Innovation Through Integration: Strategic Insights from a Dynamic Internship at Rapid Response Monitoring; Navigating the Waves of Innovation: The Ethical and Technological Frontiers of Marine Telemetry in Conservation

Gursahaney, Alisha, School of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Virginia
Stafford, William, EN-Engineering and Society, University of Virginia
Vrugtman, Rosanne, EN-Comp Science Dept, University of Virginia

In our ever evolving society, it has become more important than ever to encourage a multidisciplinary approach. This thesis, encompassing a technical project on corporate innovation and an STS research paper on marine telemetry, emphasizes the advantages of gaining experiences in a variety of subjects to widen your perspective. While these projects may seem unrelated, they highlight the value of considering a wide variety of factors when tackling a complex problem. This thesis aims to demonstrate how diverse academic disciplines can enhance innovation.
My internship experience at Rapid Response Monitoring provided an invaluable opportunity to apply interdisciplinary strategies in a corporate environment. My academic knowledge of computer science and psychology, coupled with the rotations I underwent, such as Marketing, Project Management, and Software Development, provided me with insights that enriched my problem solving strategies. During my rotation in project management at Rapid Response Monitoring, my background in computer science uniquely positioned me to bridge the gap between technical problem-solving and project oversight. When a critical coding issue was discovered during QA testing, unlike typical project managers who might lack technical expertise, I was able to directly dive into the codebase and implement a fix. This not only expedited the resolution process but also minimized disruptions, showcasing the efficiency gained from a project manager who is also skilled in software development. This experience illustrated the benefits of viewing a problem through multiple lenses and drawing on diverse sets of skills and knowledge.
In the realm of marine telemetry, a multidisciplinary approach proves equally beneficial. My STS research employed Actor-Network Theory to analyze how various actors—marine species, tagging technologies, researchers, and conservation policies—interact within a complex network, influencing both technological development and conservation outcomes. This approach reveals how technological advancements can be enhanced by incorporating perspectives from conservation science. For instance, the development of new tagging technologies that monitor marine species not only requires engineering expertise but also a deep understanding of marine biology, environmental science, and ethical considerations. Such interdisciplinary thinking leads to technologies that are not only effective but also minimize harm to wildlife and align with conservation goals. Additionally, these innovations have led to practical adjustments in research practices and policy formulations, demonstrating the interconnectedness of technology and ecology. The integration of conservation science with technological advancements highlights the critical role of this multidisciplinary approach in marine telemetry.
This thesis argues that the key to success in both technological innovation and environmental conservation lies in our ability to adopt a multidisciplinary approach. In a corporate environment, it sparks creative solutions that can help exceed stakeholder expectations. In environmental science, it ensures that technological advancements consider ethical and ecological implications, so that research and animal wellbeing are both improving.
Moreover, this thesis emphasizes how integrating different disciplines can lead to a more holistic understanding of any subject. Whether in business decisions, technology, or conservation efforts, considering outside variables and engaging with diverse fields can lead to more innovative and sustainable solutions. A multidisciplinary approach broadens the perspective of the problem-solver, enabling them to consider a variety of factors when making decisions, leading to more positive outcomes and feedback. Therefore, this does not force a direct connection between its diverse topics but rather illuminates the broad applicative value of interdisciplinary engagement. As we dive into each segment, the overarching theme remains clear: the integration of multiple perspectives offers a broadened perspective and more comprehensive approach when addressing complex challenges. Through this exploration, the thesis aims to demonstrate the necessity of interdisciplinary approaches in both academic and professional environments, advocating for a broader, more inclusive view of learning and problem-solving.

BS (Bachelor of Science)
Marine, Telemetry, Conservation, Multidisciplinary

School of Engineering and Applied Science

Bachelor of Science in Computer Science

Technical Advisor: Rosanne Vrugtman

STS Advisor: William Stafford

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