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Jessica O'Reilly

Research Associate

I earned my PhD in cultural anthropology in 2008 from the University of California Santa Cruz. I have an MA in anthropology from University of California Santa Cruz and a BA in anthropology from the University of Michigan. My research explores emerging environmental management strategies in Antarctica, looking specifically at the ways in which these strategies are created through scientific field research, transnational political processes, and engagements with equipment and research materials. I have conducted sixteen months of ethnographic fieldwork in Christchurch, New Zealand, on an Antarctic research expedition, and at meetings, conferences, and workshops internationally.

My research asserts that the implementation of internationally-negotiated environmental policy on the Antarctic continent, and the ways in which it informs broader-scale problems such as biosecurity and climate change, is shaped by grounded and material experiences in the Antarctic field. However, these experiences-including gathered scientific data and interactions with equipment and wildlife-are translated as they pass through policy networks. In my analysis, I also enfold models of policy making, writing, and editing that incorporate the arrangements above with particular attention to expertise, knowledge production, and the disciplinary structures of Western science.

In my position at STEP-based at the University of California, San Diego-I will be researching the history of scientific assessments of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet.

Jessica O'Reilly