Since arriving in 2012, Dr. John Shiga has greatly contributed to the School of Professional Communication (ProCom) and especially to the MPC program.
He has supervised MPC students and contributed insights as a second reader for Major Research Projects. When not teaching, supervising or making sure everything runs smoothly as Graduate Program Director for the Master of Professional Communication, Dr. Shiga researches sonar in the oceans.
In his SSHRC-funded project, Dr. Shiga and his team of research assistants explore the sounds occurring in the depths of the oceans. The project investigates ways of translating ocean sound into interactive sound installations so that diverse audiences can get a better sense of just how much and how loud human-generated noise in the ocean actually is, and participate in the process of analyzing and interpreting data about the ocean.
Dr. Shiga has recruited ProCom BA student, Selah Edlington, and MPC student, Asma Farooq, as research assistants on this project. They’ve played a vital role in surveying diverse bodies of literature including work on sonification (representing data in sound), as well as work on media and the environment, and an emerging body of work on the integration of sensor networks and automation in contemporary forms of environmental governance.
Dr. Shiga’s research is present in the concepts and techniques that he teaches in CD8310 – Topics in Cross-Cultural Communication. The course looks at the way ideas about underwater sound are translated between different organizational cultures, including the military, ocean science and environmental activism.
The sonar research project also flows into Dr. Shiga’s teaching in CMN600 – Science, Communication & Society, an undergraduate course that explores the different media and modalities of public science communication. Dr. Shiga pushes students to think beyond the main focus of written and visual communication at how other kinds of media could be integrated into science communication.
Dr. Shiga’s tenure and promotion to Associate Professor are a clear recognition of his contribution to ProCom.