Jen Ziemke, (Ph.D., Political Science, University of Wisconsin-Madison), engages national and international institutions on ideation for a diverse set of hard problems, such as how citizen reporting from live conflict events shapes the nature of the battle space in real time. She is currently exploring how multimodal data perceptualization (visual & audio) can be leveraged to help understand and peripherally monitor large, unstructured, temporal datastreams. Sonification can help analysts detect deep patterns and deviations from the baseline not immediately visible to the eye. In her role as Associate Professor of International Relations at John Carroll University she teaches courses at the intersection of research methodology, international security, and conflict processes. She serves on the Board of Directors for the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC), MapStory Foundation, & is principal consultant at Endogeneity, LLC.
Jen has a deep and almost unexplainable interest in conflicts, wars, patterns, and whether the analysis of these kinds of data can tell us something (however small) about war. She carried out a comprehensive data-driven study of the Angolan civil war. For this project, she coded and geo-referenced some 10,000 battle and massacre events spanning all 41 years of this war using hundreds of sources and a detailed exhumation of Portuguese-language newspaper archives. Her 2008 dissertation: From Battles to Massacres and an article on this work, “Turn and Burn: Loss Dynamics & Civilian Targeting in the Angolan War,” is available through the Journal of Economics & Politics 20(1). Akron, OH: December 2012. This article received the Young Scholar Award for publications in 2012. In the end, Jen is still not sure whether reasonable inferences can be made from all of this event data, but is happy to be on the journey, seeing it as an adventure and an experiment.
Jen served as Co-Founder & Co-Director of the International Network of Crisis Mappers, an international community of experts, practitioners, policymakers, technologists, researchers, journalists, scholars, hackers and skilled volunteers engaged at the intersection between humanitarian crises, technology and rapid mapping. Reuters AlertNet named Crisis Mapping one of its Top 20 Big Ideas in 2011. She also managed an international conference event, the ICCM, held in Manila (2016), New York (2014), Nairobi (2013), the World Bank (2012), Geneva (2011), Harvard (2010), and Cleveland (2009). She also served as a Crisis Mapping and Early Warning Fellow at the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative (HHI) and was named a 2013 recipient of the University of Michigan’s LSA Humanitarian Service Award, presented annually by the Dean to 3 living alumni in recognition of their work.
Jen has consulted with, briefed, or engaged programs within the DoD, ONR, DARPA, DIA/MINERVA, National Intelligence Council, National Defense University, the United Nations Office of the Secretary General, UN-OCHA, UN-SPIDER, the World Bank, US Department of State, Rockefeller Foundation, Woodrow Wilson Center, Yale, Carnegie Mellon, Rochester Institute of Technology, Notre Dame, TED & her projects have been covered in several national and international outlets, including the Voice of America, Reuters, NPR, CNN, Huffington Post, Wired, The Chronicle of Higher Education, & USGIF Magazine. She has curated international conferences on four continents and has extensive experience in over 40 countries. She teaches courses on conflict processes, African politics, research methodology, international security, and international relations, as well as courses on crisis mapping and new media.
Jen received her Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison (Political Science) and undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor. Jen was a Peace Corps volunteer on the Namibian side of the Angolan border from 1997-1999. She has hitchhiked 20,000 miles in over a dozen African countries.
Podcast on African Politics (December 2017)