I am an Organizational Communication researcher interested in how workgroup social dynamics shape how members of high hazard teams act and communicate with one another. I am an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication at University of Colorado Boulder and hold a PhD in Communication from University of California, Santa Barbara.
Prior to graduate school, most of my employment history has involved high hazard work. I spent eight boreal summers as a wildland firefighter, three of those involved rappelling from helicopters. I also coordinated logistics for two austral summers at South Pole and McMurdo research stations in Antarctica. All of that work required resourcefulness and improvisation under extremely limiting circumstances. However, the work also was subject to strict organizational safety protocols.
At the broadest level, my research aims to understand how organization-wide “standards” are translated into local routines. Specifically, I am interested in ways that social environments and communicative interactions shape member expectations for what counts as “safe” action. My most recent research examines how wildland firefighting workgroups collectively develop techniques for navigating hazards.
Email: jody <dot> jahn <at> colorado <dot> edu