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Sophia Liu

Dr. Sophia B Liu is the first Innovation Specialist at the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) in the Science and Decisions Center. She is also the Co-Chair of the Federal Community of Practice for Crowdsourcing and Citizen Science (CCS), as well as the CCS Agency Coordinator for the USGS and the Department of Interior. She currently works on participatory science and innovation projects with the Mineral Resources Program; the Energy and Minerals, and Environmental Health Mission Areas; and the Office of Enterprise Information at the USGS. Between 2011 and 2015, she was a USGS Mendenhall Postdoc Fellow working on crowdsourcing, citizen, science, and civic hacking projects at the USGS National Earthquake Information Center in Colorado, the St. Petersburg Coastal Marine Science Center in Florida, and at the USGS National Center in Virginia. She received her Ph.D. at the University of Colorado at Boulder in an interdisciplinary program called Technology, Media, and Society with a basic foundation in crisis informatics and user experience research. Dr. Liu was also awarded a National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship in 2006 and investigated 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 also received a B.A. at the University of California, Irvine in Social Science with a minor in Computer Science and in Digital Arts.

As an innovation specialist and user experience researcher, Dr. Liu investigates the social and behavioral uses of information and communication technology (ICT) investigates as well as the Socio-cultural, Technological, Organizational, and Policy (STOP) challenges that need innovation to improve government services at the USGS and the Department of Interior. 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 social and interactive ways. 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.