Hello. My name is Richard Ross and I am doctoral student in Environmental History at Claremont Graduate University and occasional digital historian.My backcountry skiing, climbing, hiking, biking and all-around good friend, Hiller, and I are advocates of “Light is Right.” Now we live 1000+ miles apart and no longer get the chance to spend time in the backcountry. However, when we traveled in the backcountry as lightly as possible, climbing gear was anything but light, so we often left it home, but still wanted to tackle a peak, like Crazy Peak. Being “hardmen”, we could not just take the standard hiking route, we needed to find a challenging route that did not require gear: mountains goats knew just where to go and just where to step so we would watch for and use the routes they took when and where applicable. GoatRock was the name we bestowed on those paths. As for the Research, it references my past and present both in the backcountry and the archive that doing environmental history requires.
You can find me in the digital multiverse on Twitter. Below you will find a short list of the projects I am currently working on, if you have questions or comments about these projects please contact me.
Natural History(ies) of the Puente Hills
Dissertation Research. I hope to explore the reciprocal relationship between the natural and human in the Puente Hills region in the Greater Los Angeles basin. I am particularly interested in how our current and past experiences of Nature in the Puente Hills is reflected in current efforts to preserve the Puente Hills within a heavily urbanized region. This research is based on a “natural non–human history” project I completed for the Puente Hills Landfill Native Habitat Authority.
Digital Research Methods (HUM 340)
In consultation with CGU Arts and Humanities faculty, designed and taught a course to provide conceptual and practical experience in applying information technologies to support critical thinking and promote the ongoing integration of information literacy in humanities research and publishing. Digital Humanities is a collaborative approach to scholarship that combines traditional forms of humanistic study with informational technologies that have had and will have a role in shaping scholarship within the humanities. The course explored the core concepts of the digital humanities both theoretically and practically through discussion and “hands–on” experience using informational technologies to promote information literacy. Students developed digital skills, including information trapping, citation management, social media, and web development and publishing, as well as gained a greater understanding of the basic tools and “languages” of a digital humanist and their impact on humanistic study. View the Course Syllabus.
My current research with respect to the digital humanities revolves around four issues: design as an integral part of digital humanities web-based projects; what, how, and why we teach what we teach in a digital humanities course, particularly concerning older students; the possibilities for collaboration via social media; and finally, using a variety of digital tools and methods as a part of my dissertation research and its publication.
Ultimately, my interest in the digital humanities centers on its ability to push humanist scholars in new directions by helping them answer old questions in new ways as well as ask new questions with greater depth.