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Stephanie Beth Jordan

404 Wilson Road
Communication Arts & Sciences Building, Room 424
Michigan State University
ssteinh msu edu

I am faculty in the Department of Media and Information and core faculty in the Center for Gender in a Global Context at Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan. I am a tech developer-turned-ethnographer interested in the social and ethical consequences of big data in the climate and ocean sciences with a focus on infrastructure development and its maintenance, labor and science policy.

My research starts at the scientific realities that look somewhat like science fiction and asks: how do we work with and around technology to act with care for both ourselves and the planet? What kinds of futures and whose futures are we ushering in with the development of new scientific infrastructures? How do we build and maintain infrastructures of earthly care for generations?  Often endeavors in big data in the earth sciences involve aspirations for a more equitable and accessible future through information and communication technologies. My work jointly expresses the importance of building sustainable infrastructure for the climate and ocean sciences and details the significant labor of its affiliates who grapple with vulnerabilities both social and material, often concerning intersectional inequities of race, gender, ability and class. This has taken me into worlds involving the development of the largest U.S. ocean observatories, the passing of the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty and radioactive baby teeth in St. Louis and most recently into a convergence of space and ocean scientists searching for life and climate answers on the icy moons around Jupiter and Saturn. My dissertation, The Instrumented Ocean: How Sensors, Satellites and Seafloor-Walking Robots Changed What It Means to Study the Sea, traces the shifting conditions of labor and life that accompany an unprecedented large-scale long term big data infrastructure development project in the ocean sciences in the U.S.

In both artistic and academic outputs, my work contributes to and draws from a diversity of fields and subfields, particularly feminist technoscience and infrastructure studies, cyberinfrastructure and eScience, collaboration and computer-supported cooperative work (CSCW), human-computer interaction (HCI), queer studies, critical race studies, science & technology studies (STS), and science policy. AT MSU, I contribute to multiple efforts for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) on campus and organize the Queerpocene Ecofeminist Reading Group. For more information please click further in the menu bar above or see my CV.

Current Graduate Students

  • Janine Slaker (Ph.D., Michigan State University Information and Media)
  • Johna Winters (MS, Oregon State University Marine Resource Management)
  • Chris Fennell (Ph.D., Michigan State University Information and Media)
  • Megan Knittell (Ph.D, Michigan State University Information and Media)

Past Students

  • Kaleigh Wiseley (MS, Michigan State University Information and Media)

Courses Taught