Mr Daniel Beech

Photograph of Mr Daniel Beech.PhD Candidate, Department of Geography and Earth Science, Aberystwyth University
BSC Geography, University of Wales, Aberystwyth
MA, Regional and Environmental Policy, University of Wales, Aberystwyth

Contact

Email: dib8@aber.ac.uk
Office: G1
Tel: +44 (0)1970 622610

Thesis

The Networked Volcanic Hazard: An Actor-Network of Technology and Communication

Supervisor(s):

  • Professor Michael Woods
  • Dr Carina Fearnley

Profile

The PhD explores the complex management structure of volcanic hazards, and its application to “Actor-Network Theory” (Latour) and “Science and Technology Studies” (Jasanoff). The ability of institutions and actors to communicate openly with scientists, policymakers and decision-makers in monitoring and responding to volcanic activity is of particular relevance.

The research has focussed upon the communication and sharing of hazard information between Iceland and the UK. The mediation and transparency of data, role of nonhuman or technical devices, and the development of institutional trust have emerged as key findings. Semi-structured interviews, archival research and participant observations have been carried out with leading institutes such as the Icelandic Met Office, University of Iceland, ISAVIA, Civil Protection Department, UK Met Office and Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre’s. Fieldwork has been conducted in both Iceland the UK, and channels of communication, as well as key mediators within the network, have been identified. This has allowed me to analyse the main “actors” (human and nonhuman) that have a significant impact upon the formation of appropriate mitigation strategies.

The research draws upon interrelationships between scientific, sociological and technological communities, exploring volcanic hazards as natural phenomena within a collective, hybrid networks. As the research has continued, volcanic activity at Bardarbunga has enabled me to view, at first hand, the monitoring and response process. Social media has become increasingly prevalent to communicating hazard information and the current eruption has allowed me to establish links between the key actors positioned within the network.

By conducting this research I hope to further geographical knowledge relating to the structure, coherence and organisation of hazard management networks. I intend to expand and broaden the field of volcanology, enhancing its interdisciplinary credentials. Through my research, I would like to further mobilise hazard management, allowing it to be viewed, to a greater extent, as a participatory and transparent process that transcends science, technology and society.

Responsibilities

  • PhD Candidate
  • First Year Tutor for Geography (L700)
  • Co-convenor of the Dialogues in Human Geography seminar series 2013-2014
  • Exam Invigilator for the Department of Geography and Earth Science
  • Open Day representative (departmental)
  • Royal Geographical Society: Geographical Club Award Holder

Research Interests

  • Volcanic Activity and Processes
  • Multi-Hazard Environments
  • Hazard Communication and Complexity
  • Mediated Geographies
  • Actor-Network Theory
  • Science and Technology Studies
  • Social Construction of Technology
  • Risk Perception
  • Geographies of Communication
  • Reconstruction of Volcanic Landscapes
  • GIS and Remote Sensing

Group Affiliation

Royal Geographical Society

Volcanic and Magmatic Studies Group

Higher Education Academy

Publications

2013

Lecture

Resilience, Governing Uncertain Futures, Department of Geography and Earth Science, Aberystwyth University, Aberystwyth, 15th November 2013

2012

The British Cartographic Society (BCS) Annual Symposium “Mapping the Global Village”: GIS as an Artistic Medium: Rendering the Sublime,  Basingstoke Country Hotel, Hampshire, 14th-15th June 2012

Conferences

2015

  • Volcanic and Magmatic Studies Group Annual Conference (VMSG), Re-Envisioning Monitoring Practices Through Technology: Empowering Experts and Communities in Southern Iceland (Poster), University of East Anglia, Norwich, 5th-8th January 2015

 

2014

  • GEORISK International Conference, Collaboration, Communication and Coherence: A Networked Approach to Seismic Activity, Instituto Geografico Nacional, Madrid, 18th-22nd November 2014
  • GEORISK International Conference, Collaborative Monitoring in Southern Iceland: A Technical Volcanic Environment (Poster), Instituto Geografico Nacional, Madrid, 18th-22nd November 2014
  • Royal Geographical Society with IBG Annual Conference (RGS), Redesigning Hazard Communication through Technology: Collaboration, Co-Production and Coherence, London, 26th-29th August 2014
  • Royal Geographical Society with IBG Annual Conference (RGS), Managing Hazardous Environments through Nonhuman Mediation: Advancing Collaborative Knowledge through the Co-production of Science, Technology and Society, London, 26th-29th August 2014
  • Dialogues in Human Geography, Communicating Volcanic Hazards: Actor Networks and Information Technology, Aberystwyth University, Aberystwyth, 29th May 2014

 

2013

  • Dealing with Disasters and IDRiM Annual Conference, Volcanic Hazards: A Spatiality of Actors, Assemblages and Information Technology (presentation and poster), Newcastle University, Newcastle Upon Tyne, 4th-6th September 2013
  • Future Climate Dialogues Symposium, Aberystwyth University 13th June 2013)
  • RGS-IBG Postgraduate Mid Term Conference, The Potential of Landscape Visualisation: GIS as a Science and an Art, Birmingham University, Birmingham, 25-27th March 2013
  • Gregynog Human Geography Annual Conference, Assessing the Significance of Communication between Maori Cultures and Scientists in the Management and Education of Volcanic Hazards in New Zealand, Gregynog, Newtown, 11th-12th March 2013

 

2012

  • The British Cartographic Society (BCS) Annual Symposium “Mapping the Global Village”: GIS as an Artistic Medium: Rendering the Sublime, Basingstoke Country Hotel, Hampshire, 14th-15th June 2012