An update ...

It's an understatement to say that it's been a very busy year! In January I joined the Cassini Mission to Saturn as a social scientist observer. Cassini is an orbital mission that has been exploring the Saturn System since 2004, and I am working with them as part of my research into the sociotechnical organization of spacecraft teams: the project I call, The Social Life of Spacecraft. This has been an immersive ethnographic process, involving travel to visit most of the twelve instrument teams' meetings, observing the observation planning processes, attending team meetings and planetary science conferences all over the world, and managing interviews and archival work on the mission as well.  This work has taken me from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena to the Aricebo Observatoryin Puerto Rico... Following these scientists and engineers around like a dutiful Geekologist, I think at this point I've racked up enough airmiles to make it to Saturn -- and back!

I've recently started to synthesize some primary findings from my ongoing ethnography in a number of settings.  Along with colleagues at JPL, Ames, and elsewhere, I produced a White Paper for the Planetary Society Decadal Survey called Sociological Considerations for the Success of Unmanned Missions. In May I gave a talk to the Departmental Seminar at UC Irvine Informatics on the beginnings of the Social Life of Spacecraft Project. By October, I presented a paper on The Social Life of Spacecraft: Organization, Instrumentation and Negotiation on the Cassini and Mars Rover Missions at the Hybrid Design Practices and co-presented a paper on the Dynamics of Power in Location-Based Systems, co-authored with Irina Shklovski and Paul Dourish. Already gearing up for CSCW and CHI 2010, with papers in the works on death and computing, and post-colonial computing (ICT for Developing Countries) ... stay tuned!