MLIS Student Virtually Deployed to Pakistan to Monitor Crisis Communications


The recent earthquakes in Pakistan put graduate student Joyce Monsees’ crisis informatics skills to work when she was virtually deployed to monitor social media and other online sources for information to help the earthquake victims.

On September 24, 2013, south-central Pakistan, north of Awaran, was devastated by a 7.7-magnitude earthquake. A few days later, on September 28, a 6.8-magnitude earthquake struck the same area, an aftershock of the September 24 earthquake, according to the US Geological Survey.

Monsees works as a digital volunteer with the group Standby Task Force. In the aftermath of the Pakistan earthquakes, the volunteer group was charged with assessing images for damage levels and mapping the information for the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

Monsees is a graduate student in the fully online Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) program at the San José State University School of Library and Information Science (SJSU SLIS). She is currently taking SJSU SLIS Assistant Professor Dr. Christine Hagar’s new online course on Crisis/Disaster Health Informatics, aimed at preparing information professionals to be key players in disaster preparedness and response.

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