletti, Tim Coughlan, Karin Hansson, and Sophia B. Liu. (2014). The Morphing Organization: Rethinking Groupwork Systems in the Era of Crowdwork. Workshop proposal in the Proceedings of the 19th ACM International Conference on Supporting Group Work GROUP ‘14. ACM, New York, NY, November 9, 2014. http://morph.wp.horizon.ac.uk

Liu, Sophia. (2014). Crisis Crowdsourcing Framework: Designing Strategic Configurations of Crowdsourcing for the Crisis Domain. Journal of Computer-Supported Cooperative Work special issue on Crisis Informatics and Collaboration, 23 (4-6), pp. 389 – 443.

Virtual Social Media Working Group (VSMWG) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) First Responders Group. (2014). Using Social Media for Enhanced Situational Awareness and Decision Support. Department of Homeland Security Science & Technology (DHS S&T).

Liu, Sophia B. (2014). Crowdsourcing Aerial Imagery to Detect Coastal Change After Extreme Storms. Lightening talk abstract submitted to the Geospatial Intelligence (GEOINT) Symposium for the Emerging Technologies GEOINT Forward session in Tampa, FL on April 14-17, 2014. http://goo.gl/diote3. (15% acceptance rate)

Liu, Sophia B. (2014). USGS iCoast: Crowdsourcing the Analysis of Coastal Change After Extreme Storms with Aerial Photographs. Lightning talk abstract presented at the Association of American Geographers (AAG) Annual Meeting for the “Future Directions in Geoweb Research: An alt.conference on Big Data, Theory, and Geography’s Role” session in Tampa, FL on April 8-12, 2014.

Liu, Sophia B. (2014). USGS iCoast Crowdsourcing System: Merging Geologic Time with the Disaster Lifecycle to Analyze Coastal Changes After Extreme Storms. Paper abstract presented at the Association of American Geographers (AAG) Annual Meeting at the “Disaster Time: Critical Perspectives on Crisis Informatics and the Temporal Aspects of Disasters” session in Tampa, FL on April 8-12, 2014.

Liu, Sophia B., Barbara S. Poore, Richard J. Snell, Aubrey Goodman, Nathaniel G. Plant, Hilary F. Stockdon, Karen L.M. Morgan, and M. Dennis Krohn. (2014). USGS iCoast - Did the Coast Change?: Designing a Crisis Crowdsourcing App to Validate Coastal Change Models. In Proceedings of the companion publication of the 17th ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work & Social Computing (CSCW Companion '14). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 17-20.

Liu, Sophia B. (2014). USGS iCoast - Did the Coast Change? Crowdsourcing Aerial Photography Analysis to Detect Coastal Changes After Extreme Storms. Paper abstract presented at the Florida Society of Geographers (FSG) 2014 Annual Meeting in Orlando, FL on February 7-9, 2014.

Liu, Sophia B. (2013). Formalizing Geospatial Crowdsourcing in the Crisis Mapping Community. Paper abstract presented at the CaGIS/ASPRS Specialty Conference on Imaging and Mapping for Disaster Management for the “Crisis Crowdsourcing in the GeoWeb” session on October 27-31, 2013.

Liu, Sophia B. (2013). Formalizing Crowdsourcing in the Emergency Management Domain. International Research Committee on Disasters Researchers Meeting on July 17, 2013.

Liu, Sophia B. (2013). Unpacking Crowdsourcing for Emergency Management. Poster presented at the 38th Annual Natural Hazards Research and Applications Workshop on July 13-14, 2013.

Liu, Sophia B. (2013). Formalizing Geospatial Crowdsourcing in the Crisis Mapping Community. Abstract submitted to the Association of American Geographers (AAG) Annual Meeting for the “Crowdsourcing Crisis in the GeoWeb: A Critical Look” paper session in Los Angeles, CA on April 9-13, 2013.

Liu, Sophia B., Beau Bouchard, Daniel Bowden, Michelle Guy, and Paul Earle. (2012). USGS Tweet Earthquake Dispatch (@USGSted): Using Twitter for Earthquake Detection and Characterization. Poster presented at the American Geophysical Union (AGU) 2012 Annual Meeting for the “Citizen Empowered Seismology” session in San Francisco, CA on December 4, 2012. Link to Abstract: http://fallmeeting.agu.org/2012/files/2012/12/AGU-2012-TED-ePoster-Liu.pdf.

Liu, Sophia B. and Poore, Barbara. (2012). Distributed Curation through Crisis Map Mashups. Presented at the Association for American Geographers (AAG) Annual Meeting in the “Communicating through Crisis” session on February 26, 2012, NY, NY. Link to Abstract: http://meridian.aag.org/callforpapers/program/AbstractDetail.cfm?AbstractID=44245.

Liu, Sophia B. and Ziemke, Jen. (2012). From Cultures of Participation to the Rise of Crisis Mapping in a Networked World. In Aaron Delwiche and Jennifer Henderson (Eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Participatory Cultures, New York: Routledge, pp. 251-273.

Liu, Sophia B. (2012). Socially Distributed Curation of the Bhopal Disaster: A Case of Grassroots Heritage in the Crisis Context. In Elisa Giaccardi (Ed.), Heritage and Social Media: Understanding and Experiencing Heritage in a Participatory Culture, Cambridge, UK: Routledge.

Liu, Sophia B. (2012). The Living Heritage of Historic Crises: Curating the Bhopal Disaster in the Social Media Landscape. Interactions magazine.

Liu, Sophia B. (2011). Grassroots Heritage: A Multi-Method Investigation of How Social Media Sustain the Living Heritage of Historic Crises. PhD Dissertation, University of Colorado at Boulder.




                           

My Science Topics


Science Topic
Subtopic
Information Technologyimprovement of scientific data usability
Information Technologysocial network development
Information Technologyweb service development
Techniques and Methodsgeographic information systems (GIS)
Techniques and Methodsstatistical analysis
Techniques and Methodsreal-time monitoring and reporting
Techniques and Methodscomputational methods
Techniques and Methodsaerial photography



My USGS Science Strategy Areas

Data Integration & Interoperability

Energy & Minerals for America's Future

A National Hazard, Risk, and Resilience Assessment Program


LinkedIn Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sophiabliu


Contact Information

Sophia Liu
12201 Sunrise Valley Dr
Reston, VA 20192
sophialiu@usgs.gov
703-648-6104
703-648-6057 - Fax
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