My name is Carolyn Fish. I am a PhD student at Penn State. I study how maps influence how we think and talk about climate change. We can call how we think and talk about climate change as the discourse around it, the debates about it, and the perceptions we have about the changes to our climate. Do maps have the ability to change how we act and what we think about our environment?
Before coming back to Penn State, I was a cartographer at Esri in Redlands, CA, the makers of ArcGIS. At Esri, I worked with the solutions team to design basemap templates and develop thematic map content for specific user communities. I also worked on iconic design of point symbols for significant activities and incidents, support demonstrations of software, and collaborated with software developers to improve the functionality and capability of our product.
Before moving to California, I was a graduate student at Michigan State University in the Department of Geography. My master's thesis research evaluated how well people detect changes in animated choropleth maps. I concluded that most map readers often have difficulty detecting changes in animated maps and despite missing many important changes, readers often fail to even realize their own failures.